samedi 26 juillet 2014

France: From Elizé Raphael (1929) to Simon Wuro (2014): Crossed Destinies of the first and last Black Mayors of France.

The first black mayor of France died in Buchenwald in 1944.

         On May 19, 1929 in a small town in Sarthe, a Martinique became the first Black mayor of France. A journey full of hardships for extraordinary destiny: that of Raphael Elize.
         Born in Martinique, grand-son of a freed slave (Elise, who gave his name to the family): a priori, nothing predisposed Raphael Elize to become mayor of Sablé-sur-Sarthe, a small town of the Loire. And yet ...
         Born on February 4, 1891 at Lamentin, Raphael is only 11 years old when he was forced to flee with his family, the monstrous eruption of Mount Pelee (30,000 deaths). He continued his education in Paris before joining the National Veterinary School of Lyon, which indicates major in 1914. Immediately war broke out. The young man is mobilized on the front of the Marne, in the 36th Colonial Infantry Regiment. He survived and was awarded the Military Cross in 1919.

Veterinary of his state.

         The same year, Raphael Elize was appointed veterinary at Sable-sur-Sarthe, a small rural and conservative city of 5,000 inhabitants. He moved there with his wife Caroline, and his work and involvement in local life, gradually gaining the respect of the community. Popularity which, however, gives it not the mayor when he appears for the first time in 1925 under the label S.F.I.O. (French Section of the Workers' International), which he joined last year. Four years later, on May 19, 1929, he transformed the test, becoming the first black mayor of France. Reelected in 1935, he equip the team of Sablé with a canteen, a football field and an Olympic swimming pool - the first in the west of France. He also sets up a free consultation to local pediatric hospital.

Removed by the Germans because of its color.

         The War again interrupted in its tracks. Mobilized in September 1939 as a veterinarian in Hirson, Aisne, he is removed from office as mayor by the occupant on his return from the front, on August 9, 1940. "It is incomprehensible to the German resentment and the sense of German law that a black man can take the office of mayor, "
expressed an order of Feldkommandantur relates Serge Bile  in his bookBlack in Nazi camps”.

Resistant, he was arrested and deported to Buchenwald.

         Returned full-time veterinarian, he joined the Resistance. He is denounced and arrested in September 1943 and deported to Buchenwald on January 17, 1944. On February 9, 1945, he was seriously wounded in an Allied bombing and died that day. Not without leaving behind a strong legacy. "His enthusiasm and modernism have profoundly affected Saboliens"
notes François Fillon, his successor as mayor of Sablé many years later (1983 to 2001). For the former Prime Minister, the election of Raphael Elize was the symbol of a "first advanced the fight against prejudice."


Simon Worou, Mayor of Sainte-Juliette-sur-Vaur in the department of Aveyron, elected in March, 2014.

Worou Simon, born in Lomé, seminarian, military and French mayor of the village.
         The Grandparents his wife had never seen a Black when he met her in 1997 in their village in the South of France. Seventeen years later, the Togolese Worou Simon is the first African mayor of the French department of Aveyron.

"It happens something great for me,"
said the "pillar" of 1, 85 m, born in Lomé.
         Children in the area that leads rugby throw him "coucou, Simon!" Neighbors tap him on the shoulder, chambrent, as a "congratulations to Mayor" of Sainte-Juliette-sur-Viaur, 577 inhabitants ...
         In 1997, Simon discovered for the first time this village, its two towers, old farms brown stones, and raising sheep milk for Roquefort cheese.
         "I was studying non-commissioned officer in the French Air Force, Rochefort (west) and I was invited to the parents of my (future) wife. His grandparents had never seen a + black + of their lives ... Then my father - a very open farmer - asked me to go play rugby in the nearby village of Cassagnes And I was amazed at the reception, adopted "

Integration through rugby after an alleged marriage "White".
         "The hard knocks, he has yet experienced in the field when fans threw him rasta”, “eat your banana”, “dirty negro" recalls Olivier Rebois his rugby coach from 2000 to his friend.
         Racism, Simon also says he "felt a bit in the job"
when he took all the jobs in the area - Skinning pigs to the slaughterhouse and day porter bowling evening - before managing a busy team cleanliness in the city of Rodez.
         The man has not quite forgotten that in 2002, the city of Sainte-Juliette refused his marriage record, alleged "white"
on suspicion of his bride "for papers" ... the couple went to get married in the town next door.
         But confidence has prevailed and soon passed the "where's the Black?"
to "where's Simon?" he said.

"He is from the corner now! "

         At the heart of Sainte-Juliette, a former farmer of 80 years said spontaneously: "He is from the corner, now that he is married to a lady of here, lives in a barn retyped his son goes to public school!. What do you want, do not be racist, but you must try. It's nice, pretty jovial when he toured all the houses, I've found it. "
         Result: the list without a label he drove as a former councilman was attended by 62% of the vote in the first round of municipal elections in March. He tallied 222 votes - 357, part of the villagers who, nevertheless, scratched his name.
         The restaurant "Au parfum d’Aveyron",
where he crumbles bread in his soup and drinks red wine with his charcuterie, Simon enjoys "recognition" that the election offers him and said "Aveyron, a point that is all ". "Voters of F.N. (National Front, far right) come to drink a beer at home, it does not bother me. Like humans. Lot. Whatever its a priori, its membership," said the activist Socialist Party.

We were a generation without perspective.

         In Lomé, the teenager already tried all avenues of integration by the collective: the minor seminary from his 11 years with the idea of ​​"to cure", then in the French army recruited in the country until become NCO. "It was a generation without perspective. We were thirst to know anything else," he said. The Togo was living under the reign of Gnassingbe Eyadema - in power for 38 years until his death in 2005 - and whose son Faure Gnassingbé now chairs the country.
         Although he tried - once - back to Lome, but no more than a week held in a military camp in the Air: "I made a total erasure of Togo in my head."
The Mayor said today "hide under a big smile" that he is anxious to do well. Twenty-five years after the election of Togolese Kofi Yamgnane for mayor of a town in Brittany, in western France.

lundi 21 juillet 2014

D.R. Congo: A First in the World History: The estate of the author of the national anthem "Debout Congolais" claims the copyright!

Datasheet payment of royalties under copyright in 2011.

According to the data sheet for payment of royalties under copyright established in late 2011 by former SONECA, Debout Congolais” was run for 5.760 hours operated for 9.885 days and pulled in 3 million copies. All calculations made on that date the right of public performance is estimated at USD 6,134,268.08 and mechanical reproduction rights to USD 1,017,935.97, a total of USD 7,152,204.05 fees.
The record USD 7.2 million of fees and royalties due to the acquisition and implementation ofDebout Congolais” by D.R. Congo continues to poison relations between the succession of Father Boka Di Londi and the Executive, charged insolvency or in bad faith.
In a notice to the Prime Minister, Matata Ponyo, the Republic has 15 days from 1st July to regularize the situation, the risk that the beneficiaries give credence to specialized agencies. It is July 7, the countdown.
           Negotiations between the D.R. Congo and the Boka succession began in 2011 when the services of the former SONECA compiled a technical advice note amounted to USD 7,152.204, 05 never paid to beneficiaries to date.
The notice of Me Luvumbu requires the government to pay within 15 days from the date of receipt of the request.
So it remains only 9 days in the hands of the lawyer in an open for this purpose in a commercial bank in Kinshasa, the agreed sum account. It could, if new procrastination on the part of the Executive, at the session of the claim to specialized material, which request the estate and recognize the value of membership organizations.
I said Luvumbu have hitherto refrained from "this type of referral for fear of not only the tripling of the debt but also the prohibition to perform the national anthem on international public places."
According to Legal Encyclopedia Africa, Volume fifth, "the right to intellectual and artistic property, commonly known as copyright, can be defined as all the prerogatives of intellectual, moral and economic law recognizes that the author on his work. "
But there was a quack in this process, the Jesuit priest was bound by  his vows of poverty, "Father Boka Di Londi, the author of our national anthem, former and current, made ​​his final vows at Mayidi in the present Diocese of Kinsantu, March 20, 1968, and on this occasion, he renounced by written with his own hand, in Latin statement, any right or staff, any acquisition of a few things whatsoever fruit of his physical or intellectual work of any kind before now belong to the Company of Jesus, PAC, Central province of the Society of Jesus Africa"said Mr. Willy Wenga Ilombe.

Switzerland wants to get rid "free" of his old Anthem!

Switzerland through the Swiss Public Welfare Society (S.P.U.P.) founded in 1810 is about to change his old hymn composed in the nineteenth century against "a more modern national anthem and a driving rhythm." It has launched a contest song and text selected will be submitted to the Federal Council in 2015.
The Swiss National Anthem present "O self Mountains" was composed in 1841 by Alberich Zwissig (1808-1854) on the German words of Leonhard Widmer (1809-1867). The French lyrics were written by Charles Chatelanat (1833-1907).
The S.S.P.U.P. has received since January 1, 2014, 200 projects. The author of the national anthem will receive withheld Altogether 10,000 FRS. But S.S.U.P. has it considered that the author of the text beyond the only nationalist fervor could one day claim to the rights of copyright for each execution of the national anthem, so the question of "Debout Congolais" was now jurisprudence in the World?

Posthumous awards, flowery names and monuments in the nation's history.

The authors of the Congolese national anthem died poor!

The Jesuit Pierre Simon Boka Di Mpasi Londi and historian Joseph Lutumba composed "Debout Congolais" sang the first time June 30, 1960.
In 1971, President Joseph-Désiré Mobutu again asked the same Father Simon-Pierre Boka to compose "The Zairian" national anthem of Zaire (1972-1997) which is forbidden to be sing in Kinshasa since 1997. Did he received money from Mobutu why and how?
What is sure, his name was given to a street in the city of Kinshasa!
Why succession RP Boka (died in Ivory Coast on September 7, 2006) does she claim the Euro 5.1 million Mobutu frozen in Switzerland since 1997 as copyright "The Zairean "executed between 1972 and 1997?

The contrasting fates of composers of National Anthems in the World!


One of the composers of the music of the new Rwandan national anthem (with Jean-Bosco Hashakaimana) "Rwanda Nziza (The Beautiful Rwanda)" since 2002, the popular singer musician and artist, Kizito Mihigo convicted him out "affecting the security of the State "," terrorist "and" treason" languishing in jail since April 14, 2014.


Seydou Badian Kouyaté, author of the lyrics of "For Africa and for you," the national anthem of Mali, doctor and novelist, having been Minister for Economic and Financial Coordination and Planning September 17, 1962, was send the Bastille Kidal during the Coup of  of General Moussa Traoré while we sang the anthem on Radio Mali.

A French national anthem "God Save the King" made by the Duchess of Brinon Upper Saint Bridesmaids (created by Madame de Maintenon, morganatic wife of Louis XIV) and set to music by Jean-Baptiste Lully, to celebrate after recovery of anal fistula of Louis XIV in 1686. Visiting Versailles in 1714, the German virtuoso Georg Friedrich Handel (1685-1759), the official composer of King George of England was the first to translate the text by a certain Carrey and presented the king will be the nineteenth century the English national anthem, adopted by countries such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Jamaica, Bahamas and Tuvalu ... "Honnis soit qui mal y pense"
was also selected as the national anthem of the German Emperor, King of Prussia as that in the original version "Got, schutze Unser Kaiser" of the Emperor of Austria-Hungary. The reigning monarch does not sing this hymn as it is to pray for him, but the queen consort sings.


René Afane Jam, who died in the 80's and Samuel Minkyo Bamba died in 1995, composers of the Cameroonian national anthem in 1928 died in the outcome, have been entitled by Felix Moumie Moumie Foundation Award in 2013, established in Geneva by the Cameroon opposition to the power of Paul Biya!

Bilady, Bilady, Bilady (My Country, My Country, My Country)”, national anthem of the Arab Republic of Egypt since 1979 was sung for the first time to welcome the return from exile of nationalist Saad Zaghloul on September 23, 1923. The day of September 23, 1923, died unmarried in the popular neighborhood of Kom ed-dikka in Alexandria, by cocaine overdose, his 31 year old composer, Shaykh Sayed Darwish (1892-1923).

South Africa:

Enoch Sontonga (1873-1905), the composer of "Nkosi Sikelel iAfrica (God bless Africa)”, the national anthem of the A.N.C. since 1925, and of South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia, died in complete anonymity on April 18, 1905. His grave was located in Braamfontein in 1995 and listed as a historic monument National on September 24 1996.
         His granddaughter Ida Rabotape entitled to the National Order of merit of South Africa awarded posthumously to Sentonga Enoch.          While the composer of Die Sterm van Suid-Afrika”, the white part of the current national anthem of Africa died in 1977 at 91 years, rewarded and celebrated during his lifetime.


"Kassaman (The Oath)", the Algerian national anthem adopted in 1957, commissioned by Abane Ramdane (1920-1957), the brain of the war in Algeria and murdered by his comrades and the President of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Algeria, Benyoucef Benkeddah (1920-2003), was written by the poet Mozabite Zakaria Cheick Moufdi Zekri (national hero since 1997), while in prison in Algiers on July 5, 1955, with music composed by the Tunisian Mohamed Fawzi (Habbas Elhaw) (1918-1966) and Egyptian Mohamed Fawzi.


But why the Spanish National Football Team Does not it sing the national anthem? But just because "La Marcha Granaderais devoid of text. General Francisco Franco Bahamonde was attached to the words "Royal March", which were removed at the end of the dictatorship. One of the oldest hymns of the world, alongside the "Wilhelmus van Nassouwe" of Netherlands (1574) and "Kimi ga yo (Your reign)" Japan also have no known author!
         For words, it is impossible to agree the Galician communities, Basque or Catalan-Valencian words exclusively in Castilian). The same goes for the "Intermeco" of Bosnia and Herzegovina or in San Marino!

To avoid paying one day of copyright:

           The drafting of the national anthem should be a burden of the President of the Republic as was the case of the Abbot Barthelemy Boganda of Central African Republic, Rafael Nuñez in Colombia in 1887, Juan Benlloch y Vivo, Episcopal Co-Prince of Andorra, or Léopld Sedar Senghor in Senegal or dictator Saparmurat Niyazov, the Turkenbashi of Turkiménistan ... provided he is a little bit poet.
Or ... shared as "Anthem of Freedom" sung as well as in Greece and Cyprus, or Nkosi Sikilel Africa (God Bless Africa) in Southern Africa (Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe ...).

dimanche 13 juillet 2014

Uganda: A very original political protest “symbol”.

In July 2014, an Ugandan court ordered the release on bail of two activists who had dropped in parliament two piglets painted in the colors of the ruling party to protest against corruption and unemployment, said their lawyer.
Robert Mayanja and Norman Tumuhimbise, both members of the "Group of fraternity unemployed" had managed last month to introduce in the Ugandan parliament despite security measures.
They had left it running two piglets wearing the colors of the party of President Yoweri Museveni in power since 1986, making it one of the oldest African leaders, and slogans accusing members of corruption.
They were released against a deposit of 780 dollars (570 euros) and must appear in court on August 4, according to their lawyer, Isaac Ssemakadde.
The police however kept pigs, considered initially as a "piece linked to a terrorist enterprise".
With or without pigs, Ugandan parliamentarians were already under fire from critics.
They caused an uproar at the beginning of the year by requiring an increase in their wages, already 60 times higher than that of most officials. The Court of Auditors Uganda had also noted that millions of dollars had been spent by MPs without being able to clearly justify.

mardi 8 juillet 2014

Africa : 11 African Leaders Died In Office from 2005 to 2012*.

Between 2005 and 2012, 11 African leaders have died of natural causes or Killed while serving as Heads of State. 2012 alone saw the deaths of four sitting African presidents. These deaths can create instability in their respective countries and regions, while nations are often thrown into a period of mourning.
         There are a number of theories about why African leaders are dying in office with such frequency; however most of them have their critics. The more pertinent fact is that most of the leaders we looked at were treated in (and in many cases spent their final moments in) hospitals outside their homeland. This is a stinging indictment of healthcare on the continent and one wonders if many of these leaders would still be at the helm if they had access to better healthcare sooner.
         Where leaders died in office there was usually a period of national mourning and a fittingly grand state funeral. The most recent deaths of sitting African leaders have been followed by relatively peaceful transfers of power – prompting Africans to hope the continent’s democracies have matured in recent years.

Gnassingbe Eyadema, President of Togo (2005)

         Eyadama, who was 69 at the time of his death, was the president of Togo from 1967 to 2005. He came to power following a coup, and survived several assassination attempts while in office. He also survived a 1974 plane crash and had a monument constructed to commemorate his survival. He falsely claimed to be the only survivor of the clash. The eccentric leader had an entourage who sang and danced his praises, a comic book depicting him as a superhero and a bronze statue of his likeness in the capital. In 1998 Ivorian novelist Ahmadou Kourouma wrote a novel called Waiting For The Wild Beasts To Vote, the novel was inspired by Eyadema and proved to be a satirical indictment of the dictator’s rule.
         On 5 February 2005, at the time the longest-serving head of state in Africa, he passed away from a heart attack while on board a plane. He was reportedly on his way to receive emergency treatment abroad.

John de Mabior Garang, vice-president of Sudan (2005)
         Born on June 23, 1945 at Wagkulei in Jonglei (Sudan). He lost his father at age of nine and her mother at eleven years. When Sudan gained independence on January 1, 1956, he was only ten years.  In 1970, he joined the Sudanese Armed Forces. The peace agreement signed between the Anya-Anyas and President Gaafar El-Nimeiri* integrates guerrillas Anya-Anyas in the regular army. In 1972, he was promoted to the rank of sergeant. He served respectively in the province of Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal, in Torit Garrison before being assigned to the Military College of Sudan as an infantry instructor. In 1974, he returned to the United States for military training at Fort Benning in Georgia, then resumed his studies at Iowa State University. In 1981, he earned a doctorate in agricultural economics before returning to Sudan. From 1976 to 1977, he was appointed to the agriculture and director of military research headquarters in Khartoum, the Sudanese Armed Forces Military Division.  Responsible for bringing the rebels to reason, he becomes their leader and founded the People's Liberation Movement (S.P.L.M.) and its armed wing: the People's Liberation Army (S.P.L.A.). His main objective is to secure the formation of a non-discrimination and the right to self-determination of the peoples of South Sudan (Dinka, Nuer, Nuba, Shilluk ...) secular government.
  On 27 April 2003, under the auspices of the United States, the People's Liberation Movement signed with Sudan President Omar Hassan El-Bashir peace agreements at Machakos (Kenya) providing six years of transition before the referendum self-determination of South Sudan.  On July 9, 2005, he became Vice-President of the Republic soudanise. On July 31, 2005, back in Kampala, he died in a helicopter crash in southern Sudan. Since the announcement of his death, riots are 40 dead in Khartoum.

Pascal Yoadimnadji, Prime Minister of Chad (2007)

         Yoadimnadji was only the Prime Minister of the North African nation for two years when he was felled by a brain haemorrhage in Paris. The former lawyer served as the head of the National Electoral Commission for two years, a role that saw him oversee the 1996 presidential election in Chad. Thereafter he served in several ministerial roles. His portfolios included Minister of Mines, Energy and Oil; Minister of Tourist Development; Minister of the Environment and Water and Minister of Agriculture. He also served as the President of the Constitutional Council for five years until he was appointed Prime Minister by President Idriss Deby.
         In February 2007 Yoadimnadji suffered a heart attack which landed him in a coma. He was then flown to Paris France, where he later died of a brain haemorrhage. He passed away at Val de Grace military hospital at the age of 56. His death was followed by a week of national mourning in Chad.

Lansana Conte, President of Guinea (2008)

         In 2008, after 24 years in power Guinea’s second president passed away after years of battling what is believed to have been heart disease and diabetes. Conte came to power on 5 April 1984 following a coup. A career soldier Conte served three years with the French army before he spent more than two decades in the Guinean Army where he attained the rank of general. His rule started out well with positive economic reforms; however his rule was increasingly marked by electoral fraud, popular riots and successive assassination attempts. In the three years prior to his death he left the country seeking medical care in Morocco and Switzerland on several occasions. 40 days of national mourning was declared following his death and his body was displayed at the parliament buildings and at the national stadium.
         Following his death a military group called National Council for Democracy and Development seized power and announced their intention of ruling for two years.

Levy Mwanawasa, President of Zambia (2008)

         Zambia’s third president and a highly respected statesman, Mwanawasa died as a result of complications following a stroke. Mwanawasa was a high profile lawyer before becoming Vice President in 1991. That same year he was involved in a serious car accident, reportedly an assassination attempt, which resulted in him being hospitalised for three months. In 2001, he won an election in order to succeed corrupt former president Frederick Chiluba. As president Mwanawasa was fearless in his pursuit of corrupt government officials. His anti-corruption drive drew a massive amount of debt relief and foreign investment to the country, helping the country’s economic growth to improve by 6% a year. He was also a vocal critic of President Robert Mugabe of neighbouring Zimbabwe.
         In July 2008, while attending the African Union summit in Cairo, Mwanawasa was evacuated to France by air ambulance following a stroke. There were conflicting reports about his health, with some sources claiming he had died while official statements claimed he was recovering well. He was reported dead on 19 August, seven weeks after the stroke. The country went into 21 days of national mourning.

Vieira, João Bernardo, president of Bissau-Guinea (2009)

Born on April 27, 1939,  president of Guinea-Bissau (1980-99, 2005-09). A pioneer of the African Party for the Independence of Guinea-Bissau and Cape Verde, he was sent to Conakry, Guinea, for military training. On his return, he built up a legendary reputation for skill and bravery as a guerrilla leader in the long war against the Portuguese. In 1961 he went on a guerrilla instruction course to China and later received further training in the U.S.S.R., Algeria, and Cuba. Military chief of Catió (1961-64) and of the southern front (1964-65), he developed tactics that were a key factor in defeating the Portuguese. After Guinea-Bissau became independent in 1974, he was appointed state commissioner for the armed forces and president of the National Assembly. In 1978 he became prime minister. On Nov. 14, 1980, two days after the Assembly had adopted a new constitution that virtually denuded the office of premier of its powers, he led a coup that overthrew Pres. Luís de Almeida Cabral. It was seen as a move by the blacks of the mainland to separate themselves from the mestizo-dominated Cape Verdians. It took some time for him to establish his position firmly; this was greatly helped after he released Cabral from prison in January 1982. He legalized opposition parties in 1991 and legitimized his rule in Guinea-Bissau's first multiparty elections in 1994. A period of instability led to an army rebellion in June 1998 and eight months of fighting between loyalists of Vieira and the army chief, Gen. Ansumane Mané, who overthrew Vieira in 1999. He then lived in exile in Portugal but returned April 7, 2005, to be an independent presidential candidate in the June 19 elections. He came second in the first round but won the runoff on July 24. He was killed in his palace by renegade soldiers in 2009.

Omar Bongo Ondimba, President of Gabon (2009)

         Bongo, who had served as president of Gabon for 41 years at the time of his death in 2009, was a petite stylish man. Gabon was ruled by his regime until 1990 when he conceded to public pressure and introduced multi-party politics. For most of his rule Bongo had a close relationship with Gabon’s former colonial masters France. He managed to bring many opposition leaders on board, sometimes by negotiation but mostly by bribing them with a slice of the nation’s vast Oil wealth. Bongo reportedly rigged elections in 1993, 1998 and 2005; although by 2005 the opposition was lacklustre. His 41-year rule is the fifth longest for a non-royal national leader since 1870. In 2009 he was found to have 33 properties in France with a combined value of more than 125 million pounds in addition to 86 million pounds in US bank accounts.
         In 2009 reports emerged that Bongo was receiving treatment for cancer in a hospital in Barcelona. According to an official statement from the Gabonese Prime Minister Bongo died of a heart attack on 8 June 2009. His body lay in state for five days before his state funeral on 16 June.

Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, President of Nigeria (2010)

         In office for just shy of three years, Nigerian President Yar’Adua passed away aged 58 after receiving treatment for pericarditis in Saudi Arabia. Yar’Adua came to power following the controversial elections in 2007. He was the first Nigerian leader in 40 years to have been University educated with a B.Sc. degree in Education and Chemistry as well as a M.Sc. degree in Analytical Chemistry. He went on to become a chemistry teacher, before holding various board positions in the corporate world. He became involved in politics in the 80s and won his first position in 1998. Yar’Adua won 70% of the vote in the 2007 presidential election; however observers and opposition parties vehemently claimed the election had been rigged in his favour. While president of Nigeria he gained the scornful nickname Baba-go-slow, however the quiet chain-smoker was also responsible for targeting corruption and reforming banking in Nigeria. He also negotiated a ceasefire in the troubled delta region.
         His presidency was marked by ill-health with several visits to Germany and Saudi Arabia for treatment of a chronic kidney condition. He returned to Nigeria in February while reportedly on life support and passed away on 5 May. Seven days of national mourning were observed following his death.

Malam Bacai Sanha, President of Guinea Bissau (2012)

         Following two and a half years in office, Guinea Bissau president Malam Bacai Sanha died in Paris aged 64. Sanha was a prominent figure in the West African country’s liberation struggle after he joined the African Party of Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) as a teenager. He started his political career as a governor in the Gabu and Biombo regions. He went on to hold down several cabinet positions. He was appointed acting president of Guinea Bissau from 14 May 1999-17 February 2000 by a military junta following a Civil War as a result of his critical stance on former president Joao Bernardo Vieira. He won the 2009 presidential elections and immediately introduced reforms to tackle the cocaine trade. This resulted in an attempted coup. Following the coup he was forced to accept one of the leaders of the rebellion, Bubo Na Tchuto, as head of the navy – this was despite Tchuto being named one of the stalwarts of the cocaine trade in Guinea Bissau.
         His struggled with diabetes throughout his presidency, and a stint in a Senegalese hospital was followed by treatment in the Val-de-Grace military hospital in Paris. He passed away in the French hospital on 9 January 2012.

Bingu wa Mutharika, President of Malawi (2012)

         Malawi president Bingu wa Mutharika passed away on 5 April 2012 aged 78 after just under eight years in the top job. Mutharika had a distinguished career as an economist, working as a Loans Officer at the World Bank as well as a Director of Trade and Development Finance at the United Nations Economic Commission of Africa, and as Secretary General of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (CO.M.E.S.A.). Mutharika was believed to have ambitions of holding the presidency for decades before, he ascended to the top job. He launched a failed presidential bid in 1999, although five years later he managed to secure the presidency and was re-elected in 2009. During his first term Mutharika was a glowing example of good governance as he spearheaded ambitious agricultural initiatives, overhauled Malawi’s foreign policy and promised political reforms. He was also the chairman of the African Union from 31 January 2010 -31 January 2011. In 2010, his behaviour grew erratic and repressive, growing intolerant towards critics and seeking constitutional reforms in order to secure a third term as president. At this time Malawi was being hit hard by the global recession, and inflation had risen to triple figures. Following the deaths of 18 protesters at the hands of soldiers and police firing live bullets at a demonstration, international donors removed aid to the nation.
         Mutharika died on 5 April 2012 in a South African hospital, however his death was only officially confirmed two days later when Vice-President Joyce Banda was sworn in as Malawi’s president.

John Atta Mills, President of Ghana (2012)

         Ghanaian president John Atta Mills passed away aged 68 on 24 July 2012. Mills had a long and distinguished academic career. He earned a law degree from the University of Ghana, an LLM from the London School of Economics followed by a doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
         He was also a Fulbright scholar at Stanford University. Mills played for the national hockey team, and he was an avid football fan. He then became a Professor of Law at the University of Ghana. He served two terms as Vice-President of Ghana, serving under Jerry Rawlings. He stood for two presidential elections, in 2000 and 2004, but was unsuccessful on both occasions. Finally in 2008 the man affectionately known as ‘The Prof’ or won the election by a margin of less than one percent and was inaugurated the following year. He started an austerity programme and oversaw Ghana’s first commercial oil production.
         Throughout his presidency there were rumours of his death, with Mills even joking that such rumours were ‘exaggerated’. He travelled to the U.S.A. for treatment for throat cancer earlier in 2012, before passing away on 24 July 2012 at the 37 Military Hospital in Accra. His body lay in state for three days before a state funeral which was attended by numerous international dignitaries as well as over 50 000 people. The following day was declared a national day or mourning and it is estimated that the funeral drew a television and online audience of well over 20 million people.
Based on the Article of  Kate Hodges, published in Nigeria Intel on January 10, 2013.