Mobuto Sese Seko has been, ever since the start of his political career and up until his removal from power, a British agent. He started his political career in the wake of the Congo's independence on 30th June 1960, as defence minister in Patrice Lumumba's coalition government. Lumumba for his part was an American agent, and it was down to his efforts and the efforts of his movement "The National Congolese Movement" that the Congo managed to gain independence from Belgium. However, his movement failed to gain an absolute majority in the elections and he was forced to form a coalition government. Less than three months into independence, Mobuto conspired with the republic's president Joseph Kasavubu and Britain's infamous agent, Katanga's Prime Minister Moise Kapenda Tshombe, against Lumumba. Mobuto staged a military coup, arrested Lumumba and handed him to Tshombe, who killed him in January 1961 and threw his body in the jungle. France's relationship with Mobuto was merely cultural, because the Congo is a francophone country. France has virtually no investments in the Congo and trade between the two countries is limited. America's relationship with Mobuto remained hostile since he ousted her agent Lumumba. America was biding her time in order to either oust him or to flare up a fresh rebellion against him. Lumumba's comrades assumed during the first six years after independence a host of rebellions or attempts at rebellion. However, Mobuto managed to crush all these attempts and the rebels disbanded and dispersed in the jungle. Mobuto continued to resist the American influence, not only in the Congo, but also in the neighbouring countries. He sided with the apartheid regime of South Africa alongside Unita, the British organisation, against the pro American regime in Angola. He also backed the rebels against Yoweri Museveni in Uganda. When the Tutsi rebels, backed by America, seized power in Rwanda in 1994, Mobuto sided with the Hutus. He set about training and arming the Hutus living in the Congo and inciting them to attack Rwanda. Last autumn, the governor of the Kivo province of the Congo ordered the deportation of more than 300 to 400 thousand Tutsi from the Congo, despite the fact that they had settled in East Zaire in the 18th century. This action sparked the rebellion which in the space of seven months, brought Kabila to power and deposed Mobuto. So who is Laurent Kabila? And what are the circumstances surrounding his rise to power? Laurent Kabila is not a Tutsi, he is from the Katanga province which was a Belgian colony. He studied philosophy in France and returned to the Congo just before independence, i.e. when the revolution for independence was at its highest. On his return, Kabila joined an organisation in Katanga known as "The North Katanga Council". This organisation was known to be supportive of Lumumba; however it was not part of his organisation which was known as the "National Congolese Movement". When Lumumba was assassinated in January 1961, Kabila started to build bridges with Britain's agent, the separatist Moise Kapenda Tshombe, who at the time declared the secession of Katanga. In 1963, Lumumba's two comrades, Pierre Molili and Antoine Gizenga resumed the revolution. They established the National Assembly for the Liberation of Congo, so Kabila returned and pledged his support for them. At the beginning of 1964, Kabila and his friend Jastum Somalio, declared a revolution in south Congo, known as the Simba revolution (i.e. the lion). The activity of this revolution was separate or parallel to the activity of the National Assembly. In 1969 the celebrated revolutionary Che Guevara came from Cuba in order to make the Congo a springboard of a revolution to engulf the whole of Africa. He visited the camps of the Simba fighters, and he was impressed by Kabila's statement that the main enemy was the American imperialism. However, after a series of meetings between him and Kabila and his party, Che Guevara realised that these people were not fit for armed struggle, for Kabila never established a real revolution, nor did he establish the possibility of launching real revolutions. In his memoirs, Guevara mentioned that no one ever saw Kabila in the battlefield and that he used to spend his time womanising and drinking, and not leading a revolutionary war. He described Kabila's men as being nothing but parasites who had no idea whatsoever about firearms, and that most of them carried rare diseases. Guevara realised that his stay was not welcomed by Kabila, to the point where Kabila used to hate Guevara's visits to the battlefront. Guevara left the Congo for good in November 1965, i.e. six months later due to his frustration. In November 1967, Kabila established with his friend Homalio the Revolutionary party in the Katanga province, after they had visited China seeking assistance. This party undertook a token resistance merely to please China, who demanded some action in return for the money she was paying. The people of Katanga have no good word to say about this party, because it sided with Moise Tshombe against his rival, the popular leader Jason Sandoi. Since 1967, Kabila disappeared from the Congo to wander around the European capitals, especially Paris, where he had built a villa during the years of the revolution, while the followers of Lumumba were fighting. From this review of Kabila's life history, we find that he managed to register his name in the revolutionaries list and to wear their uniform, but he did not perform any of the real revolutionary work against Mobuto, to the point where he was trying to prevent Che Guevara from fighting, and when things became serious, he used to side with Tshombe. In order to justify his lagging behind when it came to fighting, he was quoted as saying that the educated person who gambles with his life and dies in the battlefields is either insane or a dreaming romantic; hence, the mission of the educated person is to persuade others to die for the sake of his dreams. He was known to be busy making money, stealing and smuggling, and setting up companies to finance his pleasures and desires. Therefore, if this were his revolutionary life when the Congo was riding the revolutionary wave, his conduct in the present revolution which deposed Mobuto is contrary to that. He started this revolution as an eloquent speaker and showed some brilliant organisational skills. This contrast confirms the fact that in the sixties, Kabila was not serious about his revolutionary work against Mobuto and that he was hired by the British to plot against Lumumbists. If that is the case of Kabila, how did he manage to ride the current revolution to seize power in the Congo, though America was behind it? By reviewing the events of the current revolution, we find that it started last October when the Tutsi who had emigrated to East Congo 200 years ago initiated a rebellion in defence of their rights of settlement. Rwanda saw in this rebellion a golden opportunity to get rid of the Hutu crisis, thus she started supplying the rebels with weapons and personnel and inciting them to attack the Hutu camps in the Congo in order to force them deep into the jungle and away from the Rwandan border, so that they no longer posed a threat to her. Suddenly Kabila appeared on the scene to lead the rebellion and turn it into a revolution. What helped Kabila to ride the revolution was the participation of the rally between the People's Revolutionary Party and the Tutsi in this revolution, because Kabila was the founder of this party back in 1967, and the Tutsis in the east and the south of the Congo were allies of Kabila in the sixties. Kabila started his journey as a spokesman for the alliance, then later as its president. Although the revolution started to spread to the east and the south of the Congo, Mobuto remained in France and his government failed to undertake any effective measures to curb it or to work towards removing its causes, by giving the Tutsis their rights. It became clear that Mobuto's illness was serious and that he was on the brink of death. Supplies started to flow towards the rebels from America and her agents, the Congo's neighbouring countries, Rwanda, Angola, and Uganda. They did so in spite of Mobuto and in revenge for his hostile stands towards them. What also motivated these countries was the loyalty of some leaders of the revolution to America, such as Kisasi Negandu who belonged to Lumumba's tribe. Andre Kisasi defied Kabila's leaders, so his fate was liquidation and he was killed in strange circumstances. America is also hoping that the Rwandan Tutsi leaders will be able to buy the loyalty of the Congolese Tutsi America and South Africa competed with each other to intervene and settle the crisis. Hence, America sent her U.N. envoy Bill Richardson, while Nelson Mandela and his deputy Tabombili, started a series of shuttle diplomacy. Before the fall of Kinshasa, Mandela succeeded in bringing together Mobuto and Kabila aboard a warship in South Africa, and agreement was reached stipulating that Mandela would draft a ten point agreement to be signed at a second meeting. The agreement stipulated that once Mobuto relinquishes power, he would remain in the Congo, and that he would enjoy all the mandates of a former president, with all the perks and privileges and the due respect. Mandela drafted the agreement and waited with Mobuto at the agreed time but Kabila refused to attend. Nevertheless, Mandela succeeded in facilitating the entry of the rebels to the capital without any bloodshed in the wake of Mobuto's departure. By scrutinising the events and the circumstances surrounding the revolution, one realises that Mobuto acted as if the revolution did not concern him. He did not negotiate with the rebels, nor did he fight them properly. One also realises that the revolution started as a rebellion and developed into a revolution to liberate East Congo, then into a revolution to rid the Congo of Mobuto's regime. This development of events coincided with the confirmation that Mobuto's illness was critical and that his chances of recovery were very slim. This raised the issue of his succession. The rule of Mobuto was autocratic and dictatorial. He did not allow the rise of any politicians or leader in the Congo; hence, the sudden departure of Mobuto was set to generate a political vacuum that no other person from his staff could have filled especially as the Congo was plunged into ethnic and tribal strife. The only prominent politician is Etienne Tshisekedi, who is an American agent, he is a shrewd politician and one of Lumumba's followers since the sixties. However, Kabila never contemplated handing him the reins of power in the Congo though America was seeking this. Although Kabila gave the impression that he was pro-American, he in fact was since the start of his revolutionary career a British agent. The French cooperation minister denied the statement that France has lost and that America had won, and that Mobuto was a French agent while Kabila was an American agent.
Reliable French media sources commented that France does not have the influence that people had imagined over Mobuto, for the Congo is no more than a francophone country, and that America does not have the influence that people had imagined over Kabila. In its issue dated 12th May 1997, the U.S. magazine Newsweek wrote: "Kabila will not be the permanent successor to Mobuto, for after one year of interim rule, elections will take place to select the new Congolese leader, then Kabila will yield the reins of power to assume most probably the defence portfolio, while the former Congolese Prime Minister, Etienne Tshisekedi, the most popular political figure in the Congo, will become the leader of the Congo. Newsweek described him as the U.S?s favourite choice. As for America, no sooner had the rebels entered the capital of Kinshasa, than she started pressing them to allow the opposition to share power and appoint Tshisekedi as Prime Minister and hold democratic elections. The U.S. State Department's spokesman, Nicholas Burns, was quoted as saying that the U.S. ambassador to Kinshasa, Daniel Simpson, has started extensive talks with Kabila's chief advisors Diofrasia Bovira and Paul Kayungo, urging them to pave the way and establish contact with Tshisekedi. President Clinton for his part issue a sort of warning to Kabila when he said: "The position of the United States is clear. We are seeking a transitional rule which will lead to a real democracy in Zaire." As for the Secretary of State, Madelaine Albright, used a press conference to expose the new regime by stating after she expressed the U.S. desire to see Kabila's government include personalities from outside his own alliance, thus she confirmed that Washington was very concerned about the situation in the democratic republic of the Congo. She added that the new regime that succeeded the Mobuto regime should undertake the necessary steps towards holding democratic elections and encouraging reconciliation in the country. She also highlighted the serious breaches which Kabila's men were accused of committing. A U.S. official described the relationship between America and Kabila by saying: " We have stated that if he wanted our support, he should take our concern into consideration?but it seems like he wants to act like the great man and he is eventually going to do what he wishes." Despite all the comments of the U.S. administration, Kabila refused to even meet with Tshisekedi and he rushed into forming a presidential government akin to the American system, i.e. without a Prime Minister, thus snubbing Tshisekedi. Kabila stressed that he would not be holding any elections before two years. His government answered the criticism directed at it for discarding Tshisekedi and not holding early elections by stating that it reserved the right to determine the future, because they won the war. The secretary of the alliance, Diograsiasi Bovira, who became the minister of planning, explained that the political culturing and the power of the peasant take priority over the elections. In the face of this snub and total disregard, Tshisekedi instructed his supporters to hold demonstrations as a show of force and to pressurise the new regime; the regime used force to disperse them and prevent them from demonstrating.
29th Muharram 1418 hijri - 5th June 1997