A Guest commentary by Cédric Kalonji (Translated from French by Scribbles from the Den)
Mr. Sassou Nguesso is crying for his daughter, Edith Lucie Bongo Ondimba, wife of Gabonese president Omar Bongo Ondimba, who died on Saturday, March 14, 2009 in Rabat, Morocco.
For some strange reason, this photo reminds me of the bloody war of 1997 in Congo/Brazzaville. I remember the gun shots, the shells going across the [Congo] river and killing people in certain parts of Kinshasa.
Back then, General Sassou Nguesso, with the help of Chadian and Angolan forces, had launched a war against Pascal Lissouba who had beaten him in elections five years earlier.
I remember all those children, stranded and alone in the strange streets of Kinshasa, their parents killed in a war whose relevance was known only to the warring parties.
My condolences, Mr. President, at the death of your daughter. I understand your pain and I hope that you at least appreciate what those parents who lost their children in the war that brought you back to power felt.
I hope that you will also realize that money, power, villas and luxury cars in France could not save your daughter. The fact that she was admitted into a high class hospital in Morocco did not change anything; her time had come and she departed just like all those average Congolese who do not have access to the most basic medical services and who die in silence.
Edith Bongo (green dress) and Omar Bongo in happier times