AFRICA: French Fiddling

In an emperor's fall

It was to have been a quiet little coup, executed with characteristic French panache from behind the scenes. The successor had been picked, paratroops were at the ready, and when the despised dictator left the country, voilà! "Operation Barracuda" would go into effect. So well, in fact, did the plot come off that when tyrannical Emperor Bokassa I was overthrown in the Central African Empire two weeks ago, it was hailed as a triumph of sanity over murderous despotism. By last week, however, the French connection in the affair was proving an embarrassment, and the all too...

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