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. 

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