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Zaire Government

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NEWS
May 9, 1997 | JOHN-THOR DAHLBURG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Even a few years ago, it would have been much simpler: Send in a company of Foreign Legion paratroopers, or even more French military muscle, and patch up yet another African crisis to keep a friendly "Big Man" in power. But that hasn't happened in Zaire, and the swelling death rattle of Marshal Mobutu Sese Seko's 32-year-old reign over Central Africa's long-suffering heart has come as an enormous shock and humiliation for France.
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NEWS
September 8, 1997 | JOHN DANISZEWSKI and ANN M. SIMMONS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled Zaire for nearly 32 years with a combination of brutal repression and unbridled greed that impoverished his citizens while earning him millions, died in Morocco on Sunday, less than four months after being driven into exile by leaders of a popular rebellion. Mobutu, who died at 66 after a long battle with prostate cancer, was for years the epitome of the African strongman. More than a dictatorship, his regime was often called a "kleptocracy."
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NEWS
March 12, 1993 | NORMAN KEMPSTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Clinton Administration, facing mounting pressure from Capitol Hill and American organizations focused on Africa, is considering seizure of the vast personal fortune of Zaire President Mobutu Sese Seko to force him to surrender power in the mineral-rich Central African nation.
NEWS
June 6, 1997 | From Associated Press
Backing down from earlier assertions that it had nothing to do with alleged massacres of Rwandan refugees, Congo's government now acknowledges that some may have been killed in cross-fire during the recent civil war. President Laurent Kabila's government is hoping that the admission, while far from an acknowledgment that his forces committed atrocities, is enough to secure aid for his ravaged land during a visit today by envoy Bill Richardson, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
NEWS
September 8, 1997 | JOHN DANISZEWSKI and ANN M. SIMMONS, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Mobutu Sese Seko, who ruled Zaire for nearly 32 years with a combination of brutal repression and unbridled greed that impoverished his citizens while earning him millions, died in Morocco on Sunday, less than four months after being driven into exile by leaders of a popular rebellion. Mobutu, who died at 66 after a long battle with prostate cancer, was for years the epitome of the African strongman. More than a dictatorship, his regime was often called a "kleptocracy."
NEWS
May 14, 1997 | BOB DROGIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Far more than the future of Zaire and its 45 million people rides on the imminent fall of Mobutu Sese Seko's ruinous regime before a rebel-led military onslaught: The political and economic fortunes of much of Africa may be at stake. Experts say the outcome of the epic struggle between Mobutu's tottering regime and rebel leader Laurent Kabila's guerrilla army could provide a huge boost to the world's poorest and most turbulent continent--or a setback that will hobble it for years to come.
NEWS
January 2, 1989 | MICHAEL A. HILTZIK, Times Staff Writer
For an illustration of Zaire's method of government, consider the day President Mobutu Sese Seko managed simultaneously to raise and lower the price of gasoline. At the start of the day, Zaire's prices were among the lowest in the world, although the country imports about three-quarters of its automobile fuel. For years, international banking authorities had insisted that Zaire slash its heavy gasoline subsidy to halt the drain of resources from its economy.
NEWS
May 18, 1997 | BOB DROGIN and MARY WILLIAMS WALSH, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Guerrillas from Laurent Kabila's rebel army marched triumphantly into this sprawling capital Saturday and quickly moved to take control of the city and the country, effectively ending a seven-month civil war in Africa's third-largest nation. A beaming Kabila told reporters at rebel headquarters in the southeastern city of Lubumbashi that he was assuming power immediately as the head of state of Zaire, which he called the Democratic Republic of Congo.
NEWS
May 17, 1997 | BOB DROGIN and MARY WILLIAMS WALSH, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
After more than three decades of ruthless and corrupt rule, President Mobutu Sese Seko fled with members of his family and key aides early Friday, apparently relinquishing power before an expected takeover of this nervous capital by advancing rebel soldiers. Africa's longest-serving despot was chauffeured from his palace shortly after dawn in a small car, rather than his usual stretch limousine, in a heavily guarded motorcade of about 10 vehicles, witnesses said.
NEWS
June 6, 1997 | From Associated Press
Backing down from earlier assertions that it had nothing to do with alleged massacres of Rwandan refugees, Congo's government now acknowledges that some may have been killed in cross-fire during the recent civil war. President Laurent Kabila's government is hoping that the admission, while far from an acknowledgment that his forces committed atrocities, is enough to secure aid for his ravaged land during a visit today by envoy Bill Richardson, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
NEWS
June 4, 1997 | From Reuters
The U.N. refugee agency urged Congo President Laurent Kabila and other African leaders Tuesday to take steps to protect Rwandan refugees in the wake of the killing last week of an aid worker and four refugees in the eastern Congo. Spokeswoman Pam O'Toole said the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees is suspending its aid work at Karuba, near Goma, where Kabila's soldiers reportedly carried out the May 29 shooting.
NEWS
May 30, 1997 | ANN M. SIMMONS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Two weeks after chasing a hated dictator from power, guerrilla leader Laurent Kabila had himself sworn in as president here Thursday, telling a stadium filled with 30,000 cheering supporters that he would guide the nation to free elections in April 1999.
NEWS
May 28, 1997 | ANN M. SIMMONS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The new regime of self-proclaimed President Laurent Kabila seemed headed for collision Tuesday with members of the country's radical opposition. Defying the government's ban on political demonstrations, opponents of Kabila's alliance vowed to stick to plans to hold one rally today and another Friday. The marches have been called to protest Kabila's exclusion from his new Cabinet of opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi, who has a huge core of support among Kinshasa's 5 million people.
NEWS
May 27, 1997 | Associated Press
The government of President Laurent Kabila on Monday barred political parties from meeting, further undermining confidence in his promises to liberate this country from dictatorship. The move is reminiscent of those imposed by Mobutu Sese Seko, the dictator Kabila ousted, and is likely to anger Western nations that had pressed him to introduce democracy. The announcement did not say how long the ban on political activity will last. Kabila declared himself president May 17.
NEWS
May 27, 1997 | ANN M. SIMMONS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Members of the new government of this country, arriving on the job for the first time Monday, were greeted by the results of three decades of corruption, mismanagement and inefficiency: no working telephones, no functioning modern equipment, no stationery and few staff members able to describe their exact role in the huge bureaucracy.
NEWS
May 24, 1997 | BOB DROGIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
After years of spearheading nonviolent opposition to a brutal dictatorship, Etienne Tshisekedi announced Friday that he has a new mission: defiance of self-described democrat and self-declared President Laurent Kabila. Hours after Kabila excluded Tshisekedi from the new interim Cabinet, the longtime opposition leader told a news conference that the new government is "another dictatorship" that he does not recognize.
NEWS
February 9, 1997 | BOB DROGIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Rebel forces in eastern Zaire have achieved major territorial gains in the past week and now, for the first time, appear to seriously threaten the government of one of Africa's largest nations. United Nations officials, diplomats and military experts who closely follow the war say the guerrillas have smashed a long-promised counteroffensive launched with much fanfare Jan. 20 by Zairian troops and several hundred mercenaries, mostly French and Serb.
NEWS
April 25, 1997 | JOHN DANISZEWSKI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
As rebels tarry to the east and the president languishes in his palace, the 5 million people of Kinshasa wait and wonder: How will their drama play out? After six months of civil war in which the government's forces mainly just melted away, rebel leader Laurent Kabila and his guerrilla fighters are headed for the capital of this vast central African country. They aim to claim their greatest prize and wrest power from President Mobutu Sese Seko--of this almost everyone feels certain.
NEWS
May 20, 1997 | ANN M. SIMMONS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The military offensive of Zaire's new de facto president, Laurent Kabila, is over, but the political war has just begun. As the rebel leader prepared to present his new government to the world today, members of the country's political opposition expressed concern that they would be excluded from key positions. Radical politicians say it is they who deserve much of the credit for the political demise of former President Mobutu Sese Seko, and they are eager to be rewarded for their efforts.
NEWS
May 20, 1997 | BOB DROGIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The first civilian authorities to reach this conquered capital from Laurent Kabila's victorious rebel force said Monday that an interim government will be announced today but that national elections will not be held until the country's population is "reeducated." Despite mounting international pressure on the rebels to move swiftly to a democratic transition, Kabila's chief deputy, Deogratias Bugera, refused to give a date for the first free polls in decades. "Be patient," he said.
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