SOVEREIGNTY AND PERSONAL RULE IN ZAIRE.©
Zaire's (1) real political system operates outside conventions of formal
state sovereignty. As formal state bureaucracies collapsed under Zaire's
president Mobutu Sese Seko (1965-97), the country's ruler increasingly
exercised authority through control over markets, rather than bureaucracies.
Control became less territorial and more centered on domination of an
archipelago of resources that could be used to generate income and attract
powerful allies. Abjuring "development," administration became
incidental to the profitable exploitation of resources for personal gain.
Bureaucracies, feared the ruler, acquire their own interests and powers
(2). Rather than providing security to citizens, the regime held on to
power through opposite means. Even outsiders' recognition of Zaire's sovereignty
has become contingent to what are violent, essentially private commercial
arrangements as a means of exercising authority.
This reconfiguration represents a stark contrast to earlier characterizations
of Zaire's political system, particularly what Callaghy called a "Zairian
absolutism" of effective accumulation and exercise of patrimonial
control in the 1970s and 1980s within the framework of a centralized (if
ineffective) state administration (3) As reliable Cold War era outside
sources of income faltered, Mobutu's first response to crisis was to intensify
old strategies, consolidating power not through state structures, but
via patronage to loyal strongmen. His apparent monopoly over the distribution
of resources to a single patronage network discouraged him from innovating,
even as the pace of change quickened in the late 1980s. Strongmen quickly
discovered, however, that changing conditions brought them new opportunities
to profit on their own. Enterprising politicians used old positions of
privilege to take advantage of new opportunities and resources that came
with defection from the president's network. Yet how did Mobutu weather
for so long the collapse of not only Zaire's state institutions, but also
his presidential network of strongmen and aspiring politicians that really
ran Zaire before the 1990s? And after Laurent Kabila finally removed Mobutu
from power in May, 1997, how has the nature of state collapse under Mobutu
influenced Kabila's own construction of authority?
THE POLITICS OF RESOURCES IN ZAIRE
Global recognition of the sovereignty of the Zairian state was central
to Mobutu's political strategy, especially as this allowed him to attract
diplomatic support and foreign aid. As noted by Jackson, global recognition
of sovereignty bestowed such prerogatives on rulers of weak African states
(4). Beyond the Cold War era analyzed by Jackson, however, unquestioned
formal sovereignty also served the useful purpose of simplifying deals
with some foreign firms and creditors -- another key component of Mobutu's
politics. Such a view is consistent with analyses which concluded that
the exercise of political power in Zaire owes more to informal political
networks based upon economic control, rather than formal notions of proper
state behavior. As they stress, however, such political practices clashed
with economic efficiency (5). Yet from at least 1990, Mobutu discovered
that the contradiction between the exercise and consoldation of political
power, on the one hand, and economic inefficiency, on the other, rapidly
decreased his capacity to reward loyalty among associates. Changes associated
with the end of the Cold War aggravated this. He had to find a way to
fragment the power of increasingly unruly strongmen and do so while tapping
new sources of wealth. This strategy continues to be pursued by Laurent
Mobutu's success as a patrimonial ruler saddled him with an extensive
network of clients who exercised power in their own right. Mobutu later
managed this vulnerability with new non-bureaucratic strategies of rule
through manipulating market opportunities, even where actual sources of
accumulation were not under his direct control. For example, in 1976 Mobutu
gave the German firm Orbital Transport and Raketen, A.G. virtual sovereignty
over a 150,000 square kilometer portion of Shaba in exchange for rents
(6). Kabila later used this same strategy to oppose, then unseat Mobutu.
Mobutu left individual military units and commercial syndicates to forage
on their own, signaling what appeared to be the dissolution of Zaire.
Different factions jealously guarded useful territory and opportunity
from rival entrepreneurs. But competition among these groups reduced chances
of mutiny or coordinated attack on Mobutu. Individual strongmen appealed
to Mobutu for protection against local rivals even as they consolidated
virtually autonomous fiefdoms organized around commerce in diamonds, gold,
coffee, timber, cobalt and arms (7). This benefitted Mobutu insofar as
it forestalled resistance and contained challenges amidst collapsing patron-client
networks. Mobutu realized that his best chance for survival lay in using
opposition among factions of his patronage network to neutralize the network's
threat to him.
Mobutu used this method because it did not require a command hierarchy
that could acquire interests of its own and it obstructed rivals' attempts
to build their own organizations. The existence of multiple centers of
accumulation in Zaire facilitated this radical decentralization of politics.
An archipelago of copper, cobalt, gold and diamond deposits in parts of
the country leaves broad stretches of Afrique inutile that physically
separates some political groups. Because of the breakdown of rail and
road networks, mineral rich provinces like Shaba and Kasai do much more
business with southern neighbors than with Zaire's domestic market. Kivu
in the east has closer contact with Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda than with
most of Zaire. Collapsing infrastructure also encouraged Mobutu's associates
to exploit local opportunities rather than joining others to mutiny against
Mobutu. In this context ownership of air cargo firms highlighted contours
of political competition or alliances better than did formal agreements
or individuals' titles. Competition at these centers of accumulation for
control over trade is what left a political space for Mobutu to manage
crises. Sovereignty, then, is important to Zaire's state rulers as a license
to make deals with essentially private allies.
The pretense of Kengo wa Dondo (the Prime Minister and putative "official"
rival to Mobutu from 1994 to 1997) to implement reform and impose austerity
showed how benefits of sovereignty were shared while factions struggled
to control resources. As head of the "democratic opposition"
Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social (UDPS)
some outsiders treated Kengo as a "responsible" alternative
to Mobutu. Creditors saw in Kengo a sovereign interlocutor who acknowledged
debts and agreed to implement reforms. His status as a reformer positioned
Kengo to reap the benefits of manipulated liberalization to favor his
faction's power and attract foreigners interested in Zaire's resources.
Mobutu profited from Kengo's reputation as a reformer (global interlocutor)
when this attracted renewed creditor and foreign firm interest in Zaire,
giving Mobutu assets and relationships that he then used to support his
Political struggle focused on resources and trade, as opposed to formal
declarations of political authority or state institutions, has created
a special role for some mining companies in Zaire. These firms utilize
their unusual capacity to do business in this contentious political environment.
Their arrival reinforces the decentralization of Zairian factional politics,
since many of these firms become insinuated into local strongmens' political
strategies and share in the commercial benefits of Zairian state sovereignty.
Here, too, firms find that they can manipulate liberalization to attract
creditor support for their operations. Some even try to convince creditors
to subsidize their joint ventures with local strongmen! For these outsiders,
the cloak of Zaire's sovereignty helps conceal to others the extent to
which their deals are integral to the country's personal politics.
The specific features of decline after the Cold War's end and Mobutu's
response to this crisis highlights the innovative strategies that Mobutu
and his rivals used to reshape politics within conventions and formal
boundaries of Zaire that global society recognizes. As I will later detail,
these actions then imposed constraints and introduced opportunities that
influence Kabila's efforts to rule the country. But first, I examine how
Mobutu's rejection of conventional state building options and specific
features of his patrimonial politics reshaped Zaire's political economy.
MOBUTU ELIMINATED CONVENTIONAL STATE-BUILDING OPTIONS
Zaire boasts many commercial and diplomatic opportunities that can be
translated into political resources. Taking 1986 as a baseline, before
mineral exports began to fall precipitously, copper, cobalt, zinc, and
diamond exports of state-run firms generated $1.15 billion in the formal
economy. Coffee, the country's main agricultural export, added $80 million
(8). This left uncounted profits from money laundering, illicit exports
and the drug trade, which Mobutu translated into patronage when he exercised
direct control over the exchange of these goods. Trading a staunch anti-communist
stance for aid from superpower patrons netted him $448 million in 1986
(9). Visible non-tax resources at Mobutu's disposal thus stood at almost
$1.7 billion in 1986. Added to this was United States support for loans
from multilateral creditors in return for aiding UNITA rebels in Angola
and access to a Zairian air base at Kamina to resupply UNITA (10).
Mobutu was quite successful at incorporating creditors into his political
alliance during the 1980s. Callaghy observed that Mobutu masterfully manipulated
relations with creditors, alternating promises with brinksmanship to keep
loans coming (11). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) returned to Zaire
in 1983 after a five year absence, and proceeded to disburse $1.3 billion
to Mobutu's government over the next five years. A senior IMF official
in Washington resigned to protest what he claimed was improper US pressure
on the IMF to treat Zaire leniently in Paris Club debt negotiations that
granted Zaire a six year grace period on bilateral debt payments.
Creditor patience with Mobutu seemed almost limitless during the Cold
War. From 1976 to 1990, IMF officials devised 14 stabilization programs
for Zaire. Between 1975 and 1985, gentle treatment at Paris Club debt
renegotiations led to rescheduling $3.5 billion of Zaire's 1985 external
debt of about $7.5 billion. Mobutu also boasted personal ties to at least
one World Bank official. In one instance, he hired as his personal assistant
a World Bank official who had access to confidential information about
granting aid to Zaire (12)! This shows the extent to which Mobutu exercised
autonomy in these relations, rather than simply acting as a Cold War client
to France or the United States (13).
These resources underwrote Mobutu's patron-client network, giving him
control over the distribution of resources to loyal associates. The prevalence
of large, politically motivated projects in the 1970s and 1980s underscores
the importance of outside finance to sustaining Mobutu's patronage network.
The Inga-Shaba project, costing $1.5 billion in 1983 alone, typified this
reliance on external resources. The project included a hydroelectric dam
to supply electricity to mining areas in Shaba. Although electricity could
have been generated more cheaply closer to mine sites, the project provided
construction contracts for foreign firms, a return for US and French support
of Mobutu during revolts in Shaba, an area which supplied about half of
Zaire's mineral exports in 1977 and 1978 (14). Shaba's massive and inefficient
Tenke-Fungurume copper mine, designed to tie-in to the Inga project, typified
Mobutu's increasing reliance on exploiting natural resources with the
help of outsiders to accumulate wealth.
Mobutu's November, 1973 nationalization of large local firms further foreclosed
a political strategy based upon collecting revenue from entrepreneurs
supported with pro-growth economic policies. Mobutu instead expropriated
agricultural and commercial enterprises from mostly foreign owners, converting
them to political resources for the president to distribute to loyal associates.
Most beneficiaries had no managerial experience (15). The economically
destructive policy drove down the proportion of agricultural exports in
Zaire's foreign trade from 28 percent of total earnings when Mobutu took
power in 1965 to about 6 percent in 1990 (16). While providing commercial
agriculture properties for political clients, the policy gutted tax revenues
from agricultural trade, which declined from 61 percent of state revenues
in 1973 to 28 percent in 1978 (17).
This internal shrinkage of productive capacity, along with alternative
(foreign) partners, reinforced Mobutu's reliance on arrangements with
foreigners to run state-owned mines, the most promising remaining indigenous
source of wealth. Reliance on outsiders ended Mobutu's need to underwrite
expensive state bureaucracies, some of which had shown past tendencies
to become vehicles of secessionist movements. Exercising private control
over many of Zaire's resources with foreign help, Mobutu now safely abandoned
expensive clinics, schools and public works that served citizens but contributed
little to his stock of political resources. Rural areas no longer providing
much in the way of state revenues could be abandoned as political burdens
as Mobutu faced growing pressure to choose which clients would be patronized
and which would be jettisoned.
Mobutu's allocation of 2.1 percent of state spending to health and education
in 1990, versus 17.5 percent in 1972, reflects a rational choice from
the perspective of a weak state ruler (18). The destruction of agricultural
production for export also followed Mobutu's disinterest in cultivating
support among small agricultural producers and entrepreneurs in exchange
for revenue and legitimacy. Those who produced for export in the 1980s
thus faced extremely low official prices for their goods. For example,
the Zairian state marketing board that bought and sold coffee, Office
Zairois de Café, paid farmers seven cents per kilogram of coffee
in 1985 while smugglers paid 42 cents (19). Most of these marketing boards
disappeared by the early 1990s, as farmers smuggled produce or grew only
Meanwhile, the long-term shift of government expenditures to the president's
office reflects Mobutu's personal control over state resources (Chart
1). Yet World Bank statistics report lower percentages of state spending
under direct presidential control. For example, the World Bank reported
that 64.7 percent of Zaire's budget was reserved for Mobutu's discretionary
spending, versus a Zairian official report of about 95 percent in 1992
(20). A former Zairian official suggests that this discrepancy reflected
creditor efforts to portray Mobutu's corruption in the best possible light
to convince observers that perhaps Mobutu would support reform after all
and that debts were collectable (21).
CHART 1: Privatization of Government Expenditures (22)
Nonetheless, Mobutu's "privatization" of the state budget in
1990 coincided with growing impatience among creditors with Mobutu's unkept
promises of economic reform. In 1991, the IMF announced that Zaire lagged
on payments of $81.7 million to the organization and would receive no
new loans. Three years later the IMF expelled Zaire. This added to a rapid
increase of outside pressure on Mobutu, along with rising popular demands
for reform. Ironically, Mobutu's reaction was to still more radically
privatize the state itself. At first he did not abandon wholesale his
strongmen associates. Instead, he allocated almost no state expenditures
to social services or infrastructure after 1992, using the funds to replace
resources lost elsewhere.
This state retreat from citizens reflected the extent to which Mobutu
relied on his extensive personal networks rather than effective institutions
for regime survival. The extremely negative effects of Mobutu's rule on
most Zairians likely foreclosed a reversal, since official accountability
to popular needs would generate organized calls for him to leave office.
Most Zairians lived in an economy that had shrunken 40 percent between
1988 and 1995 and suffered inflation that rose to 23,000 percent in 1995
Twenty-five years after independence, only 15 percent of the roads inherited
from Belgian colonial rule remained passable (24). Guidebooks for foreign
travelers reserved lurid language for Kinshasa, warning that rampant day-time
banditry and rogue police exceeded the fabled dangers of Lagos. Visitors
provided tales of arduous travel up the Zaire River, evoking Joseph Conrad's
description of the impenetrable forests and a lassitude from which state
structures are absent (25).
As private control over state resources destroyed the productive capacity
of state agencies, Mobutu's ability to extract resources from the informal
sector assumed ever greater importance. Abjuring "development"
in any conventional sense, Mobutu now used state power exclusively as
a resource to help associates profit from clandestine trade, avoid taxation
and explore new rackets that manipulated state regulatory authority such
as passport sales, money laundering, and drug trafficking. These activities
generated considerable wealth. Estimates of exports of gold and diamonds
from Zaire in 1992, for example, suggest a trade worth a half billion
dollars annually (26).
Mobutu's intensified strategy of building political authority through
market control increasingly impinged upon local authorities who used access
to illicit trades to help themselves and their neighbors weather the collapse
of state institutions (27). MacGaffey and Vwakyanakazi show how community
trade networks that developed in the 1970s and 1980s contravened predations
of Mobutu's political network. Many of these entrepreneurs still had to
deal with local strongmen who used state office and ties to Mobutu for
extortion. But MacGaffey and others found that some operated independently
of political interference as a "civil society" capable of addressing
politicians (28), which would pose a threat to Mobutu's authority.
Financial and political stakes for the control of this trade were high.
Taking 1990 as a base, Mobutu controlled over three billion dollars. His
control over the output of state-run mining firms contributed one billion
dollars to his political resources. These and other state revenues devoted
to the president's office totaled $1.5 billion annually, rising in the
late 1980s to compensate for the decline in multilateral creditor lending.
Overseas development assistance in 1990 brought in $822 million, despite
Mobutu's deteriorating relations with creditors and donor governments
(29). These sources of income together generated only $1.121 billion in
1993 (Chart 2). Adding to this, Mobutu no doubt benefitted from Zaire's
half billion dollar diamond trade
Chart 2: Recorded Trade Originating from Zaire ($mn) (30)
* Overseas Development Assistance
and possibly from portions of a half billion dollar diamond and arms
trade between Zaire and Angolan UNITA rebels from the 1980s (31). Thus,
even if Mobutu controlled all of Zaire's trade and production, formal
and clandestine, he faced declining overall accumulation of wealth. Meanwhile,
foreign firms limited their investment in mining equipment, which cut
production in the formal sector even further.
Mobutu's dilemma was that he could intrude even more into clandestine
economies, but doing so generated ire on the part of strongmen and local
authorities who tapped these economies for their own benefit. Even then
he could not replace all lost political resources. Having weathered the
collapse of a bureaucratic state that many thought would be his downfall,
Mobutu now faced a true crisis: the serious recession of his patronage
system and the loss of external state support that Jackson (1990) attributed
to Mobutu's status as a sovereign ruler.
By 1990, Mobutu faced serious challenges to his ability to rule through
patronage. Foreign state officials not only ended their support for Mobutu,
many openly backed his rivals. Belgium, France and the U.S. now pressured
Mobutu to begin political and economic reforms. A key Belgian socialist
party leader, Ronald van den Bogaerd, openly supported Etienne Tshisekedi,
a long-time Mobutu rival, as an alternative to the president (32). Even
formerly supportive French officials condemned Mobutu's regime, cutting
aid in 1991 to about $100 million, one-third the level of aid two years
earlier. French President Mitterand promised that "French aid will
be conditional towards authoritarian regimes and more enthusiastic for
those beginning a democratic transition" (33).
Impatience among U.S. officials posed even greater problems for Mobutu.
The U.S. Undersecretary of State for Africa, Herman Cohen, criticized
Mobutu in testimony before the U.S. Congress in 1991. Zairian reformers
seized on these statements, and those of Melissa Wells, the U.S. ambassador
to Zaire, to indicate that U.S. officials expected a democratic transition
in Zaire (34). U.S. official ire at Mobutu, however, focused on Mobutu's
inability to service his debts to the U.S. government, which, under provisions
of the Brooke Amendment, required that the U.S. Congress cut off aid.
Soon after, the World Bank broke with Mobutu. The immediate cause was
Mobutu's appropriation of $400 million from Gécamines, the state-run
copper mining conglomerate, and his refusal to allow an audit of the firm's
books. The break with the U.S. and the end of South African and U.S. backing
for his alliance with UNITA rebels in Angola deprived him of a key clandestine
patronage resource, and reduced his capacity to manage his associates'
clandestine diamond mining and arms transfer businesses with Angola (35).
Mobutu appeared to bend to domestic and outside pressure to reform in
April, 1990 when he announced the legalization of independent opposition
parties. The convening of a national conference in Congo across the river
from Kinshasa appeared to provide a model for reform. Zaire's conference
opened in Kinshasa in August 1991, under the leadership of Archbishop
Laurent Monswengwo Pasinya, known for his neutrality and apparent lack
of political ambition. Television and radio carried live debates that
culminated in the formation of a Haut conseil de la Republique (HCR),
which was expected to negotiate a hand over of power from Mobutu to Tshisekedi,
the conference's choice for interim leader. Students protests in 1990,
along with foreign condemnation of Mobutu's repression of them, generated
even higher popular expectations of change.
Tshisekedi's rise as an opposition figure at first appeared as a formal
legal challenge to Mobutu's authoritarian rule. More serious for Mobutu,
Tshisekedi's visibility, a Luba-Kasai from diamond rich Eastern Kasai,
revived old struggles to control resources. Tshisekedi achieved fame earlier
as a dissident parliamentarian in 1980 when he and twelve others charged
the army with the massacre of over 300 diamond miners in Eastern Kasai.
Since then, Mobutu's military allies and businessman associate Bemba Saolona
had used official positions and alliances to exploit diamonds in this
region and control trade routes that lead from UNITA-held diamond fields
(36). Threatening this network's access to state prerogatives, Tshisekedi
tried to use technocrats to run Zaire's Central Bank. Mobutu summarily
dismissed Tshisekedi, prompting critics to respond with a Union sacrée
(Sacred Union) of opposition parties.
Like sovereignty, formal political opposition needs to be understood in
the broader context of disintegrating patron-client politics and extreme
de-bureaucratization. Multiparty politics did not merely signal the surfacing
of factions. Instead, factions marked the end of the more centralized
patronage network, Schatzberg's "State as Bandit", in which
rivals position for the scramble to parcel out resources (37). De-bureaucratized
patrimonialism instilled an individualistic, acquisitive "capitalist
lifestyle" of a Zairian sort. For example, a booklet from Mobutu's
era entitled Devenez Riche Rapidement (Get Rich Quickly) advised
with apparent official sanction "liberating the mind of all doubts
as to the legitimacy of material wealth.... A man is more of a man when
he has more wealth (38)." This became politically explosive in the
Zairian context, since "officially" sanctioned private accumulation
among strongmen is easily converted to autonomy by a ruler and the freedom
to make their own arrangements with outsiders.
Mobutu faced a serious contradiction. He could use security forces against
his rivals to disorganize them, but effective military units could remove
him in his weakened state. Yet to do nothing would encourage his opponents.
He chose the former. Student protests and the HCR conference were met
with army looting and attacks on opponents in 1990 and 1991. Mobutu could
do little more than incite rather than command troops, since most soldiers
Violence had costs for Mobutu too. Looting and the destruction of the
remaining infrastructure prompted foreigners to leave the country. Copper
and cobalt production began radical declines. Unable to attract loans
and without maintenance crews, machinery stopped. Banking services collapsed,
making formal economic activity almost impossible. Recession of Mobutu's
patronage resources was in full swing. Equally significant were shifts
in who controlled exports, a matter examined in detail below.
By 1992, Mobutu had become highly vulnerable. Comparing this to Mobutu's
patrimonial domination in the 1970s and 1980s, Crawford Young called this
the "shattered illusion of the Integral State." Recognizing
the unsustainability of Mobutu's course, he wrote that "surely a
reinvented Zaire, whatever name it will bear, will be grounded in a relationship
between state and civil society profoundly different from that imported
by the integral state (39)." But state-building through significant
ties to broad societal groups appeared very unlikely in anything but Zaire's
long-term future. Mobutu still had recourse to alternative strategies
which would weigh heavily in Kabila's reconfiguration of Zaire's sovereignty
and political economy.
MOBUTU'S CRISIS MANAGEMENT
Mobutu resorted to short-term measures to reverse the decline of his control
over resources, and thus political authority. In 1992 he purchased banknotes
from a German company to pay troops, by-passing the Tshisekedi controlled
legislative council for fiscal matters. This led to hyperinflation, with
the national currency, the zaire, declining to 110 million to the dollar
in 1993. In Kinshasa, Tshisekedi's HCR issued a currency of its own, competing
to control the benefits of economic activity. Use of a particular version
of the country's currency became an indicator as to which rival authority
one obeyed. It also signaled a desperate attempt on the part of Mobutu
to hold on to instruments of patrimonial control, even while he was not
in a position to accumulate wealth.
Mobutu's long-run problem lay in reasserting political authority amidst
declining resources. His patronage network would fragment in any event
as he lost his capacity to match his old rate of payouts. Much of the
(unpaid) army disappeared by the early 1990s, for example, declining from
a peak of 70,000 in the mid 1980s to close to 20,000 (40). His first step
was to give new roles to specialized security forces. Through decentralizing
the military, Mobutu bent to the reality of radically declining patronage
resources. In a vast country with many centers of accumulation he could
more easily tolerate their private mining or trade rackets. Each unit
jealously watched the other while struggling to control wealth of its
own. Organizations that once served the ruler's, if not the state's, interests
became more exclusively self-interested commercial syndicates.
The Guarde Civile, for example, counted 10,000 men under the command
of General Kpama Baramoto. A close associate of Mobutu, the general expanded
his role in clandestine trade after 1992, especially in Kivu where he
ran gold and diamond mining operations (41). This faction exploited ties
with outsiders on its own, a feature central to the breakdown of state-centered
patronage systems. By 1996, Baramoto was involved in a joint venture with
U.S. owned Barrick Gold Corporation to mine in Bunia, Baramoto's base.
Barrack also provided funds to refurbish a local airport, filling in for
Baramoto's unwillingness to spend money on local infrastructure (42).
A local airport no doubt helped Baramoto, who needed transportation to
keep close track of his diamond mining operations in Kasai and his stakes
in air cargo companies. Bunia's airport also helped cement Mobutu's ties
with outside allies when Sudan's regime, for example, used the airport
to ship weapons to Ugandan insurgents (43).
Rather than threatening Mobutu's control, this situation gave him the
capacity to interfere with the diamond trade in Tshisekedi's home base
in Kasai and helped attract clandestine trade from UNITA-held areas in
Angola into Baramoto's hands. Joint military-UNITA mining operations allegedly
spread to Angola itself. In Kasai, Baramoto's soldiers protected LIZA,
a diamond mining venture owned by Mobutu's son Manda. This syndicate operated
several mining ventures where soldiers guarded alluvial miners who clandestinely
gathered diamonds within Miniére de Bakangwa (MIBA) mine sites
(44). Since Mobutu's Kasai-based opposition now controlled MIBA, these
operations deprived this political faction of resources.
Other units went into business. Mobutu's Division Spéciale Présidentielle
(DSP) under Gen. Nzimbi Ngbale Kongo shipped cobalt from Shaba province
to Zambia, in coordination with Kyungu wa Kumwanza, Mobutu's governor
for the province (45). Mobutu indirectly benefited from ties between Kyungu
and another old crony from Shaba, Nguza Karl-I-Bond. Mobutu could not
block this faction's separatist tendencies under their Union des federalistes
et republicains independants (UFERI). Although unable to control their
actions directly, he could use them to deny his rivals in Kinshasa and
elsewhere of access to Shaba's resources. Kyungu reportedly enlisted South
African militias, including Inkatha units to help protect and run mining
operations on his own (46). Kyungu and his allies also targeted immigrants
who shared Tshisekedi's Luba-Kasai origins, seizing their property, distributing
it to local supporters and sending perhaps a million into flight back
to Kasai (47). This undermined a united opposition or an alliance of separatists
against Mobutu. Similar attacks by "local" people against immigrants
of Rwandan origin occurred in north Kivu, with support from Mobutu and
his associates (48).
This divide-and-rule strategy gave considerable leeway to military organizations
to act as private armies. While unable to reward allies directly, Mobutu
encouraged units to commit acts of violence against opponents to create
a climate of distrust and instigate local conflict. Even the Kinshasa
government got in on the loot in 1996, supporting a decree stripping Zairian
citizenship from people of Rwandan-Tutsi ancestry and directing them to
give up their property (49). Like private armies in former Yugoslavia,
loosely organized militaries used exemplary terror; for example, mutilated
captives were sent back to their communities, to create fear of troops
and promote flight.
This minimalist strategy fragmented political authority, "inviting"
exit from the polity of those no longer useful to a ruler after stripping
them of what assets they possessed (50). Cheap and easy to employ, it
created a stability based on balancing contending forces without the need
for a bureaucratic military organization. It also shows how disorder in
Zaire was not anarchy, but rather the result of deliberate strategy designed
to preoccupy, destroy and disorganize rivals, rather than seize territory
or control institutions, which Mobutu's regime would have been incapable
of holding and administering in any case.
Mobutu remained in power and thus prevented Tshisekedi from establishing
an independent authority to move against him, despite Tshisekedi's more
populist character and his location in the capital. Meanwhile, Mobutu
used what resources remained to him to buy off critics, pay off supporters
and defectors from the Union sacrée, and entice some notable
men to serve as ministers.
By June, 1994, the HCR compromised with Mobutu's old parliament, merging
under Kengo wa Dondo, a former Mobutu ally. A technocrat, Kengo attracted
backing from creditors and some foreign officials. This consolidation
of Mobutu's position came just in time for Mobutu to exploit opportunities
to further buttress his powers arising out of the Rwanda crisis in 1994
and the sudden expansion of new foreign mining firms into Africa. This
new alliance made Mobutu's presence much more palatable to his former
associates who now opposed him, since Kengo appeared much less hostile
to Mobutu than had Tshisekedi and thus less likely to hold their former
ties with Mobutu (and their ill-gotten wealth) against them.
Dividing internal opposition did not restore the old sources of wealth
that Mobutu enjoyed in the 1970s and 1980s. For this, he would need outsiders
to help exploit Zaire's natural resources, or provide pay-outs. By 1994,
outside help was scarce. The French government backed away from the now
isolated Tshisekedi early in 1994. The 1992 election of Clinton in the
U.S. brought no new initiatives to punish Mobutu, but left him bereft
of support in the White House. Meanwhile, Belgian officials still refused
to deal directly with Mobutu (51). This external political rejection served
to cut off most aid and loans to Mobutu. Perhaps the divide-and-rule strategy
would have become less relevant in Zaire as Mobutu's control over resources
diminished further, but sudden developments in the region gave him more
leeway to gain access to new, cross-border sources of wealth and alliances
that preserved bonds between Mobutu associates and rivals alike.
CASHING IN ON DIPLOMACY
Mobutu's isolation eased as the Revolutionary Patriotic Front (RPF), an
army of Rwandan exiles, advanced deep into Rwanda from Ugandan territory
in October, 1993. French military forces flew 150 men stationed in the
Central African Republic to Kigali, Rwanda's capital, to defend the incumbent
regime. Belgian forces contributed 400 paratroopers to the intervention.
Emphasizing coinciding interests with his old patrons, Mobutu sent several
hundred troops from his DSP which had acted loyally on his behalf during
Zairian army mutinies in 1991 and 1992. In contrast to the European troops,
the DSP troops actually battled the RPF (52). Unconcerned about domestic
popular opinion opposing intervention, Mobutu offered political and military
services to French politicians who would otherwise face political criticism
at home for such direct action.
Mobutu provided French officials with a rear base for their troops who
arrived to protect foreigners when Rwandan president Habyarimana's regime
crumbled against the RPF onslaught. This helped reintegrate Mobutu back
into Central African and global diplomatic circles. His support for French
goals also pleased French officials concerned about the RPF's links to
outsiders hostile to French clients in Africa. Some RPF leaders had fought
with Ugandan president Museveni's guerrilla forces a decade earlier, helping
him to come to power. From the perspective of some in the French government,
Museveni appeared as an "anglo-saxon force of instability."
France's Minister for Cooperation, Jacques Pelletier, seemed especially
attached to the view that "Uganda is only a pawn of anglo-saxon imperialism
and the RPF is simply a marionette of Kampala" (53).
French officials broke with Belgian rejection and American coolness toward
Mobutu and met him at his home in Gbadolité in April, 1994 at the
height of the Rwanda crisis. This meeting opened new diplomatic channels
for Mobutu. Herman Cohen, former U.S. undersecretary for African Affairs
under President Bush attended the meeting. As head of the private Global
Coalition for Africa, Cohen received World Bank financing to help mediate
political conflicts on the continent. Michel Aurillac, a former Minister
of Cooperation and later an Africa advisor to President Chirac, attended,
as did Jacques Foccart, a former advisor to DeGaulle and eminence grise
of France's Africa policy (54).
Mobutu's foreign contacts expanded to include South Africa's secret service
chief. He also attracted the interest of private U.S. political advisors.
Barbara Hayward, a former Reagan and Bush advisor, and Cohen's business
partner, James Woods, former Secretary of State for Defense for Africa,
met with Mobutu in December, 1994 after Mobutu engaged Woods' and Cohen's
public relations firm to represent him in the United States (55).
Mobutu gained considerable local political benefits from his reconciliation
with French foreign policy officials. Eastern Zaire, especially the Kivu
area, is culturally and economically tied to East Africa. Given the presence
of a large population of Rwandan ancestry in the east with ethnic ties
to the RPF, the RPF victory in Rwanda posed a threat of greater informal
regional ties, weakening the hold of Mobutu and his associates over Kivu.
This prompted Mobutu to instigate violence between refugees, the local
population and potential separatist politicians in Kivu, as he had done
earlier (56). Mobutu also shared French suspicion of Uganda's president
Museveni who backed (English speaking) Rwandan forces. Mobutu's reconciliation
with foreign backers encouraged some of his domestic opponents to compromise,
agreeing to a "conclave" to merge the rival legislatures, replacing
Tshisekedi with Kengo. The choice of Kengo as Prime Minister also gave
Mobutu more control over affairs in Kinshasa. With a Polish father and
part-Rwandan mother, Kengo lacked ethnic connections that gave Tshisekedi
an autonomous powerbase. Kengo's isolation increased further with violence
in Kivu, since his mother comes from the disfavored "outsider"
Mobutu's reconciliation with France paved the way for France's military
Opération Turquoise intervention into Rwanda in late June,
1994, as the RPF captured the Rwandan capital. French politicians labeled
this intervention, managed from Goma in Kivu province, a mission to stop
remnants of the old government, still entrenched in western Rwanda, from
continuing to massacre Tutsis. This operation helped establish Mobutu
in the diplomatic world as a principle player in Central Africa and garnered
him an invitation to the Franco-African summit in Biarritz in November,
1994 (from which the new Rwandan regime was excluded), thus ending Mobutu's
diplomatic isolation from France.
Mobutu even hosted his own "summit meeting" on the Rwanda issue
in Gbadolité in late 1994. France gave Mobutu leeway now to play
a domestic game without institutions or even new material patronage. He
instead allowed allied anti-Tutsi ethnic extremists exiled from Rwanda
to organize on Zairian territory. His willingness to allow humanitarian
organizations to supply refugee camps also gave extremist groups access
to resources that they used to feed their fighters and distribute to their
supporters in camps. This prolonged the refugee crisis to Mobutu's benefit
since extremists joined "original inhabitants" to attack "outsider"
In August, 1995, Kengo's government moved to expel Rwandan refugees, some
of whom armed themselves to fight the Rwandan regime and to intimidate
local refugees and Zairians. At first, this appeared to threaten Mobutu's
political balancing act. Reports allege that the wife and brother-in-law
of the president of the defeated Rwandan regime, both now supporters of
the extremists, accompanied Mobutu to China in November, 1994 to buy arms
(58). These ties, solidified during the earlier DSP intervention into
Rwanda, reflected DSP links to Rwandan militias in exile in Zaire.
Even though expelling refugees would have helped defuse Mobutu's game
of aggravating ethnic tensions, outsiders decided that changes in Mobutu's
behavior, not Kengo's, would encourage Rwandan refugees from Zaire to
return home. Kengo's and the HCR's hostility toward Rwandan refugees brought
condemnation from aid agencies that feared another unorganized exodus.
This translated into new promises of aid, which could then be used as
political resources to destabilize political groups in Kivu.
At the same time, those anxious to protect the Rwandan RPF government
had to deal with Mobutu to block destabilizing expulsions of refugees
from Zaire. Mobutu used opposition to expulsions as a diplomatic weapon
against the Rwandan government, to serve French patrons, and reinforce
his own position as sovereign of Zaire in global eyes.
By 1996, Mobutu had completed his diplomatic rehabilitation, at least
in French eyes. In April he met French president Jacques Chirac on French
soil, a meeting arranged through the Cellule Africaine, a bureau
in Chirac's office that manages relations with francophone African leaders
(59). The head of the Cellule, Michel Dupuch, was a protege of
Foccart, one of Mobutu's strongest personal supporters in the French foreign
policy establishment. The meeting dealt with Zairian arms sales to rebels
in Burundi, the head of which had personal ties to Mobutu's Gbadolité
entourage (60). Mobutu used these ties and foreign concern about Hutu
exiles from Burundi in the same way that he used Hutu refugees from Rwanda
to manipulate internal and external actors for his personal benefit. The
normalization of Mobutu's global status (despite arming Hutu militias)
attracted bilateral aid. German officials later visited Gbadolité,
offering an ECU 84 million aid package (61).
NEW PROFITS IN RELIGION AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
While Mobutu used his ties to foreign governments to exploit concerns
about possibile state collapse in Zaire and instability in Central Africa,
he also used his status as globally recognized ruler of Zaire to attract
foreigners who had little interest in maintaining global norms or advancing
official policy. These foreigners included religious and business entrepreneurs,
both of whom played important roles in helping Mobutu refashion his transition
from a disintegrating patronage network as a basis of authority. Clients
of a sort, they benefited from Mobutu's status as ruler of a sovereign
state to pursue their activities that had much to do with personal profit.
More significantly, ties with foreign religious organizations attracted
to profitable opportunities in Zaire gave Mobutu new means to regulate
domestic rivals in the spiritual, as well as the commercial world. Mobutu
used these and other firms to help him secure acceptance among members
of the increasingly fractious "Troika" (Belgium, France, and
Mobutu vainly sought further rehabilitation with a U.S. visa to attend
the United Nation's fiftieth anniversary celebration in New York in late
1995. Along with Cohen & Woods, he engaged the lobbying firm of conservative
activist Paul Erickson to procure a visa (62). As former political director
of Pat Buchanan's 1992 presidential campaign, Erickson had visibility
in Washington. Jack Abramoff joined Erickson in this venture. Abramoff
provided contacts of his own from his previous position as executive director
of the conservative lobby group Citizens for America and national president
of College Republicans (63). Abramoff's contacts may have been broader
yet. A South African truth commission report in 1996 alleged that (unknown
to Abramoff) some of his political activities in the 1980s were financed
by South African intelligence networks to promote right-wing American
political activists' claims that the African National Congress was a communist
front organization (64).
Mobutu allies also included Henri Damas Ombga, a Cameroonian businessman
accused of illegal drug and arms dealing (65). Other contacts included
a delegation of French businessmen who visited Gbadolité in 1996,
and advanced Mobutu's cause among commercial networks recruited to the
campaign to undermine diplomatic pressure on his regime (66).
Mobutu's relationship with 1988 U.S. presidential candidate and evangelist
Pat Robertson revealed a more innovative private diplomacy that reached
beyond conventional public relations firm or lobbyist efforts. Mobutu
recruited Robertson to his quest to secure a U.S. visa. More importantly,
Robertson brought to Zaire his African Development Company (ADC), active
in diamond, timber, gold, and power generation businesses. This commercial
venture operated alongside Robertson's Operation Blessing, billed as a
humanitarian relief effort for Rwandan refugees in eastern Zaire. Operation
Blessing included more obviously commercial ventures as well, running
a 50,000 acre farm near Kinshasa.
Robertson justified the profit-seeking nature of his religious venture
as part of his efforts to generate cash for relief work (67). He adopted
the fashionable rhetoric of "sustainable development" to attract
contributions and depict his business operation as a non-governmental
organization (NGO) providing social services.
Mobutu also commercialized charity with the appointment of Tonga Boki,
his old head of the old state-run labor union, to run an "NGO union"
to coordinate "private" activity and solicit overseas support
(68). Foreign religious charities also were used to undermine home-grown
religious-based political opposition groups in Zaire, some of which received
inspiration from the leadership of Catholic Archbishop Monsengwo, who
gained popular respect for his intransigent anti-Mobutu stance. To counter
Monsengwo's popularity, Mobutu used 1990 measures liberalizing media to
attract U.S. television ministries. Pat Robertson's fiery preaching appeared
alongside that of fellow U.S. evangelist Jimmy Swaggart, suggesting that
the downtrodden should accept their lot in this life and expect relief
in the next.
The evangelizing-commercial spirit spread to Mobutu's entourage. Honore
"The Terminator" Ngbanda, once Mobutu's intelligence service
head, now "Brother Ngbanda," ran a Christian cafe and appeared
on television giving Bible sermons (69). Mobutu's visitors included Reverend
Moon, Jehovah's Witnesses, and various American Baptist and Pentecostal
groups (70). Moon's interest extended to mass conversions in the military
and in FLEC, a separatist movement in Angola's Cabinda enclave under Mobutu's
patronage. Moon's organization also appears to have run a logging company
FOREIGN FIRMS FILL IN FOR THE MISSING STATE
While Mobutu's regime fell into serious arrears on debts, he managed to
maintain contacts with creditors so long as they looked favorably upon
Kengo's austerity efforts. The HCR accepted plans to reduce state employment
from 600,000 to 50,000 and trim the size of the army (72). Kengo thus
took political responsibility for unpopular and harsh austerity measures,
while Mobutu benefited from tentative contacts with creditors anxious
to receive payments. Meanwhile, Mobutu manipulated creditor prescriptions
necessary to reach a comprehensive agreement with the IMF for the profit
of his political network.
IMF officials made clear that future loans depended upon establishing
a free market in Zairian currency. Accordingly, several ethnic Lebanese
diamond dealers associated with Mobutu's entourage proposed that their
Qualitoles Company set up exchange bureaus in cooperation with the Central
Bank of Zaire. Qualitoles was to sell dollars below informal market rates,
with the central bank paying the difference between Qualitoles' rate and
the unofficial market rate. The plan was promoted as a way to lower unofficial
exchange rates as private traders competed with Qualitoles to sell dollars.
Instead, Qualitoles sold "cheap" dollars to Promodiam, a mining
company made up of ethnic Lebanese Zairian diamond dealers and an Israeli
military trainer for Mobutu's DSP with close ties to DSP head, Gen. Nzimbi.
Promodiam's directors used this cash to expand their activities in Zaire's
artesianal diamond mining industry (73). Together with Guarde Civile
head Baramoto's LIZA, these two controlled 35 percent of recorded 1996
diamond sales (74). Promodiam also used its "cheap" dollars
to buy imports to supply to local traders. This arrangement turned "reform"
into a state subsidy of Promodiam's and Sozabanque's private trading and
diamond mining businesses and helped finance greater Mobutu clique control
over Zaire's illicit diamond business that accounts for 70-80 percent
of the country's diamond industry (75).
Pointing to broader business dealings, United States Drug Enforcement
Agency officials detected U.S. banknotes in Zaire suspected to have come
from the Colombian drug trade (76). Such illicit wealth could be recycled
through Qualitoles and the central bank, later leaving the country as
diamonds for sale abroad. For Mobutu, money laundering could promote control
over the illicit diamond trade to support loyal traders, generate income
to buy arms, and attract illicit diamond trading from neighboring states.
Zairian and French reports point to the success that Mobutu associates
found in redirecting the diamond trade from Angola's UNITA rebel group
during the 1990s into Zaire (77). This helped finance Mobutu's arming
of extremists among Rwandan refugees, influence rival and loyal commercial
networks, and consolidate ties to associated foreign commercial networks.
Interlocking air cargo routes and the companies that fly them traced these
transactions, and are thus a more accurate indicator of the business of
politics in Zaire than are formal reform programs or pronouncements from
Kinshasa or Gbadolité (78). These and other natural resource trade
networks would become a focus of struggle when rebels challenged Mobutu
Greater payoffs with foreign investment and normalized relations with
creditors required a new, innovative strategy. Creditors demanded radical
privatization, along with promotion of foreign investment to boost production
and revenues to pay debts. This coincided with Mobutu's need for alliances
with larger, better financed foreign firms with greater capacity to negotiate
with outsiders on behalf of his failing state bureaucracy, and eventually,
seize resources directly as organizations like the state-run mining conglomerate,
Gécamines, collapsed. Creditors smoothed this tansition when they
argued that privatization would remove mineral resources from Mobutu's
political control and harness the country's main source of foreign exchange
for economic reform. Instead, Mobutu used commercial ties to new foreign
investors to monopolize resources and exploit the presence of firms to
Mobutu's chance to both satisfy creditors and advance his political control
over rivals came with the Swiss Procurement Company's, (SWIPCO) proposal
to privatize Gécamines (copper and cobalt), Miba (diamonds), Kilomoto
(gold), and telecommunications to a consortium of South African, French,
Canadian and American firms in mid-1995 in one fell-swoop. The unprecedented
offer to privatize all of Zaire's large-scale mining ventures promised
that foreign investors would revitalize production (with Mobutu and his
associates as business partners). The SWIPCO proposal also revealed the
extent to which Kengo associates appeared in deals alongside Mobutu's
allies. SWIPCO's director, for example, earlier provided Kengo with a
private jet. SWIPCO also had ties to SICPA, a company that appeared in
the Qualitoles deal with Mobutu's associates and had printed currency
that Mobutu privately commissioned when Tshisekedi threatened to eliminate
presidential control over central bank operations (79).
SWIPCO proposed to pay Zaire's $475 million arrears to the African Development
Bank to release $600 million in new credits to upgrade enterprises targeted
for privatization. The deal was designed to recruit African Development
Bank (ADB) support (Zaire held half of all arrears to ADB in 1995). SWIPCO
would take over state assets, which they would refurbish with capital
provided by state guaranteed loans, with SWIPCO and Zairian officials
to receive a commission for procuring the new loans (80).
IMF officials disapproved of the deal, however, since it treated the ADB
as a privileged creditor. IMF practice is to see its own loans paid off
before approving new credits or reform policies needed to attract other
creditors and investors. In spite of this, the IMF sent a consultation
mission to Kinshasa in December, 1995, which reported "very encouraging"
findings and a token $3 million debt payment from the Kengo government
After SWIPCO, privatizing state-run enterprises occurred in a piecemeal
fashion. A U.S. mining firm, for example, bid to take over OKIMO (state-run
diamond mining firm) operations. It promised to rebuild a local airport
in Kasai, currying favor with officials there. At the same time, the foreign
firm negotiated with Mobutu associates to make a longer-term deal. Meanwhile,
a Polish firm used Kengo associates to negotiate with Kasai officials
to refurbish an OKIMO power station, in exchange for payment in coffee
The state-run Gécamines copper mines attracted the greatest foreign
attention. Once generating $900 million and 10 percent of the globe's
copper production, Gécamines operations had fallen into decrepitude.
Kipushi mines, located in Shaba, became a useful tool for Mobutu to influence
local political struggles. The Kipushi project, intending to make Zaire
into a major zinc producer, involved American Mineral Fields (AMF). Mobutu
associate Pay Pay wa Kasige brokered the deal between South African and
American investors who acquired Kipushi project rights as part of a larger
AMF also participates in a joint venture with South Africans to mine diamonds
in Angola's Cuango River area (84). If AMF's Sierra Leone and Angola operations
set the pattern for Mobutu's business in Zaire, this firm's association
with the security firm International Defense and Security (IDAS) seemed
able to provide its own security. That is, the profitable mineral venture
provided corporate alliances and financing for its own private protection.
In this deal, AMF was able to edge out the more established Anglo American
corporation. Local beneficiaries of the proposed venture included separatist-minded
strongmen who now behaved more loyally toward their president who negotiated
deals with foreigners. This permitted Mobutu to come to an accommodation
with politicians like Nyungu in Shaba, who found that association with
a ruler of a sovereign state still translated into personal gain.
Shaba's Tenke-Fungurume mine also attracted foreign investors. A Canadian
firm met with Kengo to discuss their interest in the site. It faced a
formidable alliance of Australian and South African firms that proposed
to invest up to $1.5 billion to bring production of copper to over 100,000
tons per year (85). The Canadian firm signed an agreement, proposing a
55 percent joint venture with Gécamines, thereby positioning itself
to take control of a part of Gécamines that Mobutu no longer had
the capacity to personally control.
CHANGING USES OF SOVEREIGNTY
These deals left Mobutu more freedom to divide and rule his enemies and
rivals in a manner similar to strategies seen among private Bosnian Serb
armies. In Zaire, battles between forces organized by Mobutu (and Kengo)
allies in Kivu mobilized people to attack Zairians of Rwandan Tutsi origin.
This eased Mobutu's task of recruiting local supporters and Hutu refugees
who fled Rwanda in 1994. Mobutu even proposed to allow these pro-Mobutu
"insider" outsiders to vote in elections scheduled for May,
1997 (86). Like Mobutu, Bosnian Serb strongman Radovan Karadzic harnessed
aspirations of local strongmen as central authority collapsed. Weapons
and tacit support went to looting operations that targeted victims on
the basis of ethnicity. Instigators of conflict operated with little formal
organization and could plausibly deny responsibility. Inhabitants evacuated
communities, leaving behind assets, becoming easy targets for extortion
as they fled (87). Yet, with international support, rulers of recognized
states retained the benefits of sovereignty, even as some used tacit alliances
with strongmen and their private armies to keep rivals at bay and protect
outsiders. Yugoslavia and Zaire also provide examples of local struggles
over resources that reinforce ethnic divisions and break down multiethnic
alliances, undercutting moderates who challenge rulers as people seek
protection in revived or newly discovered communal ties. Those who threaten
the ruler directly are more easily isolated, co-opted or eliminated (88).
As in Yugoslavia, this method of control in Zaire was compatible with
the rise of enterprising ethnic strongmen who pioneered a de facto
stealthy secession as a consequence of their new-found autonomy. Like
Bosnia's ethnic politicians, informal, low-key separation made no demand
for global recognition of the extinction or birth of a sovereign entity.
Zaire's sovereignty remained as a political asset for Mobutu in this fashion,
despite the nearly total collapse of bureaucratic capacity and then of
Global recognition of Zaire's sovereignty still left incentives for Zairian
rivals to acknowledge a state within its old colonial boundaries. Arguably,
some local authorities in Zaire (and in Bosnia) possess capabilities to
create separate states by virtue of de facto control. Yet the current
attraction of existing sovereignty as a political resource gives strongmen
in both places strong incentives not to challenge the sovereignty of recognized
states, even if the reality on the ground is quite different.
Uncontested sovereignty adds to their local capacity by leaving in place
a framework that gives those associated with it the capability to enter
into a full range of international agreements. Non-state actors, including
foreign firms, hide partnerships with strongmen behind the shield of recognized
state sovereignty. State sovereignty also simplifies questions concerning
legitimacy of contracts, insurance, and adherence to laws in the firm's
home country. In Zaire, this meant access to deals that firms negotiated
with Mobutu's regime. Unchallenged formal state sovereignty also leaves
in place an interlocutor who acknowledges debts and provides a point of
contact between foreign state officials and strongmen without raising
politically disturbing questions of recognition.
One saw this dynamic in the stealthy secession of Zaire's provincial authorities.
Ethnic Rwandan rebels in Kivu, along Zaire's border with Rwanda, voiced
no irredentist or secessionist desire outside of occasional utterances
of field commanders who reflected on their de facto control on
the field of battle. Shaba's and Kasai's authorities refrained from declarations
of independence, despite extensive cross border alliances and hostility
to authorities in Kinshasa.
Sovereignty sustained through coincidence of these mutual interests now
remains as one of the few resources left to a very weak Kinshasa regime
under Kabila's control. Both parties have no incentive to disrupt tacit
agreements with strongmen in the provinces. This extensive decentralization
of authority effectively reduced the Mobutu clique, and now, Kabila, to
warlords, since they too must scramble to control rivals through primarily
commercial, almost entirely non-bureaucratic means, bolstered with whatever
resources and alliances their status as rulers of a sovereign state give
them. This balance based on the foundation of state sovereignty also permits
fluidity in local alliances. Regional strongmen did business with Mobutu
associates, for example, as they fought other members of that clique on
a different front. Officials of foreign states were relieved to still
encounter a recognizable state in which one day rulers might have the
will and capacity to fulfill international obligations. With Mobutu's
replacement by Kabila, they remain anxious that the regime in Kinshasa
serve as an interlocutor.
Paradoxically, Zaire's de facto dissolution shows that state formation
is still very much a matter of law, not of de facto capacity. Sovereignty
in even a very weak state proves to be not only very important, but also
unexpectedly divisible internally. The key to this arrangement lies in
the absolute status of Zaire in international law, short of total dissolution
or some new configuration which would have to be arranged against the
short-term interests of many outsiders who prefer the post-independence
framework of Africa's sovereign states, weak though they may be.
Zaire's continuing sovereign status contributes to the simultaneous fulfillment
of material and political interests of different groups. The structure
and nature of Zaire's politics also belies expectations of anarchy or
a major reordering of states as a consequence of bureaucratic and patrimonial
Herbst predicts that weak state rulers in Africa will refrain from inter-state
war as a solution to perpetual weakness, portending prolonged stagnation
(89). He correctly points out that barriers remain to changing frontiers
(which he decries), but this view glosses over the considerable cross-border
connections and informal regionalization that exists within the current
context of formal sovereignty. Furthermore, this takes place under the
umbrella of, and with resources derived from, sovereign status that many
thought would forestall major change. This reinforces the notion that
sovereignty is contextual and that this condition promotes (as it masks)
a wider range of differently constituted units in the global state system.
It shows that in Zaire, changing uses of sovereignty, not Mobutu alone,
preserved Zaire from dissolution (90).
RESOURCES AND INSURGENCY
Despite Mobutu's status as head of a sovereign state, some foreign investors
found his informal demands and incapacity to control associates to be
a fundamental obstacle to doing business with him (91). The frustration
of some investors coincided with that of rulers in neighboring states
who faced the cross-border effects of Mobutu's alliances with clandestine
networks. For example, Mobutu's partnership with extremist Hutu exiles
from 1994 posed a security threat to the Rwandan regime. Mobutu associates'
diamond dealing with UNITA rebels helped finance UNITA's war against the
Angolan government. Ugandan rebels received supplies from Sudan via the
airport at Bunia that serviced gold mining there (92).
This created a conjunction of interests such that when Kabila emerged
as head of his Alliance des Forces Democratique pour la Libération
(AFDL), he had little trouble finding foreign anti-Mobutu allies. Kabila's
strategies, however, show remarkable continuity with Mobutu's, with an
even greater emphasis on external partners in lieu of a domestic patronage
network grafted onto a state administration. Kabila recieved help from
Angolan and Rwandan troops and Ugandan weapons (93). Salim Saleh, the
Ugandan anti-insurgent leader and brother of the president, for example,
expanded his business reach to include a gold mine in Kisangani after
the AFDL capture of the area (94). These arrangements also showed the
reluctance of neighboring rulers or internal insurgents to dissolve Zaire,
instead resorting to regional networks to achieve their aims.
Once he appeared successful, Kabila became an attractive alternative commercial
partner to Mobutu. The increasingly competitive nature of the mining business
in Africa, with many new firms adapted to doing business in tough places,
generated a broader range of potential partners for the rebel war leader.
Kabila recognized the centrality of resource exploitation to his war effort,
and welcomed foreign firms, provided they paid a "war tax" of
15 percent of projected investment (95). Kabila appointed his brother
(Florent Kambale Kabila) as "Mining Minister" to collect fees.
He appointed another brother, Gaetanka Kakudji, as governor of the mineral-rich
Shaba province. Kabila developed some commercial expertise of his own
as a rebel leader since the 1960s. Well before his successful campaign
in 1996-97, he presided over the Compagnie Mixte d'Import-Export (COMIEX),
a venture with private merchants and Kabila's pre-AFDL Parti de la
Revolution Populaire. This firm tapped into cross-border trade in
coffee and gold to Uganda and other neighbors to the east before the rebel
war began (96).
Larger cash injections to Kabila's war effort came from outsiders. The
AMF signed a new billion dollar deal with Kabila in April, 1997, providing
a cash payment and a jet to transport the rebel leader's associates (97).
This was a calculated risk on AMF's part. The renegotiated deal excluded
the more established former partner Anglo-American, which could not take
the risk of dealing with rebels for fear of unsettling rulers of other
weak states where it has investments. AMF garnered additional benefits
in the form of rights to buy diamonds in Kisangani, a $100,000 daily trade
after rebels captured the city (98). The state-run MIBA reportedly provided
Kabila with an additional $3.5 million in April, 1997, after rebels carried
off the head of the firm to the eastern part of the country after capturing
him in Mbuji Maye (99).
These and other deals were critical for encouraging additional investors
to do business with Kabila and establish his credibility in outsiders'
eyes, turning him into a person who could engage in commerce and assume
the sovereign state's fiscal responsibilities. The apparent stability
that followed from acknowledgement of external obligations of the state
and willingness to participate in global markets encouraged creditors
and officials in other states to view Kabila as an alternative to anarchy.
These relations continue the focus on the outward aspects of the state,
not the changes of politics within it. Specifically, anti-Mobutu social
action within is ignored and aspects of warlord politics are accepted,
so long as they accord with external interests.
Other places in Zaire, however, present an alternative to this strategy
of finding weak state stability in a reworking of the politics of Mobutu's
successor. Eastern Kasai, and especially the city of Mbuji-Maye, is a
center of autonomous development efforts and separatist tendencies. The
city has its own university, established in 1990 with funds from local
operations of MIBA, the state-run mining company. The city government
works with the Catholic Church to run the university, which set up a geology
faculty with help from the Belgian firm Sibeka, owner of 20 percent of
MIBA. Among the city's feats is a plan to expand the capacity of the near-by
Lubilanji hydro station to generate electricity that government authorities
fail to provide. Local officials and businesses took steps to institutionalize
autonomous development, creating CODEKOR, or the Conference for the Development
of Eastern Kasai (100).
Closer examination of Mbuji-Maye's economy reveals considerable ties to
commercial networks that knitted together Mobutu and Kengo political associates,
as well as a local struggle to keep these networks at arms length. MIBA
head Mukamba Kadiata Nzemba billed himself as a "friend" of
Mobutu's even though MIBA helped underwrite the local university. Local
MIBA operations included joint ventures with foreign firms that operated
in areas under more solid Mobutu control, but also exclusive ventures
with foreign firms to increase local autonomy to exploit resources. Swanepoel,
a South African engineering firm, demonstrated the political-private commercial
nature of Kasai separatism, with its infrastructure projects benefiting
Kasai. In return, Swanepoel appointed a member from its firm to the board
of CODEKOR. Infrastructure development in this more purely autonomous
manner threatened the Mobutu faction's hold on illicit diamond mining,
since local miners and Angolan dealers had easier access to Mbuji-Maye.
Kasai autonomy also changed regional strategic calculations. Kasai authorities
were more interested in peace in Angola to protect independent access
to Angola's ports and railways, versus Mobutu's interest in strengthening
UNITA's diamond trade.
But ominously, Kabila's selective moves against firms appeared to target
and rein in this regional autonomy. Otherwise quite open to deals with
foreign firms, Kabila moved in May 1997 to disrupt the South African railroad
deal, as he did the locally run diamond mining business (mentioned above).
These actions do not interfere with Kabila's overall "free market"
(actually, controlled, but private and profitable market) approach as
a whole. This does not bode well for Zairians expecting local autonomy.
Instead, it continues the politics of control through manipulating access
to accumulation with help from private foreign firms in lieu of a state
In the process, Kabila squeezes Kasai strongmen who try to stand as popularly
accountable actors, insofar as they competed to control commerce, but
seemingly for broader popular benefit. Since local strongmen identify
popular legitimacy and provision of social services as valued goals, they
are forced to build their authority in more conventional ways, striving
to create efficient internal revenue and development bureaucracies. Why
this is so bears closer examination of internal Kasai politics that is
beyond the scope of this article.
Prospects for the survival of this experiment do not look promising, as
outsiders help Kabila establish control over the territory of Zaire (Congo).
The problem for Kasai is not the larger country of which they are a part.
It is instead that the reassertation of control and its manner of application
is not decided by those who live under it. Kabila deserves some blame
for political choices that limit the possibilities of people in his country.
But outsiders -- foreign firms, creditors, officials in other states --
share responsibility when they act with unorthodox internal methods to
preserve the outer form of a sovereign state.
(1) For clarity's sake and my emphasis on the Mobutu era, I refer to
the country as Zaire, though it was renamed the Democratic Republic of
Congo in May 1997.
(2) A point derived from Joel Migdal, Strong Societies and Weak States,
Princeton: Princeton University, 1988.
(3) Thomas Callaghy, The State-Society Struggle: Zaire in Comparative
Perspective, New York: Columbia University, 1984, 141-232.
(4) Robert Jackson, Quasi-states: Sovereignty, International Relations
and the Third World, New York: Cambridge University, 1984, 141-232.
(5) Callaghy, State-Society, 3-137; Jean-Claude Willame, governance et
Pouvoir: Essai sur trois trajectoires africaines,Paris: L'Harmattan, 1994,
(6) Crawford Young & Thomas Turner, The Rise and Decline of the Zairian
State, Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1985, 387.
(7) Sennen Andriamirado, "Les nabobs," Jeune Afrique,7 Feb
1996, 25-78. (8) International Monetary Fund, International Financial
Statistical yearbook, Washington, D.C. IMF, 1990.
(9) World Bank, 1992 World Development Report, New York: Oxford, 1992,
(10) Colette Braeckman, Le dinosaure: Le Zaire de Mobutu, Paris: Fayard,
(11) Edward Pound, "IMF, World Bank Aide Has Dealings Hinting at
Conflict of Interest," Wall Street Journal, 28 Dec 1990. See also
Erwin Blumenthal, "Zaire: rapport sur sa credibilité
financière internationale," La Revue Nouvelle, 77:11 Nov 1982,
(12) Edward Pound, "IMF, World Bank Aide Has Dealings Hinting at
Conflict of Interest," Wall Street Journal, 28 Dec. 1990. See also
Erwin Blumenthal, "Zaire: rapport sur sa credibilité financière
internationale," La Revue Nouvelle, 77:11 Nov 1982, 360-78.
(13) Braeckman, Le dinosaure, 145-7.
(14) Jean Claude Willame, L'épopée d'Inga, Paris: L'Harmattan,
1986; Pierre Péan, L'argent noir, Paris: L'Harmattan, 1988, 161-6,
Braeckman, Le dinosaure, 222-30.
(15) On Zairianization, David Gould, Bureaucratic Corruption and Underdevelopment
in the Third World: The Case of Zaire, New York: Pergamon, 1980; Crawford
Young & Thomas Turner, The Rise and Decline of the Zairian State,
Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1985, 326-62.
(16) Banque du Zaire, Bulletin Trimestriel, Kinshasa, March 1991, 9.
(17) Banque du Zaire, Rapport annuel, Kinshasa: Banque du Zaire, various
(18) World Bank, World Development Report 1992, New York, Oxford: 1992
(19) Kisangani Emizet, "Zaire After Mobutu: A Potential Case of
Humanitarian Emergency," paper for World Institute for Development
Economics Research, Helsinki, 6-8 Oct 1996, 21.
(20) Compare World Bank, World Development Report 1992, 238 against Central
Bank of Zaire, Rapport annuel, (Kinshasa: Banque du Zaire, 1992), 19.
(21) Interview with former Zairian official, 7 Oct 1996.
(22) Banque du Zaire, Rapport annuel, various issues.
(23) Economist Intelligence Unit, Zaire, 1st quarter, 1996, 19.
(24) John Ayoade, "States without Citizens," Donald Rothchild
& Naomi Chazan, eds., The Precarious Balance: State and Society in
Africa, Boulder: Westview, 1988, 196.
(25) Blaine Hardin, Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent, New
York: Norton, 1990, 25-60; Helen Winternitz, East Along the Equator: A
Journey Up the Congo and into Zaire,
NewYork: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1987; Paul Hyland, The Black Heart: A
Voyage into Central Africa, New York: Paragon House, 1990.
(26)"Zaire," Mining Journal, 26 Jan 1996, 23.
(27) Janet MacGaffey, ed., The Real Economy of Zaire, Philadelphia: University
of Pennsylvania, 1991. See also Tom De Herdt & Stefaan Marysee, L'économie
informelle au Zaire, Paris: Harmattan, 1995 .
(28) Janet MacGaffey, Entrepreneurs and Parasites: The Struggle for Indigenous
Capitalism in Zaire, New York: Cambridge,1987; Mukohya Vwakyanakazi, African
Traders in Butembo,
Eastern Zaire (1960-1980), Ph.D. Dissertation, Madison: University of
(29) World Bank, World Development Report 1992, 214.
(30) Figures refer to origin of trade and thus include known clandestine
transactions. International Monetary Fund, International Financial Statistics
Yearbook, Washington, DC: International Monetary Fund; Knight-Ridder Financial
/Commodity Research Bureau, The CRB Commodity Yearbook, New York: John
Wiley & sons; UNCTAD, Commodity Yearbook, NewYork: United Nations;
United Nations, International Trade Statistics Yearbook, New York: United
Nations; various issues of Mining Journal and Marchés Tropicaux.
(31) Interviews with members of Angolan Chamber of Commerce and an official
of the World Bank, Washington, D.C., June-July 1996.
(32) "Quelles sanctions contre Mobutu?" La Cité [Brussels],
11 Feb. 1993, Braeckman, Le dinosaure, 279-315.
(33) Christian Casteran & Hugo Sada, "Sommet de la Baule,"
Jeune Afrique, 27 June 1990, 15. See also Jean-Claude Willame, "Zaire:
Années 90," Cahiers du CEDAF, 1(1991); Jean-François Bayart,
"France-Afrique: La fin du pacte colonial," Politique Africaine,
(34) "Accréditation du nouvel ambassadeur des États-Unis
au Zaire," Elima [Kinshasa], 13 June 1991.
(35) Emmanuel Dungia, Mobutu et l'argent du Zaire, Paris: Harmattan,
1992; François Misser & Olivier Vallée, Les Gemmocraties:
l'economie politique du diamant Africain, Paris:
Desclée de Brouwer, 1997.
(36) Joseph Ngalula Mpandajila, "Lettre ouverte au Citoyen Président
Fondateur du Movement Populaire de la Révolution, "Politique
Africaine, 3 (Sept 1981), 94-140; "Angola/Zaire: End of the Diamond
Connection," Africa Energy & Mines, 5 April 1995.
(37) Michael Schatzberg, The Dialectics of Oppression in Zaire, Bloomington:
Indiana University, 1988, 53.
(38) Quoted in Basil Davidson, The Black Man's Burden, New York: Times
Books, 1994, 259
(39) Crawford Young, "Zaire: The Shattered Illusion of the Integral
State," Journal of Modern African Studies, 32:2 (June 1994), 263.
(40) Emizet, "Zaire After Mobutu," 16
(41) "Zaire: Military Operation," Africa Confidential, 20 Sept
(42) "Barrick-Okimo in Firm Deal," Africa Energy & Mining,
28 Aug 1996.
(43) "Zaire: Digging In," Africa Confidential, 3 Jan 1997.
(44) Interview, UNITA Representative, Washington, D.C., 20 June 1996,
"Debeers Exports as much as MIBA," Africa Energy & Mining,
8 Jan 1997.
(45) Sennen Andriamirado, "Zaire: l'état néant,"
Jeune Afrique, 18-24 Sept 1996, 31-4.
(46) "Zaire I: Dual Control," Africa Confidential, 16 April
1993; "Zaire: The Long Goodbye," Africa Confidential, 6 March
1992; Interview, Washington DC, 6 June 1996.
(47) Fall Jean Karim, "La province zairoise de l'ex-Katanga continue
de rever d'autonomie," Le Monde, 30 Dec 1995, Braeckman, Le dinosaure,
(48) Colette Braeckman, "Le Zaire de Mobutu, 'parrin' des Grands
Lacs," in André Guichaoua, ed., Les crises politiques au Burundi
et au Rwanda (1993-1994), Paris: Karthala, 1995,
(49) Anzuluni Bembe Isilonyonyi, Le Haut Consiel de la Republique Parlement
de Transition, Resolution sur la Nationalité, (Kinshasa, 28 April
(50) As Albert Hirschman noted in his Exit, Voice, and Loyalty, Cambridge,
MA: Harvard University, 1970, 26-9, that inefficient organizations may
promote exit of dissatisfied
"customers" under conditions of monopoly.
(51) "Zaire: Deserting a Sinking Tshisekedi," Africa Confidential,
29 July 1994.
(52) Gerard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, New York: Columbia University,
(53) "Ouganda: Paris voit rouge," Lettre de l'Ocean Indien,
14 May 1994. Also see Gerard Prunier, "The Great Lakes Crisis,"
Current History, June 1997, 193-99.
(54) "Zaire/Ouganda: la guerre secrête," Lettre du Continent
[Paris], 28 April 1994.
(55) "Zaire: Opération 'Leopard,'" Lettre du Continent,
19 April 1994; Gérard Prunier, The Rwanda Crisis, 317-8.
(56) Jean-Pierre Pabanel, "Conflits locaux et stratégie de
tension Nord-Kivu," Politique Africaine, 52 (Dec 1993), 132-4.
(57) Steven Metz, Disaster and Intervention in Sub-Saharan Africa: Learning
from Rwanda, Carlisle Barracks: U.S. Army War College, 1994; African Rights,
Humanitarianism Unbound? Current Dilemmas Facing Multi-Mandate Relief
Operations in Political Emergencies, London: African Rights discussion
(58) Human Rights Watch - Arms Project, Rwanda/Zaire: Rearming with Impunity,
Washington, D.C, Human Rights Watch, 1995; "Bears Guard Honey,"
Africa Confidential, 17 Feb 1995.
(59) "Mobutu Chez Chirac," Le Soft, 25 April 1996; "Mobutu
à L'Elysée," Jeune Afrique, 1 May 1996, 4-5.
(60) "Great Lakes 2: The Balance of Forces," Africa Confidential
1 Nov 1996.
(61) "Bonn normalise déjà avec le Zaire," Le Soft,
7 Oct 1996.
(62) Thomas Lippman, "Seeking US Visa, Mobutu Enlists Friends,"
International Herald Tribune, 7 Aug 1995.
(63) Kin Key Mulumba, "Mobutu-Clinton: contact normalisé,"
Le Soft, 19 Aug 1995.
(64) Washington Post, 6 Aug 1995; Government of South Africa, Interim
Truth Commission Report, (Pretoria, June 1996).
(65) DDK, "Mobutu: chronique d'une réhabilitation," Le
Soft, 11 Oct 1995; George Moffet, "US Taps African Despot for Help
in Rwanda," Christian Science Monitor, 23 Aug 1995.
(66) "Bye bye la Troika, bonjour la France," Le Soft, 25 July
(67) Carole Collins, "Zaire Remains Africa's Heart of Darkness,"
National Catholic Reporter, 32:15 (Feb 1996), 9-14. See also Jeffrey Marishane,
"Prayer, Profit and Power: U.S. Religious Right and Foreign Policy,"
Review of African Political Economy, 52 (Nov 1991), 73-117; James Adams,
"Mobutu Champion Enrages Washington," New York Times, 20 Aug
(68) "Zaire: Les Grosses Légumes," Africa Confidential,
15 Dec 1995.
(69) Chris McGreal, "Zaire's Miracle Man Runs Out of Luck,"
Guardian, 7 May 1996.
(70) Kilolo Ngwalumuna, "la secte Moon reçoit la visite de
songourou," Le Soft, 16 Nov 1995.
(71) Personal communication, Amsterdam, 7 Nov 1996; from a Liberian logger,
London, 5 March 1997.
(72) "Bemba haut de GAMM," Lettre du Continent, 22 Dec 1994.
(73) "Zaire: Jump in Diamond Exports," Africa Energy &
Mining, 6 Sept 1995; Katupa Nkole, "SCIPA-Mines et le scandal de
l'UZB," Le Soft, 7 Aug 1995.
(74) "New Diamond Export Regulations," Africa Energy &
Mines, 29 May 1996.
(75) "Zaire: Baisse de la production de diamant," Lettre du
Continent, 10 Nov 1994
(76) Economist Intelligence Unit, Zaire, 4th quarter 1995, 24.
(77)"Le saviez-vous" Jeune Afrique, 20 March 1996, 18; "Un
Israélien de Kinshasa poursuivi par la police congolaise?" Le
Soft, 25 March 1996.
(78) Sennen Andriamirado, "Les nabobs," Jeune Afrique, 7 Feb
(79) Kin-Kiey Mulumba, "Rebondissement dans l'affaire des privatisations,"
Le Soft, 28 July 1995. Lettre du Continent, 25 July 1996; Thomas Turner,
"Zaire: Flying High Above the
Toads: Mobutu and Stalemated Democracy," John Clark & David Gardinier,
eds., Political Reform in Francophone Africa, Boulder: Westview, 1997,
(80) "Zaire: AAC to Call the Shots," African Energy & Mining,
24 May 1995
(81) Interview, Washington D.C. official, 16 Oct 1996.
(82) "Barrick-OKIMO in Firm Deal," Africa Energy & Mining,
28 Aug 1996, "Polish Equipment for Zaire Coffee," Africa Energy
& Mining, 10 May 1995.
(83) "Heart of Anglo," Africa Confidential, 7 June, 1996.
(84) Kenneth Gooding, "Voisey's Bay Man Aims to Repeat Successes,"
Financial Times, 26 Sept 1996; "Lundin Widens Its Interest,"
Africa Energy & Mining, 24 July 1996.
(85) "Major Companies Court GCM," Africa Energy & Mining,
17 Jan 1996; "Conclusive Decision on Tenke-Fungurume," Africa
Energy& Mining, 4 Dec 1996.
(86) See Colette Braeckman, "Zaire at the End of a Reign,"
New Left Review, 222 (June, 1997), 129-38.
(87) Peter Maass, Love Thy Neighbor: A Story of War, New York: Knopf,
(88) V.P. Gagnon, Jr., "Ethnic Nationalism and International Conflict:
The Case of Serbia," International Security, 19:3 (Winter 1994/5),
(89) Jeffrey Herbst, "War and the State in Africa," International
Security, 14:4 (Spring 1990), 117-39.
(90) Contra U.S. official policy outlined in Michael Schatzberg, Mobutu
or Chaos: The United States and Zaire, Lantham, MD: University Press of
(91) Michael Ledeen, "African Scenarios: The Future of Zambia, Zimbabwe
and Zaire," Cobalt 94: Opportunities, Problems and Survival Strategies,
Vienna, VA, Nov 1994 [photocopy], Interviews with mining executives, Denver,
CO, March 1996.
(92) "Zaire: Digging In," Africa Confidential, 3 Jan 1997.
(93) Jean Boyne, "The White Legion: Mercenaries in Zaire,"
Jane's Intelligence Review, 9:6 (June 1997), 278-81.
(94) "Africa: New Fingers on Zaire's Trigger," Africa Confidential,
9 May 1997.
(95) Alliance des Forces Democratiques pour la Libération, "Le
Commissariat general a l'Economie et aux Finances aux Compagnies 'amies.'"
[photocopy, no date].
(96) "MIBA and Its 'War Effort,'" Africa Energy & Mining,
16 July 1997; "New Underground Trade Routes," Indian Ocean Newsletter,
22 March 1997; "Zaire: Kabila Yaka!" Africa
Confidential, 11 April 1997.
(97) Stefaans Brummer, "Business at War for Zaire's Wealth,"
Mail & Guardian, 25 April 1997; Chris Gordon, "Kabila Dumps DeBeers,"
Business Mail, 2 May 1997.
(98) "Diamond Miners Seethe," Africa Energy & Mining, 16
(99) "MIBA and Its 'War Effort,'"
(100) "Kasai Takes Off," Africa Confidential, 19 Jan 1996;
"Zaire: SA Companies Grab Opportunities in Eastern Kasai," Southscan,
12 Jan 1996, 15.