April 10, 1997 |
The United States on Wednesday called for order and concrete steps toward democracy in Zaire, but the Clinton administration's entreaties went unheeded as the large Central African country cascaded further into bloody chaos.
April 9, 1997 |
The Clinton administration has been pressing President Mobutu Sese Seko, a U.S. ally for 25 years, to resign and go into exile to help his nation achieve a settlement to civil war, according to a senior administration official. Although the administration has stopped short of publicly urging Mobutu to step down, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs George E. Moose called Mobutu's regime "bankrupt" and "a thing of the past."
April 3, 1997 |
President Mobutu Sese Seko formally approved the appointment of archrival Etienne Tshisekedi as prime minister. State radio announced the appointment as the United Nations refugee agency started repatriating 3,000 Rwandan Hutus from Zaire, and a U.N. investigator, after a three-day probe, accused rebels of massacring Hutus last year. Lawmakers had nominated Tshisekedi to head the government and steer Zaire through negotiations with rebel chief Laurent Kabila.
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.
March 23, 1997 |
Fresh flowers fill crystal vases. Recessed lights shine on rich rugs and marble floors. Silk pillows hug leather couches. Beethoven plays softly from speakers hidden in the walls. The plush hilltop villa, and the shiny Jaguar parked outside, belong to one of Zaire's most powerful men. He is a Cabinet minister, a former ambassador and a key member of ailing President Mobutu Sese Seko's tottering regime.
March 22, 1997 |
It is a tale of two cities, but it speaks volumes about the dying days of Africa's longest-surviving dictatorship. President Mobutu Sese Seko flew home to this crumbling capital Friday from cancer treatment in Europe. But after his jet landed, security agents ordered Cabinet ministers, military commanders, an honor guard and reporters from the airport so no one could see the ailing ruler climb--or be carried--down the stairs.