Jean-Bedel Bokassa, the self-proclaimed emperor of the Central African empire, after crowning himself in 1977. Photograph: Pierre Guillaud/AFP/Getty Images

He was the Nero of equatorial Africa, the ogre of Berengo. Jean-Bedel Bokassa has been dead for 18 years, but even as the Central African Repub(...)

French peacekeeping soldiers leave their base in Mpoko international airport in Bangui last December. Photograph: Emmanuel Braun/Reuters

The road from Bangui to Brussels goes through Paris, literally and figuratively. Catherine Samba Panza, the interim president of the Central A(...)