- The death has been announced of a 78-year-old French accused of leading mercenary activities in many African countries. Bob Denard, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular problems, died on Saturday.
Born of a non-commissioned French officer in the French city of Bordeaux, Bob Denard was a well-known soldier who joined the Free French Forces to resist against the Nazi government after the second World War in Southeast Asia.
Denard was believed to have traded mercenary career in many post-colonial countries in Africa and the Middle East, including Nigeria, Benin, Angola, Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo), and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe. Apart from fighting to protect the French interests, Denard also battled communism.
Even after his links with the French government declined in 1981 when a leftist government assumed power Denard was still an energetic mercenary involved in four coup attempts in Comoros where he became the head of the Presidential guards for sometime.
He was also accused of leading the assassination of the former Comoros President, Ahmed Abdallah in 1999, though a Paris court freed him. He was however slammed a five-year suspended sentence by a French court over his part in the country’s 1995 coup attempt. The court blamed the intelligence services of being aware of the plot.
He was twice convicted in France for attempting to overthrow Benin in 1977 when that country was under the control of Marxists. In each case, he was given suspension sentence.
Bob Denard is a well-known French mercenary believed to have carried out mercenary assaults in many postcolonial African and Middle Eastern countries.
His mercenary career started in Zaire in 1961 when he was contracted to recruit soldiers who would in turn government troops. After this assignment, Bob moved to several countries to offer his services for dubious activities in as far as Iran during Shah’s tenure of office.
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