The Company's authorities have vehemently rejected accusations the UN Secretary General in the sale of helicopter gunships to the African country of Côte d'Ivoire, despite the UN ban. However, it should be noted that at least used to Belarus' cooperation with the African country in the military was extremely tough. Edition of the "Belarusian News" reminds one of the subjects of this cooperation when secrets become publicly known.
We offer you a partial translation of the publication.
Côte d'Ivoire, West Africa. November 6, 2004. Country torn by civil war. Government separates the territory from the rebels contingent of French peacekeepers. Suddenly, the world press editorials flies news airplanes government troops attacked the Ivory Coast peacekeepers base, killing nine French soldiers and an American civilian specialist.
The answer was not long in coming. Furious, French President Jacques Chirac ordered to immediately destroy all military aviation of the country (which was done). During the sting operation the French military found out that their base was bombed Su-25, illegally supplied to the Government of the African country … from Belarus. And for the controls of the aircraft sat Belarusian pilots.
Last fled from the wrath of peacekeepers in neighboring Côte d'Ivoire, the Republic of Togo, but they fell into the hands of local authorities, who arrested them and were ready to give France.
Thereafter events took a mysterious turn. The command of the French military contingent friendly attitude to the initiative of the government of Togo cool and offered to release the arrested Belarusians without showing any interest in their testimony, citing a "reluctance to complicate relations with Belarus."
Let me remind you, we are talking about the events of 2004. The EU and the U.S. has just imposed visa sanctions against the Belarusian leadership. Relations of the official Minsk with the EU at a high level does not exist.
More — more. Paris has done its best to hush up the incident. This would have happened if it were not for two things. Relatives of the French soldiers who were killed in the bombing, inflated the scandal in the press and referred the case to the court. The final point of the "i" dotted ubiquitous WikiLeaks.
It turned out that Paris was aware of illegal deliveries of Su-25 from Belarus in Côte d'Ivoire. Upon arriving in Africa for a long time there were planes at the airport in Togo, which served as the base for aviation French peacekeepers. Attack aircraft from Belarus brought a firm owned by a retired employee of the French police counterterrorism unit to Robert Mantayya, whose affairs ruled Belarus secretary.
In 2006 Court in France has decided to arrest Mantayya and two Belarusian pilots for arms trafficking, but the decision again ran into a wall of opposition from the higher authorities. Paris Military Court quashed the arrest with the phrase "inappropriate."
On actually mysterious actions of the French authorities explained simply.
For the French, a legacy of its colonial past — a source of chronic headaches. Following the outcome of the French administration, several countries in Africa began skatvatstsa chaos of civil war. Trying to stop these processes, Paris, as a rule, includes support for corrupt local regimes lesser evil than anarchy and mizhplyamennaya massacre.
So, in 2002, France has deployed forces on the way the rebels who threatened to overthrow the power of the President of Côte d'Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo.
But some French bayonets that would not last long. To protect themselves from gangs of thugs mingled, Gbagbo was desperate for arms, military equipment and instructors. Paris itself, with troops in the country with the mandate of neutral peacekeepers to help in this bloody African dictator could not. Such actions would be difficult to explain and to the international community and their own voters.
For arming and training of troops of African kings France forced to use the services of the "gray" of mediators, including Belarus, obviously — not the smallest. According to the official National Statistics Committee, in 2009Minsk have sold arms to the Gbagbo regime $ 8.4 million. But experts say that amount is paltry compared with the volume of "gray" zdzelak — like the one that emerged due to the scandal in 2004.
It is unlikely that we would find out and about this deal, if not a Slavic disorder. Going to bomb the rebels, the Belarusian pilots dropped bombs on the base of the French, forcing those to take action in response and causing an international scandal.
On the same scale real hidden Belarusian-French military cooperation in Africa can only guess. Our old friend Robert Mantayya, for example, was a member of the inner circle of the dictator of Togo, which is also supported by France.