Henri Maïdou

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Henri Maïdou
2nd Prime Minister of the Central African Empire
In office
14 July 1978 – 26 September 1979
Preceded by Ange-Félix Patassé
Succeeded by Bernard Ayandho
Vice President of the Central African Republic
In office
September 1979 – August 1980
President David Dacko
Preceded by Post created
Succeeded by Post abolished
Personal details
Born (1936-02-14) 14 February 1936 (age 81)
Bangui, French Equatorial Africa, Ubangi-Shari (now Central African Republic)
Occupation Professor

Henri Maïdou (born 14 February 1936) is a retired Central African politician. He was Prime Minister of the Central African Empire/Central African Republic from 14 July 1978 to 26 September 1979, and Vice President in the cabinet of David Dacko from September 1979 to August 1980.[1]

Biography[edit]

Early life[edit]

Maidou was born on 14 February 1936 in Bangui. His father, Maurice Maidou, was an official and his twin brother, Christophe Maidou, is a diplomat. Henri Maidou came from an academic background and worked as a geography professor.[2]

Political career[edit]

His entry into politics came on 25 June 1970, when President Jean-Bedel Bokassa named him Minister of Education. He became minister of youth, sports, and the arts on 26 April 1971. Maidou was appointed Minister of Public Health and Social Affairs on 16 October 1973. On 15 June 1974, he became minister of urbanism and territorial administration on 15 June.[2] His second stint as Minister of Education began on 4 April 1976. Maidou became second vice prime minister of the Conseil de la revolution centrafricaine on 4 September, with his portfolio consisting of national education and education reform. His responsibilities were expanded to include youth, sports, arts, and culture on 14 December.[3]

Bokassa was unsatisfied with the results of the 1977 baccalaureate and sought to reform the school system. Maidou's solution was to remove French teachers, an option Bokassa rejected. At the bidding of Bokassa, Maidou announced on 2 February 1978 that all schoolchildren must wear a specific type of uniform by 1 October. Jewelry and hats were forbidden, and students faced suspension from school if they refused to comply. The uniforms were costly, and Bokassa's family owned the Compagnie industrielle ouanguienne des textiles, which manufactured these uniforms.[4] This sparked student protests, and their suppression resulted in the Bangui children's massacre of 1979.[3] Around 100 children perished in the massacre.[5]

Prime minister Ange-Félix Patassé suffered a heart attack in March 1978 and went to France to recuperate.[6] In his absence, Bokassa dissolved his government and appointed Maidou prime minister on 14 July 1978.[3][6] Maidou became dissatisfied with the emperor in May 1979, after having to read a statement that denied that the children's massacre ever happened. He feared the wrath of the citizens if Bokassa's regime fell.[7] He was likely involved in the plot that overthrew Bokassa on 20 September 1979.[3]

On 26 September, President David Dacko appointed him vice president.[3] While vice president, Maidou gave an interview with Jeune Afrique, stating that he and Dacko were not faithful members of the regime but followed along out of terror. "Some terror," Bokassa responded from exile, "with loads of CFA francs, beautiful cars, beautiful villas, beautiful women, and beautiful business. Look at him [Maidou] in the photograph, with the face of a bon vivant and playboy."[8] Maidou was soon removed in this role as many opposition groups opposed his appointment. Maidou founded the Parti republicain pour le progres on 27 December 1980 and contested the March 1981 presidential election. He finishing fourth with 3.2 percent of the vote and subsequently left politics.[3]

Later career[edit]

Maidou testified at Bokassa's trial in December 1986, stating he wanted to stage a coup even earlier but was unable due to the extensive espionage network.[9] On 1 March 1988, Maidou became president of the Union bancaire en Afrique centrale (UBAC). President Patassé named him deputy coordinator of the Dialogue national in November 2002.[3] The Dialogue national was a national reconciliation conference, convened to reduce tensions in the country.[10] He became an adviser to General Francois Bozize in July 2003, several months after Bozize seized power. In September, he resigned as head of the Dialogue national. Maidou was the president of the first summit of the media conference Etats generaux des media centrafricains, held between 27 August and 1 September 2007. Between December 2008 and February 2009, he was second deputy chairman of the Dialogue political inclusif, at which point he became chairman of its monitoring committee.[3]

Awards[edit]

  • Central African Orders of Academic Palms (1972)[3]
  • Sports Merit Gold Medal (1972)[3]
  • Postal Merit Officer (1972)[3]
  • Operation Bokassa Officer (1974)[3]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Bradshaw, Richard; Fandos-Rius, Juan (27 May 2016). "Historical Dictionary of the Central African Republic". Rowman & Littlefield – via Google Books. 
  2. ^ a b Bradshaw & Fandos-Rius 2016, p. 417
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Bradshaw & Fandos-Rius 2016, p. 418
  4. ^ Titley 2002, p. 107
  5. ^ "Papa in the Dock". Time. 11 June 1979. Retrieved 28 October 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Titley 2002, p. 101
  7. ^ Titley 2002, p. 121
  8. ^ Titley 2002, pp. 146-147
  9. ^ Titley 2002, p. 193
  10. ^ Bradshaw & Fandos-Rius 2016, p. 219

References[edit]

Preceded by
Ange-Félix Patassé
Prime Minister of the Central African Empire/Republic
1978–1979
Succeeded by
Bernard Ayandho