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    This weblog is based on DIBUSSI TANDE's personal views on people, places, issues and events in Cameroon, Africa and the world!


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« 25 Years Ago... Tales of Ex-Leader's Role In Revolt Stun Cameroon | Main | 25 Years Ago... Former First Lady Germaine Ahidjo on the 1984 Coup Attempt »

April 09, 2009


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Samira Edi

Priceless, thank you Mola. A masterful narrative packed with invaluable information. Well crafted...Encore! Encore...!

I can identify with Mr Guerandi on may issues, and I sympathise with his dilemma and his nostalgia for the motherland. While his may be a self-imposed exile, because of his connection to the coup, Biya's wreckage of our country into a rubble has condemned many to the same fate. He has effectively sent scores of young, hard working, innocent Cameroonians turning their backs on a homeland they love desperately, as semi-exiles in foreign lands.

However, Mr Guerandi's bouncebackability should be a great source of inspiration to all Cameroonians. Many are equally as disillusioned as he with the Biya regime, and the total state of deterioration the country now faces. And like him, many have made the places where they live their homes!!

This, however, is Biya's unfair sleight of hand in cahoots with destiny. Those who're exculpated from any negative political activism feel a profound sense of revulsion at being cheated, as Biya surreptitiously turned a once promising beacon of prosperity and Africa-in-miniature into a fetid Banana Republic. I have friends who refuse to have anything to do with that country; and those who say they'll never plan any long term investments in a country as hostile to itself as Cameroon is.

I write this with a heavy heart, because I feel so cheated of my rights-- so cheated-- and my privileges as a Cameroonian--thwarted from realizing my full potentials as I know I can IN Cameroon, because of the calous actions one tyranical ignoramus and his consiglieri of corrupt apparatchiks of the CPDM--so disgusted am I to have my wings clipped. We've even been deprived of loving the country unconditionally--our patriotic privileges; and we are forced to taste the same bitterness that the coup plotters feel, innocent as we are, even as we do our ultimate to rise above it.

The average Cameroonian abroad will definitely identify with the former captain, eventhough we're averse to coup d'etats and bloodshed of that sort. But sometimes, I wonder how different it would've been had the coup succeeded; or would Cameroon have slipped abyssmally into the sin bins of internicine slaughter houses of ill repute, as we have them today, littered all over Africa?


Captain Guerandi Mbara declarations makes for interesting reading but I think should be treated with lot skepticism. If one knows the ethos of the Cameroun military he proudly served in: its arrogance, brutality, anti-republican and anti-people posture that was nurtured by the French and then Ahidjo to crush the UPC movement, one is best advised to treat what is obviously self-serving recollections and spin by the captain turn thinker with a healthy dose of reservation.

I do not think had the coup plotters succeeded in 1984, things would have been any different. If they were any more patriotic, if Mbara was any more patriotic, he would have found it intellectually and morally untenable to lie comfortably in the butcher of Thomas Sankara, Blaise Campaore’s bloody bosom. And how exactly is Blaise Campaore different from Paul Biya?

Yes, Sankara came to power through a coup to change the colonial order; Campaore came to power through a coup to restore the colonial order; and as events in Mbara's life subsequent to his failed coup reveals, it can be argued he would have been more of a Campaore, more of a Biya, than a Sankara.

What I am trying to say is that the April 6, 1984 coup plotters would have maintained the essence of the same exploitative and anti-democratic rule and culture necessary to maintain secret Cooperation Agreements with France in Cameroun had they succeeded. Those Cooperation Agreements are no different in Ouagadougou where Mbara parades comfortably close to the seat of power!

This relationship with France is the most insidious obstacle to progress in Africa because France is holding hostage a significant portion of the continent’s peoples by having complete monetary control via the slave currency called the CFA Franc and secret exclusive agreements that surrenders francophonic Africa’s land and resources to Paris. This forestalls economic cooperation between African states and African states and the rest of the world. How this continues to be the case remains a puzzle but can be partly explained by France’s unalloyed support for her trusted long-serving dictators: Nguesso, Bongo, Derby, Biya and Guerandi Mbara’s patron-host and murderer of Thomas Sankara, Blaise Campaore. And also the monarchial transfer of power as seen in Togo and as is being rumored in Gabon and Cameroun.

Now, why am I introducing the French in this? Guerandi Mbara went under the protection and patronage of a Campaore who conspired with France to kill Thomas Sankara. If there was ever a “yes, we can” personality on the continent at that time, the handsome, brilliant and courageous Thomas Sankara was it. But I digress. Campaore, more than any one on the continent was instrumental in fomenting the wars that brought calamity to West Africa: Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire. Is Guerandi Mbara prepared to reveal the role he played in this criminal enterprise in West Africa? He has boasted of training officers of the Burkinabe military whose roles in the barbarism in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Cote d’Ivoire are well documented. Burkina Faso and Blaise Campaore proudly did France’s bidding in this destabilization of West Africa; and in Francois Xavier-Verschave’s Noir Silence, we learn that with French diplomatic support, Charles Taylor (who was to be later given the honor of an official State visit to France—the only western country to have done so) circumvented arms embargoes to prolong the devastation.

For me, April 6, 1984 has no mystery. A break with the ongoing colonial past would not have come from the April 6, 1984 cabal.

But I am really interested in what Guerandi Mbara may have to say in the future about the devastation that his patron, Blaise Campaore, unleashed in his demented quest for morbid francophonic prestige in West Africa under the tutelage and prodding of la mere-patrie, France, and to a lesser extend the King of African Kings, Ghadaffi of Tripoli.

Dr A A Agbormbai

Powerful arguments, SJ! It is easy to get fooled by Guerandi Mbara's claim to their desire for introducing democracy and social justice in Cameroon as the motivation for the coup. All the signs are that we would have had no better than Ahidjo or Biya gave us.


Hello SJ,

Some 17 years ago, a group of revolutionary students at the university of Yaounde were banned from all institutions of higher learning in Cameroon and hounded by Biya's security forces. About of 30 of them were whisked out of Cameroon in a highly secret Operation known as operation Exodus. These students found refuge in Burkina Faso under the guidanship of Compaore. Did this young left wing Cameroonian student activists end up in Faso because they loved Compaore or were French stooges? No. It was a means to an end and none of them are in Burkina today.

I narrate this story to point out that judging Guerandi, whom I had never heard about until today, simply on the fact that he was given protection in Bukina by a former classmate who became president and killed Sankara is unfair. I am sure Bukina is the only place in this world where Guerandi and his family feel the safest and demanding that he should have left after Compaore's coup makes no sense and is the kind of emotional action that rational and level headed people don't take.

Someday, the full truth about the April 6 coup will come out and we will know who were the real villains and heroes.

Ma Mary

In future Camerounese coups, Southern Cameroonians should not take sides. Let them blow each other up for all we care. You all who live in the belly of the occupier should have contingency escape plans. It is not a matter of if but when the sewer will burst.


Dr. Agbormbai
I happend to be one of the students you mentioned in your comment and was in Burkina. True Dr. Guerandi is safe in Burkina but the man is doing enormous underground work to strengthen the opposition back home. I had the chance to meet him in Ouagadougou. He was of emmence help to us eventhough his friend killer Compaore letter expelled 9 of us from Burkina because he thought we were the Sankara branch of our movement.

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