MOBUTU Ses* Seko
President (since November MS)
Addressed ns: Mr. President or Citizen President
Mobuiu has exhibited in innate ability to overcome
adversity. Regarded by bis people as an all-powerful leader, he succeeded5 ination that had been torn by violence since independencee has maintained this unity by suppressing ethnic and regional animosities and by adopting an autocratic and highly personalized leadership style. He lightly controls the Cabinet and other executive agencies, particularly the mililary establishment, and keeps close tabs on all political aciiyiiy as presideni-foundcrofthe Popular Movement of the Revolution.nly legal political party.!-
Throuihoui his presidency, Mobutu hasro-Western course
The President has played an active role on selected African issues, sending troops to reinforce the anti-Libyan government in Chad, andegotiated solution to the dvil war in Angola He has ahoid for regional leadership by advocating the creationeague of blach African stales, but the proposal hat largely fallen on deaf ears.
Mobutu has had many serious disagreements with the IMF, the IBRD, and foreign creditors Over their proposed economic stabilization and recovery programs designed to copeteadily deteriorating economy.
Mc na* recently trier] to get /aihan
debts forgiven and isew cycle ol fence-mendmg with tbe IMF and IBRD.
Career and Personal Data
Mobutu was born on0 in Lisala. Equateur Region, the area from which he draws most of his closest associates. After completing his secondary education, he studied at tbe Institute of Social Studies in Brussels. He then returned home to enlist in the Belgian colonial army. At independencee became chief of staff of the new National Army. He seized power later that year to restore order, placing the country under military control and outlawing all political activity; he then relinquished power and returned to his military job. Mobutu forcibly regained powereld an electionnd is in his third consecutive seven-year term, He his held the Defense portfolio for allew months of hisears in power.
Mobutuommanding presence and is an articulate, forceful orator. He holds the military rank of marshal. Christened Joseph-Desire Mobutu, tbe President changed his name during one of tbe Africanization campaigns that he initiated in the. He prefers to be addressed as "Citizenhe result of another Africanization