Biafra war (it was Unita)

João Paulo Monteiro jpmonteiro at
Tue Dec 28 16:06:05 MST 1999

Julio Fernández Baraibar wrote:

> I has allways thought that the Biafra secesion was an imperialistic maneuver
> in order to balcanize the oil rich Nigeria and that was backed by the West
> powers.

Absolutely correct.
The oil company Elf-Aquitaine promoted the rebellion, with all the power of the
french state behind it. Portugal, desperate to find allies for its african
policies, was easily enlisted on this catholic crusade. The other major
supporter of Biafra was that ineffable statesmen Félix Houphouet-Boigny, of
Ivory Coast (the very one that built a giant replica of St. Peter's cathedral on
the middle of the african jungle).

Btw, the successor of Boigny, Henri Konan Bédié, was deposed the other day by a
military coup. The french (who have troops on the country and were supposed to
intervene to restore 'constitutional order') suddenly got cold feet. French
minister of Cooperation, Charles Josselin, says "what has just happened
illustrates the new french policy of non-interference in Africa."

These people just have no sense of ridicule.

Bédié, of course, is inconsolable, proclaiming that he is "the authentic leader
of Ivory Coast" from his forced exile... in Lagos. Oh, the cruel irony of

The political purposes of the Military Junta in Abidjan, led by general Guei,
are not very clear. They speak of "cleaning the house" first and then "establish
a true democracy". It's main preoccupations seem to be of moral a regenerative
kind, promising "auditories to all economic sectors of the country". Maybe this
could built a popular dynamic à la Chavez.

Ivory Coast is the cornerstone of all french neo-colonialist policy in African.
If it falls, developments could be interesting.

João Paulo Monteiro

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