December 18, 1996 |
His step was slow, his body appeared frail and his voice often faltered. But Mobutu Sese Seko, Africa's longest-serving ruler and some say one of its most venal tyrants, clearly basked in the glow of a triumphant return home Tuesday after four months in Europe for cancer treatment. His country, as well as the world, was paying notice.
October 23, 1991 |
A fresh explosion of looting has swept Lubumbashi, Zaire's major copper-mining town, witnesses arriving in the capital of Kinshasa reported. "They looted everything, all night," one said. "They've stripped the face of the town." The Central African country remained locked in a power struggle between President Mobutu Sese Seko and opposition Prime Minister Etienne Tshisekedi, whom Mobutu has tried to fire.
October 3, 1991 |
President Mobutu Sese Seko said he is withdrawing his nomination of an opponent to the prime minister's job and plans to keep control of the army, a Western diplomat said. Mobutu told Western ambassadors that the opposition figure, Etienne Tshisekedi, had insulted him by stating that he planned to strip all important powers from Mobutu, Zaire's dictatorial ruler for 26 years.
October 22, 1991 |
Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko's special militia attacked crowds backing Prime Minister Etienne Tshisekedi after he refused to step down on Mobutu's orders. Units of Mobutu's civil guard used tear gas and fired shots into the air to disperse about 15,000 Tshisekedi supporters outside the prime minister's office. Witnesses said Mobutu's militia smashed Tshisekedi's car. There were no reports of serious injuries.
March 25, 1997 |
Prime Minister Leon Kengo wa Dondo resigned Monday, bowing to pressure from lawmakers who blamed him for mishandling an insurgency by rebels who now control nearly a quarter of the country. Kengo's departure came a day after his mentor, President Mobutu Sese Seko, emerged from seclusion, promising to make clear "within 48 hours" his plans to reunite the country. Parliament had voted last week to oust Kengo, accusing him of being soft on the insurgents.
February 7, 1993 |
Prime Minister Etienne Tshisekedi said Saturday that President Mobutu Sese Seko had no legal right to fire him and he would not leave office. In a televised speech Friday night, Mobutu blamed Tshisekedi for riots in which at least 80 people were killed and said he would ask the transitional Parliament to name a new premier. Tshisekedi, chosen last August by the pro-democracy forum, said an interim constitution approved by the conference took away Mobutu's power to hire and fire prime ministers.