AFRICA: Three Down

Another tyrant falls

In his humid, upriver capital of Bangui two years ago, former French colonial army Captain Jean-Bédel Bokassa donned an ermine robe and mounted a giant eagle-shaped throne. As 3,500 formally attired guests looked on, he crowned himself Bokassa I, unchallenged Emperor of a landlocked, poverty-stricken country that he renamed the Central African Empire (pop. 2 million). At a cost of $20 million, it was the most extravagant coronation since that of Napoleon, Bokassa's idol. Then the new Emperor intensified an already psychotic reign of terror, which included the mass...

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