Mobutu Sese Seko
Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga (born the October 14th 1930 - deceased the September 7th 1997), born Joseph-Desired Mobutu , was the second president of the Democratic republic of Congo of 1965 with 1997 (country having been renamed Zaire of 1971 to 1997). It was called “the Leopard of Kinshasa”.
BeginningsJoseph-desired Mobutu is born the October 14th 1930 with Lisala with the Belgian Congo a few months after the king from the Belgians Baudouin Ist His father, Albéric Gbemani, cook for a colonial magistrate of Lisala, dies whereas it is 8 years old and it is then raised by his grandfather and his uncle. It continues its studies in a Catholic school. At the 20 years age, he is enlisted in the Police force, the colonial army Belgian, where white officers order black soldiers. At 16 years, it Marie with a 14 year old young girl. It obtains the patent of countable secretary with Luluabourg then is affected with the staff of the Police force with Léopoldville in 1953.
After its passage in the army, which it leaves warrant officer, it becomes Journaliste for the liberal daily newspaper of Léopoldville the Future in 1957 under the supervision of the one of its mentors, the journalist Antoine-Roger Bolamba, who introduces it in Emery Patrice Lumumba. He travels for the first time in Europe at the time of a congress of press to Brussels, where there will remain some time to follow a formation. It is at the same time that the Congolese representatives negotiate their independence, and when they arrive at Brussels for the roundtable keeping, belonging to the delegation lumumbists with Antoine Kiwewa, Mobutu is placed at the disposal of the Belgians.
The riseIn July 1960, he becomes Secretary of State of the government independent of Patrice Lumumba. It benefits from the dissension between the various politicians and because of being one of the only lumumbists to have any military experiment to evolve/move very quickly in the military hierarchy. It is thus as a chief of staff, and under the influence of the ambassador of Belgium, which it makes stop and assign with Lumumba residence in 1960; Nationalist Lumumba leader more hated in the Belgium and most popular in Congo. This beginning will count much in the relations between the Belgians and Mobutu. It sets up a temporary government, the Collège of the student police chiefs. Mobutu shows then Lumumba in front of the cameras of sympathy procommunist to attract the support of the United States. Lumumba will try to flee with Stanleyville, but is caught up with in way by the soldiers. Mobutu will make it put in prison, where Lumumba will receive only one banana. It will be then sent to the Katanga of Moïse Tshombe where it will be assassinated, its body lost “in bush” according to the official documents. Under the direction of Pierre Mulele, rebels in favor of Lumumba leave in war against Mobutu. They occupy two-third of Congo quickly, but with the assistance of the the United States and Israel, Mobutu manages to reconquer the whole of the territory. This “victory” which would not have been possible without the Western assistance is skilfully made in-house profitable by Mobutu avoiding virtue of peacemaker, of unifier of the territory. It thus poses its capacity on two pillars: outside, context of the cold war, and inside stability. Another means of strengthening its capacity is the takeover of the political power, whose corollary is the repression of part of the Congolese citizens.
After having reorganized the army, it carries out the November 25th 1965 a Coup d'etat against Joseph Kasa-Vubu, first president of old the Belgian Congo. According to an acute political crisis between president Kasa-Vubu and the government of Tshombe, this coup d'etat is acclaimed and accepted for all, Kasa-Vubu thanks some, Tshombe is “absolutely delighted”, trade unions CSLC, UTC and FGTK support the new capacity just as student organizations UGEC and CASE. Population as well Congolese as foreign the blow applauds. Abroad Belgium and the United States are the first to recognize the new president. Only China and the USSR show reserves. As colonized and ex-soldiers of the Police force Mobutu represents what likes the Belgian administration, it can cherish them in the direction of the hair as with the arrest of Lumbumba but it also knows that it needs the support of the Congolese populations and thus it makes of Lumumba the national hero, the first martyr of economic independence and it is on its behalf that the very powerful Belgian mining companies are nationalized in 1966. With Mobutu Congo is then the Trojan horse of American against the communist rise in Africa and particularly in Southern Africa. Mobutu accommodates in its capital the Angolan government in exile which fights for its independence, but the Communists of the MPLA will be excluded from it. The American assistance with the Angolan guerillas of the FLNA and the UNITA will pass by Congo.
In 1969, it makes crush a student's revolt. The corpses of the killed students are thrown in the common graves and 12 students will be condemned to death. The university will be closed during one year and its 2000 students enlisted in the army where, according to national television, “they learn how to obey and to close their mouths.”
It founds an authoritarian regime with sole party, “the Popular movement of the Revolution” and becomes the marshal-president in 1982 about it. One of its wishes is that the country finds its major culture, it is then the Recours to the authenticity (cultural decolonization). In 1971, “the year of the 3 Z”, it re-elects at the same time the country, the river and the currency under the name of Zaire. The same year, it imposes a traditional costume, creates a Zairean version of the Western costume: “the Abacost” (with bottom the costume) and it obliges the Zaireans to choose a name of African and local origin (not Christian), which it does itself while becoming Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Zabanga , i.e. “Mobutu the warrior who goes from victory in victory without nobody being able to stop it”. Mobutu also imposed the lingala, an important language of the west of the country by teaching in the schools and its popular speeches.
This “Cultural revolution” as well as the worship of the personality will be clearly inspired by the Communist regimes (Mobutu will be besides one of the last leaders to be invited by Ceauşescu, and will maintain the worship the personality after instructive visits in China Maoist and North Korea).
The first years, the mode will be very well seen on the international plan (in particular by the the United States), the gracious personality of the marshal-president and the natural resources of a little helping country. Zaire is then regarded as an example for all Africa. The foreign investors precipitate on the natural resources with which Zaire is richly provided. The Zairean State then launches a policy of great work, the " elephants blancs", which will give place to an important corruption of the political elites and administrative.
The fall of MobutuGradually, the methods of the mode and nonthe respect of the human rights discredit it with the eyes of the Démocraties.
Having based the development of Zaire on the model of an economy rentière, Mobutu can only note of them the disadvantages when a sudden fall of the courses of copper occurs. Bloodless public finances being of a blow, Mobutu launches Zaire in a suicidal policy of “Zaïrianisation” of the economy. This brutal nationalization of the economy saw the foreign heads of undertakings giving their keys to members of the Zairean army come to make apply the decree of zairianisation. The companies became thus for a breathless mode a good means of buying fidelities. Many recipients of the zairianisation, all close relations of the mode, took these companies for their personal properties without being concerned with their management. Corruption was thus increasingly endemic (one speaks for the mode mobutist about “kleptocratie”, literally “government by the flight”), degrading the economic situation and social crushing majority of the Zaireans in way dramatique.
As a pawn of American vis-a-vis progressing Communism, Mobutu sends into 1975 vis-a-vis the sudden military retirement of Portuguese in Angola, its troops to support the FLNA against the guerilla of the MPLA which already taken Luanda, the capital. 20.000 cuban soldiers will unload nevertheless in all speed with the help of Neto and will push back the troops of Mobutu. The situation worsens and Zaire is now implied in the cold war supporting the Angolan rebels (UNITA, FLNA) with the United States and the mode of apartheid vis-a-vis the Communists (MPLA, Cuba, the USSR). To destabilize Mobutu Neto will launch its famous gendarmes katangais in 1977 with Kolwezi. It is at the time of this operation that one will see the brittleness of the Zairean army. Separately the presidential guard well trained by Belgian officers, the others (45.000 men or more) absolutely undisciplined, under-equipped, badly are paid and flee the engagements. Mobutu will trace to him even the battle plans ignoring the councils of its more qualified officers. The populations katangaises support the gendarmes for ethnic reasons and of lassitude of the dictatorship and do not hesitate to collaborate against the troops of Mobutu. In fact the interventions Frenchwoman, Belgian, Morrocan woman, Togolese and of the Ivory Coast will save Mobutu and push back “the gendarmes”.
In 1986, an economic serious attack shakes the Zaire and accentuates a political crisis and a latent revolt, between people which is hungry and a chief multi-billionaire Mégalomane who used corruption as form of government. The ditch is dug between the small tribe of faithful (to which it chief gave favors) and the remainder of the pays.
But it is the unexpected end of the cold war with the fall of the Berlin Wall which will complete the mode mobutist. Deprived of its generous external supports which supported it like “rampart with Communism” since its accession with the capacity, Mobutu is found to some extent insulated vis-a-vis its interior opposition.
In 1989, it publishes Dignité for Africa? , a book of talks, within the framework of a fort expensive communication campaign.
In 1990, as in many other countries of central Africa, the popular discontent is growing and, in April 1990, Mobutu authorizes the multi-party system (the opposition will be able consequently to push it at the beginning). The national conference organized on the occasion becomes a true popular court denouncing the obvious drifts of the system mobutist. The interventions of Etienne Tshisekedi and other political opponents mark an essential turning since they are not followed of repression against their authors. With the eyes of the Zaireans, the “only Marshal of Zaire” did not have thus any more the capacity to oppress his people to ensure his capacity. The disastrous state of public finances of the country caused by the impéritie of the economic policies mobutists makes gradually lose with the system the means of feeding financially. Vilified in Kinshasa, Mobutu is withdrawn in its sumptuous palate, in the middle of the tropical jungle with Kawele near its native village. Its loneliness consequently becomes obvious, as well in Zaire as abroad where it does not profit any more but from the support of the France. Its disease still will reinforce this impression of weakness, incentive its opponents interior and its external enemies to intensify their actions.
In 1994, in spite of the division of the capacity with the president of the Parliament, the country is inserted in the crisis. This one worsens with the arrival of refugees Rwanda is fleeing initially the repression of the Génocide in Rwanda, and reducing starting from 1996 the progression of the Alliance of the Democratic forces for the Release of Congo, armed wing Congolese of the patriotic Front Rwandan and Uganda, taken along by Laurent-Desired Kabila. Those enter to Kinshasa the May 17th 1997, involving the final fall of the capacity and the escape of Mobutu Sese Seko, in spite of a last attempt at negotiation for the division of the capacity sponsored by Nelson Mandela on the Outenika ship. After having been neat during long months in Swiss and France, Mobutu Sese Seko dies the September 7th 1997 with Rabat of a Cancer of the Prostate and is buried there with the Christian cemetery, four months after its inversion and the accession with the capacity of Laurent-Desired Kabila, father of the current Head of the Congolese State (2006), Joseph Kabila. It leaves a country economically bloodless, in conflict with many adjoining countries for its richnesses and its space and in full civil war.
HeirsThe Mobutu marshal married twice. After the death of his first wife, Marie-Antoinette gbiatene gbiatibua, the October 22nd 1977, it married Bobi Ladawa on May 1st, 1980. Four of its sons resulting from its first marriage died: Niwa, Konga, Kongulu in September 1998 and Manda the November 27th 2004. Another of its sons, born from its second marriage, Nzanga Mobutu that Mobutu dissimulated under the name of Nzanga Fangbi announced in December 2005 its candidature for the presidential elections of June 2006, whereas Ghiala presents him to the legislative ones. One of his/her daughters, Yaki, is married with Pierre Jansen, a Belgian, with whom it had children, separated today.
As son-in-law of Mobutu, Jean-Pierre Bemba has during the Second war of Congo assured the heritage political his/her father-in-law, and accommodated within the Liberation movement of Congo of many former servicemen and top-dignitaries of the mode mobutist.
- President with the mutiples nicknames: Leopard of Kinshasa, Eagle of Kawele (Kawele, its residence inside the Equatorial forest), Marshal, King of Zaire and others.
- the hat in skin of leopard is a kind of crown bantou, the attribute of the kings, emperors or other aristocrats. In the tradition bantou, the leopard is regarded as an animal crafty one and its skin is crowned.
- Mobutu was owner of the Château Fund' Roy, with Uccle in area of Brussels of 1973 until its death. The construction of the castle was ordered by Léopold II and was completed in 1910.
- It holds the record moreover long life of representation on Banknotes, 32 years.
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