Sunday, December 27, 2015

Profile of Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa, pioneer CEO of MNCOM ,Congo's largest privately owned Media Group

Whatever the case, I still have respect for Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa. I also know that, she is a good God fearing Christian woman who is different from the rest of the Nguesso ruling family. The other good, loyal, humane and humble Nguessos that I have come across are her brother, Eugene Nguesso, her late cousin, Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba, her father, Maurice Nguesso, her younger brother Rodrigue Nguesso, her younger sisters Marina and Jenifer Nguesso and her cousin Edgard Nguesso. Nevertheless, there must still be some good Nguessos that, I have not come across, for it will be grossly unfair on my part to generalize or rule that, they are all bad mannered.  This simply means that, there are some good as well as some bad Nguessos, like in any other family.  As for Eugene Nguesso, he might look disorganized, unkempt and has the features of rogue, but he is a nice, humble and gentle humane man. But Eugene Nguesso has not received any sound formal education. There is another night club going Nguesso known as Kondo. He has the attitude of a feline and wily as a hare. He is the chair of a football team called Kondo Sport FC.

One doesn’t know for sure where he stands politically, although he is proud, but he at least has some respect for others. However, the sad thing is that, it is more often than not, those who ruin the reputation of the ruling family that, are always seen or noticed because of their show and tell conducts. Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa has three other things that she admires and loves best. She likes and loves her parents, especially her father, Maurice Nguesso and her uncle, Denis Sassou Nguesso. She also loves her family and children and loves and respects her husband, Mr Jean De Dieu Kourissa MP.  She has a fourth passion. It is aeronautics. She developed that passion while in Gabon when her cousin, late Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba was the first lady and late President Omar Bongo Ondimba introduce her into aeronautics and she had a small firm that specialized in the hiring or as intermediate for people and organizations that wanted to hire aircrafts in Gabon and within the sub region. She even wanted to open an aviation hiring company in Congo, but her project was taken over or usurped by her cousin Jean Jacques Bouya MP. Anyway that was what she told me and she can’t lie.


Jean Jacques Bouya MP is minister at the presidency of the Republic in charge of major public works. But it was in Paris, France that, Mrs. Kourissa decided to rename the Fanion Media Group into MNCOM. MNCOM stood for Maurice Nguesso Communications. She told me that, she was inspired by the American businessman by name Donald Trump, whose name is attached to almost all what he (Donald Trump) does. However, while there is no problem with Donald Trump using his name as label in the USA, it is not the same with Maurice Nguesso. Mrs. Lydie Kourissa told me that, she wanted her father’s name to be attached to the transformation and name change of the Fanion media, which she was preparing to rename as MNCOM. But she quickly discovered that, Nguesso, their family name was not popular in Congo. It is in fact a liability. The name was however popular between 1997 and 2000. The  Nguesso name fell out of grace when her uncle President Denis Sassou Nguesso put aside all what he deplored in his pre-1997 campaign book: Denis Sassou Nguesso, le manguier, le Fleuve et la souris, JC Lattes, 1997. 

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Donald Trump is an inspiration: the case of Maurice Nguesso

Maurice Nguesso is an extraordinary man, but he is most often than not, criticized by members of his own family.  Why? Simply because of the way Maurice Nguesso does things. He is too opened minded to the liking of some members of the ruling clan and more, Maurice Nguesso is not tribal, racist, regional oriented or nationalistic as most of his family members are. It is true that, Maurice Nguesso seems to be more socially oriented and the management of some of his investments is sometimes questionable. However, criticisms coming from a section of his family, who are themselves not paragons in management or social life is not an event and also doesn’t remove the fact that, Maurice Nguesso is a highly creative, imaginative and inventive man. How did the media group originally called Fanion, the parent company of Radio Television Fanion and the daily Le Fanion, became known as MNCOM? According to Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa, the eldest daughter of Maurice Nguesso: it was when her father Maurice Nguesso, fell seriously sick and was taken to Paris, France for proper medical attention, which Congo’s ruined medical system could not offer.


She added: My father thought that, he was going to die. And he decided to write his will and put me, Mrs. Kourissa at the head of all his investments. The exact year is not known or I have forgotten as at the time that, I decided to put this in writing. And I could not write or call her to ask because, our relationship has fallen apart, since she did not say anything when the Police of Congo with the tacit support of her uncle of a president attacked my home and my younger sister gang raped. And I was expelled on the 26th of September 2014, because, I dared criticized what happened to me. May I write here on that, Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa and I had agreed verbally that, I should not write anything that I will see in the way the country was being governed by her uncle, President Denis Sassou Nguesso. However, I felt that, that verbal pact was blown up when her uncle who had promised to protect me in the discharge of my duty as a journalist, allowed or could not muster the courage to denounce the brutality meted upon me and my younger sister on the 10th of September 2014 by the Congolese National Police Force, headed by General Jean Francois Ndenguet, who is an alleged war criminal.

Her uncle has also not said anything since my expulsion on fallacious grounds on the 26th of September 2014. This simply shows that, President Denis Sassou Nguesso supported what happened. If not, why has he not intervened? Is he trying to claim as many have told me that, he is not aware?  Be that as it may, I am very proud of what I have done in Congo, for I tried as best as I could to give opportunity to all shades of political and social opinion in Congo to express themselves on Radio and Television, something that had not existed since the re-election of Denis Sassou Nguesso in 2009. But I am also aware that, if the honest and God fearing Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa has not said anything, it is simply because she knows the truth. She knows very well that, General Jean Francois Ndenguet could not have acted without the approval of her uncle of a president of the Republic. She is had to make tough choices between her uncle and an ordinary journalist. She chose her uncle and family.

Whatever the case, I still have respect for Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa. I also know that, she is a good God fearing  Christian woman who is different from the rest of the Nguesso ruling family with the only exceptions being the her late cousin, Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba, Maurice Nguesso, her father and Edgard Nguesso, her cousin. Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa has three things that she admires and loves best. She likes and loves her parents, especially her father, Maurice Nguesso and her uncle, Denis Sassou Nguesso. She also loves her family and children and loves her husband, Mr Jean De Dieu Kourissa MP. But it was in Paris, France that, Mrs. Kourissa decided to rename the Fanion Media Group into MNCOM. MNCOM stood for Maurice Nguesso Communications. She told me that, she was inspired by the American businessman by name Donald Trump whose name is attached to almost all what he does. However, while there is no problem with Donald Trump’s name in the USA, it is not the same with Maurice Nguesso. Mrs. Lydie Kourissa told me that, she wanted her father’s name to be attached to the transformation and name change of the Fanion media, which she was preparing to rename as MNCOM.

But she quickly discovered that, Nguesso, their family name was not popular in Congo. Hence she decided to rename MNCOM Media Group not as Maurice Nguesso Communications, but as Media Numerique Communications and it was incorporated in 2009. All these were being done while Maurice Nguesso was still sick and when he (Maurice Nguesso) recovered, he (Maurice Nguesso) decided to think bigger than plans of his daughter, Lydie Hortense Kourissa.  Maurice Nguesso decided that, besides the Radio, Television and newspaper components of his group, he decided to add a modern printing press called Impremerie Ayessa. Ayessa is the name of the mother of Maurice Nguesso. Furthermore, Maurice Nguesso decided also to add a digital television or terrestrial television with a bouquet of 33 foreign and two national television stations. In fact, he became also a distributor of Television channels, mostly foreign. His bouquet of digital television was called Mosaiq TV. This distributing or pay per view television station, called Mosaiq TV became a local rival of the French multinational doing the same business, called Canal Plus. Maurice Nguesso was the first before the government to introduce terrestrial television broadcasting in Congo.


The media group MNCOM was therefore made up of MNTV/Radio, Le Fanion daily, Mosaiq TV and Impremerie Ayessa. At the head of this group was Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa. But until Mr Florent Koumba, the accountant from Gabon, was employed in 2011, MNCOM had no business plan. One thing with most investments or companies created by Maurice Nguesso is that, there are a lot of expectations than reality. Because of Maurice Nguesso’s almost childish enthusiasms and his inferiority complexes of French whites and also people who have some sophistry in the way they speak, he is most often than not hoodwinked by those French whites and even blacks who come to get their money than deliver to what they were paid for. That is Maurice Nguesso’s sin. However, he knows how to have confident in any person whose expertise is proven and interferes very little, once he has delegated.  

Monday, December 21, 2015

MNCOM Media Group: the ambition of a Congolese idealist


Officially, it is the name of a privately owned Media group abbreviated MNCOM and it was founded in 2009. She is on paper and also in the ambition and hope of it owner, Maurice Nguesso, Congo’s largest privately owned media group. It is the example of how creative and imaginative, the elder brother of President Denis Sassou Nguesso is. But on the sad or wrong side of the coin, it is the grave yard of all the professional and managerial good will. MNCOM also shows how open and conciliatory Maurice Nguesso is. Maurice Nguesso doesn’t only love his younger brother, President Denis Sassou Nguesso. He also loves Congo, Africa and above all, he loves real democracy, where there is real freedom of speech, real free and faire elections and real the defense and protection of human rights. Maurice Nguesso is the exact opposite of his younger brother of a president and all the opportunists and brutes around him.  And because Maurice Nguesso understands many things, especially Congolese and love democracy and a meritorious country, hence he has been sidelined by the extremist fringes that have taken his younger brother of a president hostage.

If for one single instant President Denis Sassou Nguesso could give an ear to the advice of his elder brother, there are some monumental errors that, he is committing today, that he won’t have. Sadly, President Denis Sassou Nguesso is surrounded by a group of people whose only ambition is to stay in power not for the good of the people but for their own and their friends and family.  As far as MNCOM is concern, It only rival is also the officially private media group called or known as Agence d’information de l’afrique Centrale abbreviated as ADIAC Group , the publishers of the country’s only daily called Les Depeches de Brazzaville, headed by a French journalist by name Jean Claude Pigasse. As in everything Congolese, there is another version about MNCOM. MNCOM was built on the ashes of an old project, which was initiated by one of the many Maurice Nguesso boys by named late Simon Zibe assisted by George Eboue. Both are former journalists who have worked with the state owned Congolese National Radio and Television Corporation abbreviated in French as CNRTV. MNCOM was first called Radio & Television Fanion, with its first station created in the village of Edou, which is the birthplace and ancestral home to the Nguessos.


Edou is a sparsely populated village located some 4 km from the town of Oyo and Oyo is also the name of  the same district that has been transformed into hybrid modern and archaic town,  since President Denis Sassou Nguesso came to power for the second time in 1997. Oyo might soon become Congo’s political and administrative capital should president Denis Sassou Nguesso remains in power beyond 2016. Anyway, that is his pet project. For according with a person that the president confided in him, Brazzaville is too hostile to him and his family, hence he wants the capital of Congo to be relocated to his village, in the same way as the former Ivorian President Late Houphouet Boigny did.  While waiting for that, to happen, Brazzaville is still the capital of Congo. Besides the Radio and Television, the Fanion media Group was also the publisher of a weekly called Le Fanion, that eventually became the second daily in the country after Les Depeches De Brazzaville. 

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Anani Rabier Bindji’s own African reality is a travesty

However, one name comes up regularly as the assassin of Marien Ngouabi. It is the name of Denis Sassou Nguesso. How true is the accusation? Why doesn’t Denis Sassou Nguesso absolve himself in a book as he does best, when attempting to market an idea? Why does he want to shoulder such as a responsibility and a responsibility that might live on long after him to hunt his family?  I am personally left in a kind of wilderness. I can’t accuse him for the information gathered on the death of Marien Ngouabi is fraught with lies, inaccuracies, vengeance and outright refusal to cooperate. Anyway, from what I have heard from Anani Rabier Bindji, I am confused. He certainly might hold the secret or the missing link to the death of Marien Ngouabi and also all those who are connected with the death of Marien Ngouabi or who took part. But, the problems with Anani Rabier Bindji are double. He is caught between speaking the truth and also preserving what he calls African reality. But the question that I asked him and that he refused to answer was this: does African reality imply telling or hiding the truth? Anani Rabier Bindji’s own African reality is a travesty, as most intellectuals have done before him or a currently doing.


For Anani Rabier Bindji thinks that, Marien Ngouabi never really knew what he wanted, which might means in my interpretations that, his (Marien Ngouabi) disappearance was a kind of salvation to many. But it doesn’t mean that, he supported his assassination.  Anani Rabier Bindji is also ambiguous. On one hand, he told me Denis Sassou Nguesso is an assassin and on the other, he wants to help Denis Sassou Nguesso in his plans to change the constitution, a project that will make him elongate his stay at the head of Congo and also extend the secret on the cause of the death Marien Ngouabi. These kinds of ambiguity and retention of information regarding the death of Marien Ngouabi that has made me to be reticent and also stop from ruling as many in Congo, who claim that, Denis Sassou Nguesso is the assassin of Marien Ngouabi. It doesn’t in anyway mean that, I am absolving Denis Sassou Nguesso, but I am also not going to accuse him either.  One thing is certain, one day, the truth shall be known and it will help in the national reconciliation of Congo and put her back on the path of glory. In 2009 when I was visiting Congo as a reporter, Chryst Bonaventure Engobo(retired)  was the Director of Presidential Protocol.

Currently, he is the deputy secretary general of the National Security Council of Congo. He has replaced the renege Colonel Marcel Nstourou.  Colonel Chryst Bonaventure Engobo (retired) is quiet and elegant man and also above all intelligent for an average Congolese military officer or at least those that I know. He is a very humble and effaced man and not puffed up with pride or show and tell and brutes of the caliber of General Jean Francois Ndenguet. He is a loyal servant of President Denis Sassou Nguesso and also very patriotic. However, he has a certain admiration for communism especially the Cuban government. He is also a ma of principle who above all respects his words. One thing that I have noticed with this lover of Congolese music especially that of neighboring Kinshasa or the Democratic Republic of Congo is that, he is taciturn and seldom speaks about politics. He is nonetheless accused r considered by people of his hometown of Owando and also some southern Congolese as being a stooge of President Denis Sassou Nguesso.


Colonel Chryst Bonaventure Engobo is also accused of being so loyal to Denis Sassou Nguesso to the point of causing or sparking the 1997 civil war that ended the regime of Congo’s only post independence democratic elected president, Professor Pascal Lissouba. However on this point just as in the case of the assassination of Marien Ngouabi, there are two schools of thought. The first are of the opinion that, Colonel Chryst Bonaventure Engobo is responsible for the 1997 brief but violent Congolese civil war, while a second school of thought is of the opinion that, it was late Colonel Aboya who was responsible. But whoever was responsible is not the subject, but according to Toussaint Mavougou, Colonel Chryst Bonaventure Engobo is as secretive as a feline. But, I must note that, he is a good man who also admires late Marien Ngouabi, but seldom speaks about him in mythical terms as does others from Owando and its surrounding villages. He has chosen his camp, even though, some say at the detriment or at the expense of his own. To his credit, he is the one who really introduced me into Congo and also made me to love that wonderful country.

Monday, December 14, 2015

The legacy of Marien Ngouabi, ignored the Congolese Government

Even though, I have some doubts about Anani Bindji Rabier’s tales, the simple fact that he has some names that are not commonly known in the Marien Ngouabi assassination, provides some relative credibility to his claims and writings. But, his book, when published, may provide the missing link.  The only questions that I have always asked are these: why is it that, President Denis Sassou Nguesso seldom lays a wreath on the tomb of Marien Ngouabi, every March 18th, the day when Marien Ngouabi was killed?  Why has the Marien Ngouabi memorial in Brazzaville been abandoned or neglected, whereas that of Pierre Savorgnon de Brazza is given presidential guidance and sponsorship? Why is his (Marien Ngouabi) memorial not visited by foreign dignitaries visiting Congo, as it is the case when foreign dignitaries are visiting Angola, Russia, China, Turkey, South Sudan and now Venezuela? In the latter mentioned countries, it is an obligation or a diplomatic ritual for all foreign dignitaries to visit the mausoleum or memorial of Augustino Neto, Vladimir Lenin, Mao Zedong, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, John Garang Demabior and Hugo Chavez, in order to lay a wreath in honor of the aforementioned countries national heroes.

However, in Congo it is the reverse, Marien Ngouabi is ignored in  Congo or by the presidential protocol. It is only on March 18th that, the ruling PCT party remembers the man who gave them political and financial power.  Those unanswered questions are also perhaps the reasons why the claim that or the affirmations that, Denis Sassou Nguesso is the assassin of Marien Ngouabi.  True or false, Denis Sassou Nguesso’s attitude is the fodder behind those unsubstantiated claims.  For it is beyond comprehension why Denis Sassou Nguesso is not rendering due respect to the man who made him to become what he is today.  Is Denis Sassou Nguesso having a kind of guilty conscience, hence he can’t visit the tomb or Memorial of Marien Ngouabi? That is questions, which, only President Denis Sassou Nguesso can give an answer to. Having stayed in Congo and socialized with those governing the country, I have come to the conclusion that, Marien Ngouabi had several enemies within and without. It is as though, many people were happy with his death. It may partly explain the reason why, since his death, no one has come forward with convincing evidence to expose the one or the ones who contributed in the death of Marien Ngouabi.


Just as it is difficult to know the truth on the death of Marien Ngouabi, so also, it is difficult to work in Congo as a journalist and also try to carry out investigative reports.  Congolese officials think that, journalists are propagandists and they seldom entertain contradictions. The country is a dormant volcano that can enter into activity at all time. The grand question is this: who killed Marien Ngouabi? No one can really tell in Congo. Are the French, the Cubans, the Soviets or an internal cabal the cause of the death of Marien Ngouabi? That is the best kept Congolese secret, which, the one who will be able to unravel, will also unravel the secret of Congolese contemporary politics. But it is certainly not going to be easy, for Congolese elite and those governing who are professional liars do know the real cause of Marien Ngouabi death, but do not want to tell the truth. These elite have transmitted their lie telling and manipulative skills to most Congolese and which further compounds things. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Did Denis Sassou Nguesso order the assasination of Pierre Anga?

According to the military officer:  “Denis Sassou Nguesso decided to take the lead and remove President Marien Ngouabi from power or stage a coup d’état, before Marien Ngouabi could sack him (Denis Sassou Nguesso) from the government and the State -Major Special Command, hence the assassination of Marien Ngouabi which took place on March 18th, 1977 which Denis Sassou Nguesso is the genuine author.” He went further:  “it was because of the dispute that opposed President Marien Ngouabi and Denis Sassou Nguesso on the expulsion of Dr Cloud, the real motive for the crime (coup d’état), so to speak. Besides the alleged assassination of Marien Ngouabi as claimed by the Congolese military officer, he also told me that, Denis Sassou Nguesso was also responsible for the assassination of Pierre ANGA.


Why? I asked him. He told me: “it was because Denis Sassou Nguesso wanted  to revenge  or punish Pierre Anga who had humiliated him (Denis Sassou Nguesso) when President Denis Sassou Nguesso was still commandant of the Para-commando battalion of the Congolese Army in 1974”. Still according to my informant, whose name I can release because he is still in function: “when Pierre Anga was back from his paratrooper commando training in the USSR (after failing in his attempt at medical studies in France), Pierre Anga did not accept to be led by Denis Sassou Nguesso. Pierre Anga considered, Denis Sassou Nguesso, as unfit to command an elite battalion”. According to my informant, Denis Sassou Nguesso was indeed a reserve officer and as such, could not be the head of such a unit that was highly respected in the Congolese army.  However, what I don’t know is whether a reserve officer doesn’t have the right to head a battalion or any military unit of active military men and women. My informant went further in our conversation: “Contesting the place of  Denis Sassou Nguesso at the head of the Para-Commando, Pierre Anga convinced President Marien Ngouabi to organize a retaining jump (Para jump), where all the officers of the battalion had to jump, including President Marien Ngouabi himself and of course the unit commandant, Denis Sassou Nguesso”.

My informant concluded: “Finally Pierre Anga was right to say that Denis Sassou Nguesso was not fit to lead the battalion”.  “Why?” I asked again. And he went on: “all officers successfully passed the test of fire (the famous jump maintenance).Denis Sassou Nguesso was the only one who failed and ended up with a bleeding mouth, nose, and with broken legs and chest. Denis Sassou Nguesso was taken to the military hospital in Brazzaville and then evacuated for emergency medical treatment in West Germany, where he stayed for four months. During Denis Sassou Nguesso’s absence it was Yvon Jacques Ndoulou who acted as the acting commanding officer of the battalion”.  He concluded: “Since that humiliation, from Pierre Anga, Denis Sassou Nguesso had kept a grudge against Peter Anga”. He continued: “And when the opportunity presented itself, to punish Pierre Anga, he (Denis Sassou Nguesso) did not hesitate to order his (Pierre Anga) assassination in the forest Ikonongo in 1988”.  I was not entirely convinced, but since there seem to be some logic, I recorded our conversation and hence I am sharing it with you here.


For my objective is to know who killed Marien Ngouabi and also why he was killed. However, as already explained, I have listened to several versions regarding the assassination of Marien Ngouabi, but the veracity of none has convinced me. Nonetheless, there is one constant, almost all Congolese think that, Marien Ngouabi, was killed by Denis Sassou Nguesso. While some claims have not been proven, however that of Anani Bindji Rabia earlier shared, seems to a certain degree, in my humble opinion, close to the reality.  For he gives names and there is also some logic in his claims, whereas most people that I have spoken to seldom give names or brings up the names of people that, everyone suspects. Hence, there are no suspense and nothing new to offer.  Even though, I have some doubts about Anani Bindji Rabier, the simple fact that he has some names that are not commonly known in the Marien Ngouabi assasination, it provides some relative crediblility to his claims and writings. But, his book may provide the missing link.  

Friday, November 27, 2015

Is the dispute over the expulsion of Dr Cloud, a French gynecologist, the cause of NGOUABI's death?

But as written above, the declarations of Anani Rabier Bindji and others on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi leaves everyone in suspense. It provides more questions than answers. However, I only hope that, when Anani Rabier Bindji’s book will be out, it could provide the missing link, which is if he is honest and courageous enough. But why will he be afraid? He could spill the beans, for he won’t be around anymore to fear for any reprisals. It may explain why, he wants his memoire to be published only after his death.  As promised above, this is another version on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi. This time around, I am basing these other revelations on what a top military officer still in active duty in Congo told me.  Is his account true or false, it is almost impossible to say as already indicated earlier .In the  declarations of the military officer to me, he was also accusing Denis Sassou Nguesso for having assassinated Marien Ngouabi.  Is his information better than those of Anani Rabier Bindji? I can’t tell, but these are what he told me while I was still in Congo.

The said military officer sound very convincing and I would have accepted all what he told me  as the truth had I not met similar people before who all seem convinced and convincing, just to be disappointed later on. He went thus:  “In 1976, that is to say, a year before the assassination of President Marien NGOUABI (Marien NGOUABI was assassinated on March 18th, 1977), Denis Sassou Nguesso ordered the expulsion of Doctor Cloud and his wife from Congo. It was a couple of French gynecologists who have resided in Congo for a while and they were the only two gynecologists in Brazzaville at the time”. “Why were they expelled?” I asked. He replied: “it was simply because Mrs. Antoinette Sassou had been told by the gynecologist to stop harassing him and his wife with her infertility problem (Mrs.  Antoinette was unable to have children) and exceeded, the latter exploded with anger, saying abruptly to Mrs. Antoinette Sassou Nguesso that she would never have more children. Madame Antoinette reported the remarks of Dr. Cloud to Sassou Nguesso. Annoyed, Denis Sassou Nguesso decided to expel Dr Cloud with his wife from Congo, without even informing President Marien Ngouabi of the expulsion (after their expulsion of Congo, the gynecologists couple settled in Gabon)”.

The military officer continued: “And when President Marien Ngouabi learned that Denis Sassou Nguesso had expelled Dr. Cloud and his wife, President Marien Ngouabi grew angry and rebuked Sassou Nguesso before members of the State -Major Special Command.  The State -Major Special Command was a kind of executive ruling military council”.  Members of the State -Major Special Command were: Jean Pierre Thystère Tchikaya and Louis Sylvain Ngombé Ngoma”. He added: “President Marien Ngouabi was so angry against Denis Sassou Nguesso to a point that, he decided to sack him from the post of Defense Minister and Security and also exclude him from the Special military Command Staff”. The State-Major Special Command was created at the PCT or the ruling Congolese Workers Party conference of 12th December 1975. The Special General Command Staff was the highest political authority in the country and it was made up of only 5 members, namely: President Marien Ngouabi , Prime Minister Louis Sylvain Ngoma, Denis Sassou Nguesso in charge with the party organization (PCT) Jean-Pierre Thystère Tchikaya, the Minister of Defense and Security and  Jean-Pierre Ngombé in charge of Youth”.


According to the military officer:  “Denis Sassou Nguesso decided to take the lead and remove President Marien Ngouabi from power or stage a coup d’état, before Marien Ngouabi could sack him (Denis Sassou Nguesso) from the government and the State -Major Special Command, hence the assassination of Marien Ngouabi which took place on March 18th, 1977 which Denis Sassou Nguesso is the genuine author.” He went further:  “it was because of the dispute that opposed President Marien Ngouabi and Denis Sassou Nguesso on the expulsion of Dr Cloud, the real motive for the crime (coup d’état), so to speak. Besides the alleged assassination of Marien Ngouabi as claimed by the Congolese military officer, he also told me that, Denis Sassou Nguesso was also responsible for the assassination of Pierre ANGA. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Anani Rabier Bindji: Denis Sassou Nguesso is not Pierre Nkurunziza or Gaddafi

Another intriguing thing with Anani Rabier Bindji, that I noticed was that, on that day of the 9th of October 2015, he told me this: “I am not an acquaintance of Denis Sassou Nguesso, but I want to help him in the current difficulties that, he has with his plans to change the constitution. I have called Bruno Thiam who works for Congo’s communications bureau in Paris to see how I can prepare a special programme that defends or support the change of the constitution”. I told him it was Denis Sassou Nguesso who wanted term limits and also that, it was time for him to respect Congo’s constitution. He replied: “knowing Denis Sassou Nguesso, he only accepted term limits because, he (Denis Sassou Nguesso) was under pressure from the French and Jacques Chirac, who had helped him t to topple the government of Pascal Lissouba, the democratically elected president of Congo”.  He went on: “That is the reason why, I don’t want anybody to come and help us to drive away Paul Biya from power, for after their help, they are going to give us preconditions”. Then, I said: “Denis Sassou Nguesso is currently in difficulties with his plans to change the constitution. He may succeed in changing the constitution, but governing will be difficult for him”.


He replied: “No! He has no problem and he is not going to have any problems in term of governing. If Pierre Nkurunziza in Burundi has succeeded in defying the international community, Denis Sassou Nguesso who is more powerful and ready to kill in order to stay in power will do the same and succeed”. I did not want to argue with him because, I have seen more powerful leaders such as Mobutu, Gaddafi and Mubarak fall and I don’t see why Denis Sassou Nguesso won’t.  Furthermore, since Pierre Nkurunziza changed the constitution or forced himself to power, Burundi has become ungovernable and risk going back into civil war. Anani Rabier Bindji is a professional journalist with perhaps unrivaled experience on the political history of Africa, especially French-speaking Africa. However, his problem in my humble opinion is that, he is biased sometimes and honest in some cases. In short, he is controversial, for he almost always have a reason to advance in defense of some leaders of the sub region, sometimes with some logic.  But as written above, the declarations of Anani Rabier Bindji and others on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi leaves everyone in suspense. It provides more questions than answers.


However, I only hope that, when Anani Rabier Bindji’s book will be out, it could provide the missing link, which is if he is honest and courageous enough. But why will he be afraid? He could spill the beans, for he won’t be around anymore to fear for any reprisals. It may explain why, he wants his memoire to be published only after his death.  As promised above, this is another version on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi. This time around, I am basing it on what a top military officer still in active duty in Congo told me. In his declarations to me, he was also accusing Denis Sassou Nguesso for having assassinated Marien Ngouabi.  Is his information better than those of Anani Rabier Bindji? These are what he told me while I was still in Congo. 

Was Marien Ngouabi a disorganized man who never knew what he really wanted?

The assassination of Marien Ngouabi is simply a Congolese tragedy which is as confusing as the country and those running it. The governing elite in Congo are professional liars and manipulators. It is almost impossible to have the truth from their mouths. And still on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi, there are several versions and several suspects and causes, but one name that always stands accused is Denis Sassou Nguesso. Why? It is almost impossible to give an answer. It is an enigma. Marien Ngouabi is or was a person that seems to be loved by many, and yet, none of those alive, at least those that I have met in Congo are willing to say anything. Perhaps, the truth should be hidden abroad. One thing is clear, it will be almost impossible to know the truth on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi. It is also an assassination that also triggered counter assassinations of several other people and in particular, Alphonse Massamba-Debat and Arch Bishop Emile Biayenda.

Then I asked Anani Rabier Bindji: “how come that, Denis Sassou Nguesso had a free hand to operate, the way you seem to have written?” He replied: “it was because; he was the Minister of defense and also in charge of security. Since he had maneuvered in order for Joachim Yhombi-Opango to be sacked as Army Joint Chief of Staff, he therefore had a free hand. He (Denis Sassou Nguesso) was also the one who gave or detached aide de camps to officers including the president. And all those put at the disposition of military officers and the president, were spies working for Denis Sassou Nguesso and that is why, I say he is a born killer”.  Anani Rabier Bindji continued: “Forget all those things written in the biography written in French by Andre Soussan in titled : Un homme d’honneur: le destin exceptionnel d’un enfant de la brousse or in English: a man of honour, the exceptional destiny of a village boy,  which claims that he( Denis Sassou  Nguesso) was initiated into the secret village order or witchcraft society  and thus chosen to lead his family as a Mwene or chief, which presently, he( Denis Sassou Nguesso) confuses or takes  his village of Edou or his family for the  Republic of Congo”.


Anani Rabier Bindji went on: “even if what is written in the book was correct, which I doubt, does it mean that, because Denis Sassou Nguesso was initiated as the chief or Mwene of Edou in their secret cult and which made him to lead his family, entitles him to lead Congo forever as he wants to do now?” Then from nowhere, for that was not the subject or I had not reached on that, Anani Rabier Bindji added: “Libouro Casseur, the driver of Marien Ngouabi was the one who assassinated Bishop Emile Biayenda on the 25th of March 1977”. While I was a little bit confused and surprised, I was nonetheless happy, for I had also wanted to know the assassins of Emile Biayenda and Alphonse Massamba-Debat. “Why did Libouro Casseur, who was the driver of Marien Ngouabi, decide to assassinate Emile Biayenda?” I asked. Anani Rabier Bindji replied:  “officially, Casseur claimed that, he assassinated Bishop Emile Biayenda because, he (Bishop Emile Biayenda) was the last person who had met with President Marien Ngouabi and used his religious powers to weaken Marien Ngouabi’s charms, a process that made Marien Ngouabi vulnerable to bullets”.


Anani Rabier Bindji added: “Libouro Casseur was jailed for 10 years because of his act, but never said whether he acted alone or  whether he was instigated by someone or group of people and after he was freed from jail, he became one of the country’s richest men”.  What miracle did Libouro Casseur operate in jail? How can a simple driver of President Marien Ngouabi, given his boss frugal nature go in jail a poor man and come out as a rich man? Those are the questions posed by Anani Rabier Bindji, which he answers. In order words, Libouro Casseur was simply executing the will of Denis Sassou Nguesso to eliminate physically all those who had met with Marien Ngouabi, before his violent death. As far as Anani Bindji Rabier is concern, it was Denis Sassou Nguesso who orchestrated the death of Marien Ngouabi. But he also said something which puzzled me. He told me that, Marien Ngouabi was also a disorganized man who never knew what he really wanted. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Marien Ngouabi or simply a Congolese tragedy

According to Anani Rabier Bindji, the plot hatched by Denis Sassou Nguesso to distant Joachim Yhombi-Opango from Marien Ngouabi was just a ruse from Denis Sassou Nguesso to have a free way to do whatever he wanted against Marien Ngouabi. He was euphemistically claiming that, Denis Sassou Nguesso was the assassin of Marien Ngouabi. However, during another informal conversation that, I had with Anani Rabier Bindji, he told me something different. And it was as intriguing as the first story on the assassination of Commandant Marien Ngouabi. He told me that, Marien Ngouabi had decided to bring Denis Sassou Nguesso closer to him because he (Marien Ngouabi) was afraid of Joachim Yhombi-Opango. “Why?”  I asked. According to Anani Rabier Bindji, Marien Ngouabi and Joachim Yhombi-Opango are both from the same locality and he added that, Marien Ngouabi was afraid of Joachim Yhombi-Opango because, the second’s father was a dreaded witch doctor. Hence Marien Ngouabi in need for protection brought Denis Sassou Nguesso, near him because Denis Sassou Nguesso’s father was also a dreaded witchdoctor from Edou. And more, Denis Sassou Nguesso had already been introduced into witchcraft at the age of ten years old in the sacred forest of Edou.


In other words, Marien Ngouabi brought Denis Sassou Nguesso near him as a shield against any possible mythical attacks from Joachim Yhombi-Opango or his father. For it is well known that, children from parents with mythical powers are more often than not initiated into the mythical order of their parents. While it is not known whether Joachim Yhombi-Opango was initiated into any mythical order, but what is known as that, Denis Sassou Nguesso was initiated and he has proudly written about it. The bizarre aspect in this, is that, how on earth could it be possible for Denis Sassou Nguesso who was  called to act as a protector of Marien Ngouabi, decides to kill his protégé(Marien Ngouabi)? The secret may lie in another version on the reason why, Denis Sassou Nguesso may have decided to kill Marien Ngouabi and in this version, the cause has nothing political or ideological, but a mixture of jealousy and the biblical eve, who in this case is Antoinette, the current wife of Denis Sassou Nguesso.  However, I am of the opinion that, the truth may never be known because no one is interested in the truth to be known because at the end, it seems Marien Ngouabi had several enemies and all wanted him dead than alive.


It is simply a Congolese tragedy which is as confusing as the country and those running it. There are several versions and several suspects and causes, but one name that always stands accused is Denis Sassou Nguesso. One thing is clear, it will be almost impossible to know the truth on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi. It is also an assassination that also triggered assassinations of several other people and in particular, Alphonse Massamba-Debat and Arch Bishop Emile Biayenda. Then I asked him: “how come that, Denis Sassou Nguesso had a free hand to operate, the way you seem to have written?” He replied: “it was because; he was the Minister of defense and also in charge of security, since he had maneuvered for Joachim Yhombi-Opango to be sacked as Army Joint Chief of Staff and he was also the one who gave or detached aide camps to the officers including the president. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Confusion: Was Marien Ngouabi assasinated by the French, Soviets, Cubans or by Congolese?

The report written by Denis Sassou Nguesso against Joachim Yhombi-Opango was so bad that, Marien Ngouabi decided to discharge Joachim Yhombi-Opango from his post of Chief of Army and appointed him to head the Palm oil Corporation or in French Regie des Palmerais”. Anani Rabier Bindji continued: “in succeeding to distant Joachim Yhombi-Opango from Marien Ngouabi, Denis Sassou Nguesso had a free hand to do whatever he wanted to do around President Marien Ngouabi”.  And he added: “two days before the assassination of Marien Ngouabi, Denis Sassou Nguesso decided to send Bonaventure Chryst Engobo, who was a security attaché to Marien Ngouabi to Point Noire. The same Denis Sassou Nguesso decided also to send the Director of National security, who was Ibarra, on mission to Abidjan, Ivory Coast. And on the morning of the 18th of March 1977, Denis Sassou Nguesso also ordered the change of guards at the home of Marien Ngouabi, this in preparation to achieve his nefarious act, which to assassinate Marien Ngouabi”.  Anani Rabier Bindji concluded: “Marien Ngouabi became vulnerable to the plans of Denis Sassou Nguesso, because the second had succeeded in removing through ruse and blackmail all those like Joachim Yhombi-Opango around Marien Ngouabi”.


I asked Anani Rabier Bindji again: “why did Denis Sassou Nguesso decide to assassinate Marien Ngouabi, when the latter was the one who made the former to become what he has become today?” He replied: “it was simply because Marien Ngouabi wanted to abandon his scientific socialism and also hand back power to Alphonse Massamba-Debat”.  “In other words, it was the Soviets and not the French who ordered the assassination of Marien Ngouabi?” I asked. He replied: “yes, it was the Soviets with the help of the Cubans.” This is another confusion thrown in the already confused story on the death of Marien Ngouabi. I have been told several versions. Some claimed that, Marien Ngouabi was killed by his tribe’s men because he wanted to relinquish power to southerners, especially to Alphonse Massamba-Debat, the man he overthrew in 1968. Other version claims that, Marien Ngouabi wanted to abandon communism, for free market economy, hence he was killed by the Soviets with the cooperation of the Cuban through Denis Sassou Nguesso. While others also claim that, it was the French who assassinated Marien Ngouabi because he never wanted the French to exploit Congolese oil.

However, there is only one constant, in the bewildering array of sources and versions or causes of the death of Marien Ngouabi. The connecting man or the one who is suspected to have executed the French, Soviet or tribal plot was and is still Denis Sassou Nguesso. Why is it that, no matter how confusing is the story on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi, only Denis Sassou Nguesso stand accused? The confusion stems from Anani Rabier Bindji himself and all others whom I have contacted or spoken with when I was trying to know the truth on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi. In his book, Anani Rabier Bindji writes that, it was because of a damaging report against Joachim Yhombi-Opango by Denis Sassou Nguesso, which forced Marien Ngouabi to distant himself from Joachim Yhombi-Opango. And because Joachim Yhombi-Opango who was acting as a shield to Marien Ngouabi had been taken away through the ruse of Denis Sassou Nguesso, Marien Ngouabi became vulnerable. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

WasDenis Sassou Nguesso co-opted by the KGB

Concerning the latter point, he smiled again and said: “it was his (Denis Sassou Nguesso) ruse and secondly he was overtaken by officers who told him point blank that, it was the most senior ranked officer who could succeed Ngouabi and the most senior officer then, was Joachim Yhombi-Opango”. Then he added:  “Sassou Nguesso being a wise man, he did not insist, when officers barred him from succeeding or taking over the rule of the country after the death of Marien”.  But he added: two years after the death of Marien Ngouabi, which is in 1979, Denis Sassou Nguesso got what he had planned, but this time around, in a bloodless coup”. He went on: “Denis Sassou Nguesso having orchestrated a smear campaign against Joachim Yhombi-Opango as a bourgeois. For it was claimed that, Joachim Yhombi-Opango led a life of opulence and had bought a sleeping bed worth FCAF 2 million, during the same period, when he (Joachim Yhombi-Opango) was asking Congolese to lead an “austere lifestyle”. Anani Bindji Rabier added all those details to show me that, what Denis Sassou Nguesso had written in his book regarding the succession of Marien Ngouabi were mere lies. He told me that, Denis Sassou Nguesso was very cunning.

He gave me an example on how Denis Sassou Nguesso maneuvered to overthrow Joachim Yhombi-Opango after he had succeeded to assassinate Marien Ngouabi. He said: “Joachim Yhombi-Opango came as President, to attend a meeting of the Congolese Workers Party or PCT in 1979 and left as an ordinary citizen, because he was ruled not communist enough or ideologically insufficient”.  And he concluded: “on that day of the bloodless coup d’état organized by Denis Sassou Nguesso against General Yhombi-Opango, the only person who protested on that day of February 1979, was Ekoudji Akala and because of that, he was almost assassinated and had to go on self exile. He is back now in Brazzaville, old, tired and too afraid to speak, because Denis Sassou Nguesso will kill him or anybody who dares to speak the truth on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi.” He then began reading the part of his book that is focused on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi. He read: “Denis Sassou Nguesso changed camped when he was send to Moscow by Marien Ngouabi for training and there, he (Denis Sassou Nguesso) was co-opted by the KGB with a mission to keep Congo in the eastern block. And when, Denis Sassou Nguesso returned to Brazzaville, even though Marien Ngouabi was a firebrand Communist, he (Marien Ngouabi) still had some penchant for the western block”.  


In other words, Marien Ngouabi was assassinated because he wanted to rejoin the western block that, he had rejected in 1968.Then he jumped and said: “Those who were the protective shield of Marien Ngouabi were   Joachim Yhombi-Opango, who was the Joint chief of staff of the Army, Bonaventure Engobo, a security attaché to Marien Ngouabi and a certain Ibarra who was the head of national security or the Director of the Police”. According Anani Bindji Rabier, the plan to assassinate Marien Ngouabi by Denis Sassou Nguesso, started when the second wrote a damaging report against Joachim Yhombi-Opango to Marien Ngouabi. The said report was so bad against the Joachim Yhombi-Opango, that Marien decided to discharge Joachim Yhombi-Opango from his post and appointed him to head the Palm oil Corporation or in French Regie des Palmerais”. 

According to Anani Bindji Rabier :Denis Sassou Nguesso has as profession, assassin

Even though, I was not very convinced, I nevertheless respected his point of view. I did meet Anani Bindji Rabier again on the 9th of October 2015 and still in the office of Mr Auriol Lonkio Tchatchouang and I questioned him again about what he knew on the death of Marien Ngouabi. He replied in French: “Denis Sassou Nguesso a pour profession, tuer” or in English: “Denis Sassou Nguesso has as profession, assassin”. And he told me that, there are three people who are still alive in Brazzaville who know pretty well that, Denis Sassou Nguesso is responsible for the assassination of Marien Ngouabi. He claimed the three people were Eyabo Gaston, Ekoudji Akala and Martin Mberi. But he added that, they were too afraid to express themselves on the issue because, it would amount to their death warrants.  Then after a while, he proposed that, I should accompany him to his house located across the city of Douala, in a neighborhood called Bonaberi. When we arrived at his sumptuous home, he showed me around his living room that looks more like a museum than a normal house.  The walls of his house are full of pictures that he has taken with leaders around the world that he has met and interviewed.


They ranged from Nelson Mandela of South Africa to Pinto Dacosta of Sao Tome and Principe, William Tolbert of Liberia to Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia. He also has a well framed picture of the death body of Ruben Um Nyobe. Ruben Um Nyobe was the leader of the UPC or Union of the Population of Cameroon, the framed picture on the wall of Anani’s home shows Ruben Um Nyobe lifeless body laid on a matt at the Esseka mortuary. The date was 13th September 1958. And under the picture of Um Nyobe are flowers and a burning candle in memory of the nationalist leader of French-speaking Cameroon. Anani Bindji Rabier told me that day, which was the 9th of October 2015, that, he was perhaps the only journalist on earth or the last person to have met two presidents who were violently assassinated. They are William Tolbert of Liberia and Marien Ngouabi of the Republic of Congo. At that time, it was called the People’s Republic of Congo. On this day, perhaps he thought, I doubted his claims about what he knew on Marien Ngouabi’s death. Hence, he went and brought the book that he has written. It was already typed, but had several corrections and annotations.  It was in titled: “Nouvelle Affair Africaine”.


Before reading the part on Congo, we first went into his dining room, sat on the table and eat rice with fish sauce accompanied with a bottle of Medoc French wine. While eating, I told him that, I have read three books related to Denis Sassou Nguesso. But I gave him the names of two books on Denis Sassou Nguesso that I have read were: Denis Sassou Nguesso: Le Manguier, le Fleuve et la Souris and Un homme d’honneur: le destin exceptionnel d’un enfant de la brousse by André Soussan. He smiled and said: “the first was his campaign programme of 1997 that he used to criticize the rule of Pascal Lissouba. But ironically, they are the same vices of Lissouba that he is currently applying in Congo. He told me.  And concerning the second, which was a biography of President Denis Sassou Nguesso, he told me that, it was full of lies.  And he came back to the first book, when I told him that, in it, Denis Sassou Nguesso said, he never wanted to succeed Marien Ngouabi after his death. 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Anani Bindji Rabier: man who claims to know the killer of Marien Ngouabi

To demonstrate that, he was close to late President Omar Bongo Ondimba, Anani Bindji Rabier told me that, he used to serve as a mediator between late President Omar Bongo Ondimba and his political opponents, who were mostly based in Paris, France. He also told me that, he was one of the many intermediaries used by late President Omar Bongo Ondimba to contact the father of late Edith Lucie Sassou Nguesso, who upon her marriage with the late Gabonese leader, became known as Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba. And he added: “Denis Sassou Nguesso never wanted his daughter (late Edith Lucie Sassou Nguesso) to get married to Omar Bongo Ondimba”. I knew this aspect or part of the story because Dr Malot Okemba, one of President Denis Sassou Nguesso’s elaborated networks of nephews.  Dr Malot Okemba had once told about the aforementioned episode. It was in 2009 in his house, located in the northern end of Oyo, if you are going to Owando or Edou or the southern end if you heading back to Brazzaville or into Oyo.

Dr Malot Okemba’s compound is contiguous to that of Jean Dominique Okemba, another nephew of the President Denis Sassou Nguesso. Vice Admiral Jean Dominique Okemba is very influential in the system and also known as Satan. For it is claimed that, he is not only very wicked, he is the one who holds the mystical powers of the President of the Republic.  And Dr Malot Okemba’s compound is only separated to that of Jean Dominique Okemba by a shallow stream and small forested marshy land. Anani Bindji Rabier also told me that, late Omar Bongo Ondimba was not Gabonese but from Central African Republic. To support his claim, he told me that, in what he (late Omar Bongo Ondimba) called as his native village in Gabon; they were the only ones with the name Bongo. Here again, I don’t know whether I should to believe Anani Bindji Rabier or not. For in Congo, it is also claimed that, Late Omar Bongo was Congolese, for I have personally visited the school where he attended in the Congolese town and district of the same name called Zanaga. Zanaga, which is rich with iron ore, is located in the Lekoumou prefecture in the south of Congo and not far from the Gabonese border.


Anani Bindji Rabier has worked in France for French language pan African newspapers such as Jeune Afrique and Afrique-Asie. Anani Bindji Rabier currently works for a Cameroonian Television station called Canal 2 International and he is the host of a popular but controversial programme called La Tribune de L’Histoire.  Anani Bindji Rabier told me on the 1st of October 2015 in the office of Auriol Lonkio Tchatchouang, the director of Human resources of Canal 2 International that, he knows who commandeered the assassination of Commandant Marien Ngouabi. He even added that, he has written a book wherein, he has given ample details on the killer of Marien Ngouabi and also all what he knew about his friend, late President Omar Bongo Ondimba. But, he told me that, his book would only be published after he has departed this world. If one is not a bluff, he won’t make such declarations. Hence, I have decided to include Anani Bindji Rabier’s own version in this book. Although his version narrated here in by me is not going to be as exhaustive as it will be in his own book. Hence it is necessary to share it with you.


For it might turn out to be the missing link that could help solve the puzzle over the enigmatic death of the man who was the hero of poor  and nationalistic Congolese and a villain to the chattering class of the happy few, who are governing Congo today.  As indicated above, it was on the 1st of October 2015 in the office of the Director of Human Resources of Canal 2 International, that, Anani Bindji Rabier told me that, he knew who killed Marien Ngouabi. He also added that, he had written it in his book that will only be published when he is dead. And he also told me on that same day that, he has left a will to the director of Human resources to publish his book after he has left this world. But, I asked to know the reason why, he could not publish his book while he was still alive. He replied that, when you have been close to someone, it is not polite to say all what you knew or know about him while you are still are still alive. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Marien Ngouabi's assasination: Denis Sassou Nguesso is accused by Anani Bindji and Bernard Doza

In an interview in 2008, Bernard Doza, an Ivorian opposition leader based in France told me that, it was Felix Houphouet Boigny, then President of Ivory coast who not only prepared the logistics, but also planned in Abidjan with the help of Denis Sassou Nguesso, the assassination of   Marien Ngouabi, because, according to him, Marien Ngouabi had become a nuisance to France. Since Felix Houphouet Boigny was not only anticommunist, he was also serving, defending and protecting the interest of France within the sub region, Felix Houphouet Boigny was therefore duty bound to eliminate Marien Ngouabi just as he had thereafter, supervised the assassination of Thomas Isidore Sankara in 1987 or the failed coup d’état in Benin Republic orchestrated by late French mercenary Bob Denard in 1975. Here again, there are no evidence, besides allegations and more, Bernard Doza never produced anything to me in order to support his claims.  But as far as Robert Denard  was concern, the online dictionary Wikipedia has it that: Mr Robert Denard who was a member of the French Navy who was born on the 7th of April 1929 and died on the 13th of October 2007.

He was working at the service or in support of Francafrique, through the staging of several coup d’états or taking part in counter communist operations in countries such as Algeria, Angola, Congo, Gabon, the DRC and Zimbabwe to name just these countries. However where he really operated was in the Comoros Islands and between 1975 and 1995, he took part in several coup d’états. He is said to have converted to Islam and became known as Said Mustapha Mahdjoub and was a father of 8 children from seven marriages. Francafrique is a policy put in place by General Charles De Gaulle, meant to support France’s influence and control over its former colonies in Africa, in particular, African countries south of the Sahara. But for the purpose of this book, I am going to share with you two information, from a Congolese army officer and the second from a Cameroonian journalist called Anani Bindji Rabier. Mr Rabier is a former military officer trained in Brazzaville, when Congo’s current political capital was still the capital of French colonial equatorial Africa. Furthermore, Anani Bindji Rabier also claims to know late president Omar Bongo Ondimba very well. 




to show me that, he was close to late President Omar Bongo Ondimba, Anani Bindji Rabier told me that, he used to serve as an intermediary between late President Omar Bongo Ondimba and his political opponents who were mostly based in Paris, France. He also told me that, he was one of the intermediaries used by late President Omar Bongo Ondimba to get into contact with late Edith Lucie Sassou Nguesso who upon her marriage with the Gabonese leader became known as Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba. And he added: “Denis Sassou Nguesso never wanted her daughter to get married to Omar Bongo Ondimba”. I knew this aspect because Dr Malot Okemba, one of President Denis Sassou Nguesso’s elaborate networks of nephews once told about the episode in 2009 in his house located in Oyo. Anani Bindji Rabier also told me that, late Omar Bongo Ondimba was not Gabonese but from Central African Republic, hence in what he called his native village in Gabon, they were the only ones with the name Bongo. Anani Bindji Rabier has worked in France with French language pan African newspapers called Jeune Afrique and Afrique-Asie. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Assasination of Marien Ngouabi: Home grown or commandeered from abroad

The funniest one was in 2009, while I was interviewing General Emmanuel Ngouelondele, who was a close friend and close collaborator of Commandant Marien Ngouabi and who is still wearing a wrist watch offered to him by Marien Ngouabi, I asked him bluntly during our interview: “who killed Marien Ngouabi?” He replied: “Go and ask your friend Denis Sassou Nguesso”.  General Emmanuel Ngouelondele Mongo worked with Marien Ngouabi from 1969 to 1975 and  in 2013 he published two volumes of his memoires that in total was 657 page in  titled in French as : Au service du Congo, mon Temoignage or in English: At the service of Congo, my testimony. But what stoke me with it was that, he was unable to give any clarity on the death Marien Ngouabi. He was evasive and there was nothing new in his book that would have helped Congolese and also stop the rumors, speculations and accusations and counter accusation prevailing in Congo. Either General Emmanuel Ngouelondele Mongo knows nothing about the assassination of his late former boss or he is just a coward and not an Army General as he likes to claim.


To his discharge, he is not the only one, for even General Joachim Yhombi Opango who was a victim twice of Denis Sassou Nguesso has been unable or not courageous enough to enlighten the public on the assassination of the one who not only made them to become what they all are today, but who above all, shifted the balance of power from the south to the undereducated and backward northern Congolese courtesy the 1968 Coup d’état. My opinion is that, either they were all accomplices shortchanged by Denis Sassou Nguesso or they are simply cowards. Perhaps the  attitude of General Emmanuel Ngouelondele Mongo is the reason why, there is also a rumor in Brazzaville, which has it that, one year before the assassination of Marien Ngouabi, Emmanuel Ngouelondele was sent to Paris by Denis Sassou Nguesso to explain or ask for France’s support in their planned  coup d’état against Marien Ngouabi. For Marien Ngouabi had become too nationalistic in the eyes of the French, hence they wanted him eliminated. Those claiming that, Emmanuel Ngouelondele knows something about the assassination of Marien Ngouabi also points out that, today; the Lord Mayor of the Brazzaville Greater City Council is Hughes Ngouelondele MP.


Hughes Ngouelondele is the son in law to the President and also the first son of the retired General Emmanuel Ngouelondele. Furthermore, the daughter of General Emmanuel Ngouelondele is married to Edgard Nguesso, the nephew of President Denis Sassou Nguesso. To those who want to accuse Denis Sassou Nguesso in the death of Marien Ngouabi, they also claim that, Emmanuel Ngouelondele has been compensated for his treachery.  The intermarriages between the Ngouelondele and the Nguesso, it is claimed in some circle in Brazzaville, is not by chanced, but a means to compensate Emmanuel Ngouelondele and the intermarriages  also  severs as collateral that the secret on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi will forever remain a secret. The assassination of Marien Ngouabi may have been carried out by Congolese, but it seems it was commandeered from abroad. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

Paris-Brazzaville:who killed Marien Ngouabi?

He continued: “In fact, I refused to become president because my time had not yet come, therefore, it was Joachim Yhombi-Opango who was co-opted to take over the military committee and title of head of state, with the main objectives being to restore peace and order and also return power to civilians”. Jean Marie Tassoua, former warlord and former minister of Energy and Hydraulics, told me that, Marien Ngouabi had become too family oriented and too tribal and that was the cause of his death. The claims of Jean Marie Tassoua aka General Diap, dents a little bit the nationalist and ant-tribal and anti-regionalist image often attached to Marien’s many positive qualities. Others also claims that, when Marien Ngouabi discovered that, his family and tribe were having an excessive influence around him and he wanted to relinquish power, hence he was killed by his own very people.   What Jean Marie Tassoua never told me was whether President Denis Sassou Nguesso took part or not, in the assassination or fomented the violent death of Commandant Marien Ngouabi.  However in Brazzaville and elsewhere in the country, many are of the opinion that, there is no way President Denis Sassou Nguesso, who was at that time, minister of defense and also in charge  of security could not have known that, his boss was not only in danger but risked being assassinated. 


In clear terms, most people in Congo are of the opinion that, it was Denis Sassou Nguesso, who assassinated Marien Ngouabi. But it must be pointed out that, no major or minor actor during that period has actually come out besides what President Denis Sassou Nguesso had written which is wafer thin to explain the cause of the death Marien Ngouabi. Be that as it may, one should not lose sight that, Congo is a country were lies, character assassinations and blackmail has been elevated into a profession. In other words, Congo is a country of professional liars. This is the only country in the world where lies can be transformed into truth and truth into lies. Hence, on the assassination of Marien Ngouabi, it will be almost impossible to know the truth and I have also abandon the search because I have tried and had a bewildering array of sometimes contradictory information.  Sometimes you begin to wonder whether all your interlocutors wanted Marien Ngouabi dead or that, they are all too afraid to say anything or also that, there a feeling of collective guilt. The funniest one was in 2009, while I was interviewing General Emmanuel Ngouelondele, who was a close friend and collaborator of Commandant Marien Ngouabi, who still has a wrist watch offered to him by Marien Ngouabi, I asked him bluntly: “who killed Marien Ngouabi?”


He replied: “Go and ask your friend Denis Sassou Nguesso”. For there is also a rumor in Brazzaville, which has it that, one year before the assassination of Marien Ngouabi, Emmanuel Ngouelondele was sent to Paris by Denis Sassou Nguesso to explain or ask for France’s support in their planned  coup d’état against Marien Ngouabi. For Marien Ngouabi had become too nationalistic in the eyes of the French, hence they wanted him eliminated. Those claiming that, Emmanuel Ngouelondele know something about the assassination of Marien Ngouabi also points out that, today; the Lord Mayor of the Brazzaville Greater City Council is Hughes Ngouelondele. Hughes Ngouelondele is the son in law to the President and also the first son of the retired General Emmanuel Ngouelondele. 

Paris-Brazzaville : Did Sassou Nguesso take part in the assasination of Marien Ngouabi and others?

Until those deaths are fully investigated and the culprits known, named, punished and publicly shamed, the future of Congo will always be on the brink.  As concerns the death of Marien Ngouabi, there are legions of speculations and suspicions regarding the death of one of Congo’s most popular leader. One such speculation was narrated to me by a military officer, still in function in Congo. He claimed that, it was President Denis Sassou Nguesso who assassinated Marien Ngouabi. His claims were music to my ears until one day; he related to me a story that I thought was convincing, but not solid enough to nail current President Denis Sassou Nguesso. While his story was not entirely convincing, it nonetheless has some cohesion, which warranted me to share it, in this book. This is so because Marien Ngouabi’s death along with the deaths of Bishop Emile Biayenda and Alphonse Massamba-Debat remains one of Congo’s greatest unsolved political deaths, since independence. Those deaths are clouded in a lot of mysteries, speculations and suspicions.  But while Denis Sassou Nguesso is being accused, two other people have completely absolved Denis Sassou Nguesso regarding the assassination of Marien Ngouabi.

The two people who told me point blank that, Denis Sassou Nguesso had nothing to do with the assassination of Marien Ngouabi are Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa and a certain Mr. Mavougou. Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa claims might be dismiss on the ground that, she is the niece of the President of the Republic of Congo. However, I believed her when she told me that, Denis Sassou Nguesso had nothing to do with the assassination of the one who contributed in making him (Denis Sassou Nguesso) to become what he is today. She added that: “On the day when Marien Ngouabi was killed, I saw how the President was crying and he was devastated”. Crying is not enough to absolve a person who is suspected for having committed a crime.  On the other hand, it must be sadly pointed out that, crying could also mean several things at the same time.  For it could be that, he was crying of joy or of sadness. Nevertheless, I believed what Mrs. Kourissa told because, she is a practicing Christians. The second person to absolve President Denis Sassou Nguesso was Mr Mavougou, he told me: “there was no way Denis Sassou Nguesso could have been able to assassinate Marien Ngouabi”.



He added: “Marien Ngouabi was killed by his own very brothers of the Kouyou tribe who were his praetorian guards and they are the ones who asked Denis Sassou Nguesso to succeed Marien Ngouabi because, they had not agreed amongst themselves or selected the rightful person to replace Marien Ngouabi”.  Here again, there is a detail that, Mavougou forgot, but that Denis Sassou Nguesso brought up in his book in a weird and wonderful way. He wrote in Denis Sassou: Le Manguier, le Fleuve et la Souris, published in 1997, he (Denis Sassou Nguesso) doesn’t mention or corroborate what Mavougou told me, but he (Denis Sassou Nguesso)writes that: “as minister of defense, he was designated as interim president from 18th of March 1977 to April 2nd of the same year”.  And during this period, he continued: “I was not ready to assume the post of President of the republic and more, I sensed that, there were others within the army who were better disposed than I to assume the function of president”. 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Paris-Brazzaville : Congo, a country riddled with several unsolved deaths or assassinations

Commandant Marien Ngouabi was the President of Congo, assassinated on the 18th of March 1977.  Commandant Marien Ngouabi who came to power in 1968 through a popular revolt, which ended the rule of Alphonse Massamba-Debat, was born on the 31st of December 1938 in Ombelle, a village located some 18km from Owando. While Congo’s second president who was born in 1921 in Boko came to power on the 19th of December 1963 and officially resigned on the 2nd of August 1968. Alphonse Massamba-Debat was assassinated on the 25th of March 1977. However Commandant Marien Ngouabi became the military leader of Congo on the 1st of January 1969 and died on the 18th of March 1977. And until date, the real cause or causes of the death and also the people suspected of being connected with the death of Marien Ngouabi are not known.  Many names have been floated as those who may have or did take part in the killing of Marien Ngouabi.  There are many suspects, but those whose names are most often floated are: late Pierre Anga and General Florent Ntsiba, who is currently Minister of state for labor and social security since 2009.  

But before his current post, he rose to prominence within the army and the ruling PCT party and was also minister of information in the 70s. But how could Pierre Anga who was one of the confidantes of Marien Ngouabi possibly have taken part in his assassination? It is just as puzzling as was the death of Marien Ngouabi himself. Pierre Anga, who was born in 1940, and was a Congolese army officer and rebel leader who was an opposition figure to Congolese President Denis Sassou-Nguesso. He formed part of the Military Committee of the Congolese Workers Party or PCT from 18th of March 1977 to 3rd April 1977 acted in place of the Presidency after Marien Ngouabi was assassinated. Anga was arrested in 1987 for allegedly participating in a coup d'état against the President; during this arrest several soldiers were killed. Shortly after this coup attempt fighting broke out in the North of the country between forces led by Anga (a supporter of Joachim Yhombi-Opango) and Government forces. He was killed by Congolese security forces. He is reported to have died in the jungle of Ikonongo. Since independence from France in 1960, Congo has had several leaders.



However Marien Ngouabi has remain not only unique because of his charisma, it also perhaps the way in which he was assassinated by those he brought to the limelight, that has made many Congolese desiring long after he is gone to know more about him and the cause of his violent death. Almost immediately after the death or assassination of Marien Ngouabi, Alphonse Massamba-Debat and Bishop Emile Biayenda were also assassinated in what seems to be a revenge attack orchestrated by northern officers who thought that, the assassination of Marien Ngouabi was a southern plot. The corpse of Alphonse Massamba-Debat has never been found. Rumors has it that, where is currently built the stadium carrying his name is where he was hastily buried. As for Emile Biayenda, it seems he was buried in the north of Brazzaville on top of a hilly range that today has become a pilgrimage venue for Roman Catholics. Congo therefore has several unsolved deaths or assassinations mysteries that also breads a simmering tension which makes the country looks more like a keg of gun powder than an oasis of peace often claimed by its leadership.  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Paris-Brazzaville : My journey to Congo

The question that, I have always asked is this:  should the aforementioned leaders be forcefully overthrown or assassinated in order to give democracy a chance within the sub region?  It is a difficult question to answer. Furthermore, while I condemn leaders of the sub region, it is also honest to say that, without the help of western nations, these governments won’t have been in power for the length of time that they have. As far as I am concerned, it was during the period that, I do refer to as the turbulent phase of Telesud that Rynelle Kourissa, came to me again and insisted that, I should go and help her grandfather, Maurice Nguesso to set up his media house in Brazzaville.  While I accepted Rynelle’s proposals, what really made me to leave Paris for Brazzaville was a meeting that I had with Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa at the Champ Elysees, located at 133 avenue des Champs-Elysees.  Our meeting was or took place in the restaurant section of the shopping mall. I can’t recall the day exactly, but all what I know is that, she called me and we booked an appointment for 4 pm. Mrs. Kourissa nee Lydie Hortense Nguesso is the eldest daughter of Maurice Nguesso.

And between the two Nguessos, that is Maurice and Denis, they have 48 children and countless grand children and great grand children. Lydie Kourissa is the oldest of them all. She therefore wields enough influence within the clan. But since she is a born again Christian, she is very meek and thrown aback. Christianity has whittled down any ounce of pride that, she might have had. Lydie Kourissa is light years away from the superciliousness demonstrated by her brothers, sisters and by her cousins of the ruling Nguesso family. She prefers to be called or identified only by the name of her husband, Mr. Jean de Dieu Kourissa MP. It is another feature that marks her out differently from her sisters who are married, but seldom carry the names of their husbands. It was with this soft spoken and respectful lady that I made an appointment, but strangely, I forgot to honor it. I could only remember that, we had an appointment, when she rang me again at around 6:30pm.



When she rang me, she told me this: “I have been waiting here since 3:30 pm and our appointment was at 4pm and now it is 6:30pm. If you don’t want to meet me, please tell me, for I am going back to Brazzaville tomorrow”. I just told her this: “Please I am sorry and I am on my way. I took a taxi from Conacq Jay to the Drugstore and met with her. I was so worried to have kept her waiting for too long, to a point that, I never argued much with her. Whatever she told me, I accepted. That was how my Paris work and stay ended and my Brazzaville adventure began. That was toward the end of 2010. But I began working officially for MNCOM in August 2011 and I held several functions within the media house before finally settling as the Director of MNTV and also Director of Studies and Planning of MNCOM, the parent company and name of the media group. But prior  to that meeting with Mrs. Lydie Hortense Kourissa and also the propositions and encouragement from Rynelle Kourissa as already mentioned, I had been coming to Congo since 2009 to cover some events, in particular, the pre-Presidential elections campaigns of 2009.  The person who facilitated everything was Colonel Chryst Bonaventure Engobo. Colonel Engobo is a highly secretive man who was one of the aide de camps of Commandant Marien Ngouabi.