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Burkina Faso : Head of state Blaise Campaoré invited to the Elysée

Demonstration against public funding of dictator states

17 November 2008 by Survie

A host of civic associations [1] and indignant Parisians condemn Nicolas Sarkozy’s preferred treatment for African dictators. We will act up on the symbolic Eifel Tower Square to protest the Elyséen mantel extended to the 21 year old dictatorship of Blaise Campaoré.

Demonstration call up for November 17, 2008 6 PM on the Trocadero square of Human Rights: NO to OFFICIAL SUPPORT OF DICTATORSHIPS! NO to IMPUNITY for STATE CRIMES!

Captain Blaise Campaoré who heisted himself into power 21 years ago thanks to the assassination of his friend and president Thomas Sankara along with twelve of his closest collaborators will be received by Nicolas Sarkozy on November 18 at the Elysée. The captain president is in France on official visit to the forth edition of the Economic Days of Burkina Faso which is taking place in Paris from November 20 to 24. By extending the Elyséen cloak of respectability to a creep like Blaise Campaoré, our government is again backing down on the 2007 electoral promise to apply human rights criteria to economic or military cooperation with African states.

Last August 26 another notorious African creep, Prince Johnson [2], now a Liberian senator covered by impunity made the spectacular statement before a national Commission of Reconciliation and Justice that he himself participated in the neighboring state’s putsch of 1987- the one which set up Blaise . Later on in an exclusive interview over Radio France International, Prince Johnson claimed that Blaise Campaoré ordered the killings that were plotted together with Houphouet-Boigny, former President of the Ivory Coast in exchange for strong arm support from Burkina Faso and Kaddafi’s Libya to oust Liberian president Samuel Doe in favor the war lord and criminal, Charles Taylor [3]. After so many gangster styled assassinations at such top state levels, Liberia was ripe for another round of chaos, arms and drugs trafficking, resource pillaging and more then 15 years of bloodletting.

Johnson’s declarations constitute very serious accusations. His own recent makeover from brute hit man to “repentant” senator is terribly revelatory of the international connivance by outside networks, including Françafrique networks inside small or big African states. Through repeated, military violence they manage to destabilize and consequently paralyze society, thereby facilitating illegal arms trades, drugs trafficking, prostitution, diamond smuggling and many other resource scams from drinking water to food distribution. Precisely because of Johnson’s own criminal past as well as his questionable, immune status we must seriously examine his accusations. They go a long way towards explaining the dozens of political assassinations which have felled opponents as well as embarrassing collaborators of Blaise Campaoré’s entourage-civil servants, military personnel, journalists, student leaders...The list of unresolved murders or closed cases is long: beginning with the cornerstone assassination in 1987 of president Thomas Sankara on through to the murders of captains Henri Zongo and Jean Baptiste Lingani, former leaders of the September revolution in 1989, Clement O. Ouedraogo government leader in 1990, student leader Dabo Boukari tortured to death in Mai 1990, Norbert Zongo journalist and founder of the Independent newspaper, eliminated December 13, 1998 and so many others. [4] The crimes of Campaoré’s regime do not stop at the border of Burkina Faso. Together with other militia groups and criminals like Charles Taylor, Jonas Savimbi and Fodé Sankoh, this rogue government has helped to plunge the whole region of Sierra Leone and Liberia into more than a decade of warfare the likes of which have seen over 500,000 persons in Sierra Leona and more than 600,000 in Liberia slaughtered, raped or mutilated according to Mr. Crane, former prosecutor of the Special Tribunal of the United Nations for war crimes investigations in Sierra Leone (STSL) [5]. We know now that Blaise Campaoré’s government was compromised in numerous illegal acts of resource pillaging (for example the “blood diamonds” traffic involving guns and munitions trade with Angolan armed gangs and businessmen) [6]. Recently the United Nations and certain human rights NGOs have established the shared responsibility of the capitals of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ouagadougou in diversely flourishing criminal traffics in the Ivory Coast.

The incredible nature and number of crimes which can be imputed to Blaise Campaoré and his allies, crimes for which he should be made to account before the International Penal Court impels Survie to act up and speak out over and over again for the rest of France to hear what our government speakers are not going to tell them!

Survie denounces the certificate of good behavior Nicolas Sarkozy accords a criminal government by receiving its leader at the Elysée. Survie calls upon our government to condition all public development aid to the respect for human rights, free elections and an end to impunity for state crimes.

Survie demands the immediate declassification of all French, state department documents concerning foreign policy commitments or agreements between France and Burkina Faso over the last 20 years so that we may finally examine the assassination issues surrounding Thomas Sankara.

Survie supports the struggle of civic associations around the world that are seeking an independent legal investigation into the political murders of Thomas Sankara, Norbert Zongo, Dabo Boukari and many other non-elucidated assassinations.

Survie acknowledges the courage and determination, which motivates the Burkinabe society to commemorate the death of journalist Norbert Zongo and his friends each year until the truth shall finally come forth.

Survie calls upon its members to carry this message and explain the outcry of the people of Burkina Faso to their fellow citizens.

(Translated for Survie by AZ)

Note: Survie’s French language press releases on Blaise Campaoré’s visit can be found at Survie.org under Communiqués de presse et lettres ouvertes Monday, November 10 and November 17, 2008.

NOTE : The original press release : 17 novembre 2008. Burkina Faso. Blaise Compaoré reçu à Paris. Halte à l’impunité ! Communiqué de Survie

[1] Civic and associated political organizations: Survie, COFANZA (French Collective “Affaire Norbert Zongo”), French section of the Burkinabe Movement for Human and Peoples Rights, association BARAKA, ISHTAR, Droits Devant, French Committee for Debt Annulations in the Third World, National Labor Confederation (CNT), Congolese Diaspora Confederation (FCD), French Association for Friendship and Solidarity with the People of Africa, Association for the Respect of Human Rights in Djibouti, Women’s Equal Rights Organization, Communist Workers Party of France (PCOF).

[2] In 1990 in the course of killing sprees outside of Monrovia, capital of Liberia, Prince Johnson and his armed thugs overran the residential palace of President Sam Doe, captured him and tortured him to death. The macabre killing scene of Sam Doe was apparently filmed by Prince Johnson and shows him prancing about guzzling beer while his men cut off Doe’s ears...

[3] Simon Doux, Portée régionale de l’effondrement de l’Etat. Le cas de Liberia. Thesis DEA, IEP of Paris 1994 p. 25-26. See also Georges Klay Kieh Jr., Combatants, Patrons, Peacemakers, and the Liberian Civil Conflict , in Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, vol.15, 1992, p.129.

[4] See the report on unpunished crimes from 1960 to this day at: http://www.thomassankara.net/article.... Read also an article published by Nigerian journalist Nkem Agetua, Operation Liberty, the story of Major General Joshua Nimyel Dogonyaro. (Lagos 1992). Above all consult the book by Stephen Ellis, The Mask of Anarchy (New York University Press, 1999).

[5] United States Department of State (Washington, DC) April 11, 2006: http:// fr.allafrica.com/stories/200...

[6] See the United Nations report: http://www.un.org/News/dh/latest/an... Read also the article by Remy Rivière in Billets d’Afrique, No 174, November 2008, “Campaoraison funèbre.”

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