mercredi 6 juillet 2011

Presidential non-price gifts!

Mobutu offers a leopard skin to Pope Paul VI.

On 1 June 1966, President Joseph Mobutu ordered the hanging of the "conspirators of Pentecost," in fact four prominent Congolese politicians: Evariste Kimba, Jerome Anany Alexander Mahamba and Emmanuel Bamba, accused of trying to overthrow him.
Pope Paul VI (1897-1978) warned by the Congolese Catholic hierarchy had unsuccessfully tried to ask for their pardon.
Remorseful mainly because of the media impact of this public hanging and spectacular, President Mobutu asked the Archbishop of Kinshasa, Mgr Joseph Albert Malula (1917-1989) to get an audience at the Vatican through his intercession to the Holy Father.
Mobutu with his family were finally received by Pope Paul VI early 1967.
Worn fetish, Mobutu, who was 37 years old commits a blunder by offering a leopard skin to the head of the Catholic Church. It was his favorite animal, he dreamed of seeing blessed by the Pope?
         We are still far from the protection of endangered species, but what did the Vatican do wth an embarrassing gift ?
On his return to Kinshasa, he charged the archbishop of Kinshasa, thus inaugurating the conflict between him and the Catholic Church that would lead to the development of the policy of Authenticity?

The Gift of Bokassa stolen to Mobutu

During his official visit to Zaire, Central African President Jean Bedel Bokassa (He was not yet Emperor Bokassa Ist), falls in awe of the furniture of the City of the OAU in Mont-Ngaliema where he was staying.
Before returning to Bangui, Bokassa who was nicknamed by the Zairian "Muana Mboka" request "to his dear brother" Mobutu to selling these so beautiful furniture.
With his usual magnanimity, President Joseph Désiré Mobutu (Sese Seko who was then) gives the order to give willingly and CEO of the Office of the National Office of Maritime Transport (ONATRA) to embark it on two barges destination of Bangui.
Two days, three days, a week, the barges Onatra not return to Kinshasa.
When the Zairian authorities wonder how to retrieve the boat, they learn to the radio that the Central African Republic has created a shipping company with the cooperation of Zaire.
According to the same statement, President Jean-Bedel Bokassa Mobutu thanked his brother for having provided not only the first two boats but also the first technicians to train their colleagues CAR!
"Oh, the bastard! We can still not declare war for so little! "Exclaimed the president would Zaire furious!
A rumor also in Kinshasa on the CAR president who would have benefited from his visit to the producer of diamonds in Kasai "MIBA" to steal a good amount of gems in the triage area.

The passport gift "courtesy" of Idi Amin Dada!

On Monday, June 23, 1975, Idi Amin Dada (1928-2003) threatens to execute a British citizen, Denis Hills (1903-2004), professor at Makerere University since 1963, accused of high treason and sentenced to death for have called him a "black Nero" and "Tyrant village idiot" in his book "The White Pumpkin."
Big Daddy demands that the British Foreign Minister, James Callaghan personally come to Uganda "to discuss the case."
June 30, 1975, Mobutu officially invited Idi Amin in Kinshasa, and obtains the grace of Professor Denis Hills.
On July 10, 1975, the mediation of Mobutu led to the liberation of the poor professor suffering of "cancer" who flew to London the same day.
In exchange, Idi Amin decided to give him some opponents Mulelist refugees in Uganda.
To enhance the ceremonial pomp of this diplomatic success, Mobutu made Idi Amin Dada, an honorary citizen of Zaire, offered him a diplomatic passport and an "Abacost" brand new tailor-made to the Ugandan Giant (91 per 1m 100 Kg).
In 1989, in exile in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia since his ouster April 11, 1979, the former dictator bored of Africa and Uganda. He dreams of most of his wives and some of its children refugees in Kinshasa before regaining power in Kampala.
He found in his luggage the zairian passport and the "abacost" which fits like a glove since he found his line.
He arrived at the airport in Kinshasa N'Djili.
Some immigration officers found that Zairian "compatriot" particularly look like the former Ugandan dictator, but it does not unduly move them!
Thanks to the vigilance of American and French intelligence services that had slipped him from Saudi Arabia that he is unmasked and deported to Saudi Arabia!
He had just spent a few hours in the lounge presidential N'Djili International Airport through the "gift of Mobutu! ".

The Sylis of Sekou Toure to  Nelson Mandela in the fight against apartheid.

In his biography "Long Walk to Freedom", Mandela (along with Oliver Tambo) recounts his epic encounter with Sekou Toure, then president of Guinea.
After having outlined the objectives of the ANC and the organization of its armed wing the Umkhonto we Sizwe (MK), Mandela asked 5,000 U.S. dollars to arm and train its fighters.
"The government and the people of Guinea fully support the struggle of our brothers in South Africa and we have made statements to the UN in that" they said Sekou Toure before the escort after having offered his two books ( in French) autographed.
The two South Africans leave disappointed and bored his head down.
Soon after, back in their hotel, they receive a suitcase full of banknotes in Sylis, the new Guinean currency, which can not be used elsewhere out of Guinea.
The two South Africans could not refuse the gift without offending the president Ahmed Sekou Toure-!
Moved and still visibly annoyed, they resorted to a friend of the Czechoslovak Embassy in Conakry to change the Sylis against convertible currency.

The fatal gift of Captain Thomas Sankara.

The scene passed in Ouagadougou, November 17, 1986.
The fiery Captain Thomas Sankara receives President François Mitterrand with a special anti-imperialist discourse: (...) We, Burkinabé, did not understand how the bandits, as Jonas Savimbi, the leader of Unita, the killers as Pieter Botha, were allowed to travel in France so beautiful and clean. They stained their hands and feet covered with blood. "
François Mitterrand visibly embarrassed replies, "It's still a bit disturbing President Thomas Sankara. He tickles you. He asks you questions. With him it's not easy to sleep in peace. You do not leave your conscience. I admire his qualities which are rare. He thinks too much ... I encourage but not too much. "
After the speeches and toasts of use, Captain Sankara gives the French President, Francois Mitterrand, a white cock particularly nervous that he can barely contain!
Some African tribes use the cock whether foreigners are welcome while in Europe, the rooster symbolizes courage, intelligence and virility! And so the challenge ... !
On October 15, 1987, Captain Thomas Sankara was assassinated in his office! Did the white cock  played a negative role?

The priceless gift to President George HW Bush!

President George Herbert Walker Bush, in visit to Hungary, received a valuable gift as it was "out of the market."
Indeed, it has received from the President of Hungary, Matyas Szürös (1989-1990), a piece of the Iron Curtain (sharing the East and West), that is to say, a piece of barbed wire Rusty the fence separating Hungary from Austria!
On September 11, 1989, the Hungarian regime had opened its borders with the West to some 50,000 East Germans to emigrate legally less than a month.

President François Mitterrand received the key to the Bastille.

During the bicentennial celebrations July 14, 1989, President George Bush Sr. has returned as a gift, the French President, Francois Mitterrand, the key of  the Bastille prison that Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette (1757 -1834), a character from the French Revolution and heroes of the American Revolution had offered to the first president of the United States, George Washington!
The prison of the Bastille, built during the reign of Charles V (1370-1383) was completely destroyed July 14, 1789.

 Where was the last key of  the Bastille castle? wondered many French historians?

The bulky gift Mo'ammar Gaddafi!

"The house will be a small hassle that I will be coming back" slides Slovenian Prime Minister Mr. Borut Pahor Guide to the Libyan Revolution, Mo'ammar Gaddafi.
Indeed, the Libyan leader, welcoming the resumption of cooperation between Tripoli and Ljubljana had just offered to his guest, two camels, at the end of his official visit to Libya in November 2009.
Slovenian media have something to entertain their readers!
In return, the Prime Minister promised to Libyan leader to send him a Lipizzaner of stall (horse of Slovenian origin) of 4 years old!

"Ah! the camel!" had to think Borut Pahor!

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