Created: 6/1/1980

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Zaire: Is It Reformable?

zaire: is it reform abie?

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This memorandum was prepared under the auspices ol the National Intelligence Officer for Africa wilh contributions from the Stale Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research. lite Centra! ImeNiRence Agency, and Use Defense Intelligence Agency. Il has been coordinated at Ihe working level.

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The military Incursion into the mtnerafrieh Shaba mpon in* by ZaiisanbatedneoU revealed the client to which (he Mobutu rrgime had been weakenedombination of world rnirlr* factors and poor martagemrtil since its irnith In response to cioaina domestic and

announced inI thai maior poliiical. military, and economir reformi -ould hr jaSemrnu-d. The mart ucrifteam pontic* Iproved lo be the hold in* ol competitiveto fill seati in ihe Irfbuture, (he members al which had previously been appoinieil. and theof the ulfire of prime minister Heipciubilittaradies Zaire's armed forces wn placed pRmanli an the Belgian and French militaryhe resultant Brl Infantry Brigade ind Ihe French-trained 3ln Pa rat mop Brlxade reprnent atJi-it"hewing ofilitary capabi!>t> The central ereaseots of eronomic reform in Zaire have been adherence to an InternalloruI Monetary hu'id standby agreement and reliance on cipatrialet lo atalf key pchtKmsai ihe Bank of Zaire, the Mirwatry ol Finance, and Cu3oms

The Relg-c- LaSfKVi Tho Eorh/ Yeas m the Congo

Although the difficulties that I'rendenl Mobutu and hn predeeeuori have faced in Irvine lo eslahliih Zaireiable and ccheiiie slate are hardly unique in Africa, the legacy of Brigyum'i colonial pa'emaliun and ats hasty retreat from iti principal AfricanvirlualK aiiured an inaiiapicious beginning In contrast to the relj lively orderly preps talion) lorhat -ere irutiliilrd by the French and Brltak -in which political look not and atptr irjere gradually brought intolritrve and polilNalCoogoleir weic SioisS III prepared to lake over the administration of the new stale

Bi the tame Mobutu trued poweraire had eipenenced practically everything that routdmsi in aindependent African country Inde-fvnoVncc was folio-ed by an Army mutiny. drbilitji-ing political infighting. frag-iier.laNon of the countrythnichree lejuxva! ircr^iorj.eiie- of peasant ociiVrti Many of these develnp-

eiacerhatrd by autiidc iBOnSeanJ

economic, and axial life of Ihe counlry in ruins.

6 The pre-Mobolus deprrded Heavily on eitenul economic and technical aatislancc. including ihe reotinued service of large numbers of foreign civilian and military tpeciaiisti. Indeed, the foreign rctruriKatmobitirrd to ma in lain ihe countn'i viability during the tumiianrowr aarlyfrom economic inputs from aid luitri-bulon and private investors lo UN peacekeeping forces-have remained pcrmanrnl features of Zaire's history They -ere manifested more receoili by thend Moroccan involvement Us ihe Shaba erues78 and by international efforts to maintain ihe government's solvency Unlike many other African countries where foreign involve-

The "Pa* Mobulu"

ven Mobutu's harshest erit.cs grudgingly %fho lucceu inrW'i degree Ol* dorneslie Wic and order in Zaire Eicepl for opponents within lh* Zairlan elite, many obwnei. until recently lound law fa-ills with Mobutu'i effort! al maintaining stability The* vie-ed ihr pohiKal system ktr began lo conM-nct alter he cam lo po-er as be.-y- not markedly unlike regime* thai were emerging in other parts of the continent as African leaden refclared the poliiical frame-otLi Ml behind by the formeruchhe esiaUnS-meat of the MfR tPopular Reyolutvonary Movement) as the sole political parts and the gradual extension of Mobutu's control over the armed lorces were seen as logical steps to strengthen the eenlial govemmeni andeturn lo chaos.

S Neighboring italcs -ere relieved that "theproblem" no longer ihrealced then own stability and (bared the general African salisfatlionlemiih had been removed from Africa's record During ihe "Par Nlobulu- period thai lasted through ihend wu marked by relatively lubstantial ret-

enues lioni copper and olher mineral resources, few private imeslon; orhe Inter national rorymu-

isfey seemed lo worry aboutZaire -as governed.

but-ere more concerned vwiiK the mves-ment


hat fyslem works art generaliy kno-r, and have not changed agmficantly since he took po-cr He rules morearamounl tribal chief thanead ol Mate in the VV*-vtem tenae He is secrrt"e.

In the, rn Zaire had emergedecade ol internal rebellions. Mobutu embarkederies ol political rhange* that were Iniended to create the frameworkne party Mate, lo introduce Into Zaire sortsetkvang of the aura of an African "radical' stale, and to give himself the legitimacy that came from identification -iih Ihe African political malnstieam Perhaps the brtlf these enterprues -as tut unweceysful aitempi lo ea-ry out hu campaign for "authentica kind of cultural revolulion which had prece dents in other African countries and whichpolitical wUdariiv by stressing the introduction of "authentic" ia^rgrnous practices to replace" -aysmple, changes in personal names liomo vernacular forms) This -at also an aliempl loense of national unity, no Jour- inspired byonfidence that he .as in fu3 control and by ihe vagueof orher Africano banc sought to consliurl aforarticularf rule. In the event neither authenticity in ill varioui itmilicatioiu nor any of the otherhai Moba'a at-lempred loheook deep root and Zaire's poliiical system haiighly pe* myalited one

lha Current Motors- oeid Wobutu's Response

II After IS years, "Pa1 Mnbulu" is still In tie moreruce enforced through Mobutu's domination ol ihe in-Jnimeoi. of power. Tribal and regional leniions persut. and social andla Into, unempsoyrnenl. labor and student un-rsl. periodic shortages of neoeyiilles. and delerKwalingare now acute

Ii Many faett^ cMribule to Za-rc'sdfia severe deterioration of the lerms of trade, ihe invasion) of Shaba, costly economic blunders, the burgeoning foreign debt, and iheo> srarcv foreign eschange The mulling detrrin-rat-on of the economy and public rtrviees hai itimu-lated public discontent, while international concern over human rights has rallied some af Mobutu's del radon- around the central theme of relo

lowed al lomi point b* oihrt action) thai areo itgnjl to domniic criiici thaiot p'r> pairdo loo

usilitrt in tbeotartationa ea in*tbe legblaturr hat been allowed to voice some entiebm ol iheumber of corrupt official) hair been replaced bi comprletil lecrtnocrau.abinet ihakeup earlierear appear) lamproved th* ovwaltf ibegainalackdrop. tome judicial reformeen enacted and am&ealietanditaidenl) have been announced in oejer lo piacale ihow -bo point out ibe reprnaivf nalui* of hii ml* ne.erthelejj. each mce batseenciuol ant

tubalanliat arm* eipenditureteed foe contimi-oua xvuritv hai ruled oiil feplaccmrnl of tutting for co by trulli newut,-ad. piomr4rd partly by WrMrm pceuure andecognition nf the md forl. mobutu baa pur in ineriet ol imporlanl. though leu iwnplbc.reduction in thr number olrei'mr. of iran*ey ir-prc.rm*n'i in rnnwnsand pat. ureaine the chain of command,ooely dltriptined infantry dlviiton. and niabliihnierilotoltcl eoep* with thef ibeof iru-ie. rreau-jwe albeitogrcta hat been made.

mobutu and key armed force* officer) bope ihe re loom already made fill become wfficienllt inwilti-lioiwliied lo latl beyond the tenure of ibev adviwrt owhgajiranl of ibrinfusion of dikiplme in ihe armedhaa proved leia ellf-tive. thui far. with the riceplioni* belgian-nili there doc* no" men lagniftranteucned to imp; en on the troop* ihr importance of ducipline

protpe-ttt for ralorm


irorpit arethersha: thing) could get worse without Vlobutu

he country')diveryily. and Lick of vrscial cohesion helps prevent the ro*lev*ivceiable oppotilion The central government! pretence iniverse regions, lenuoas atince indepenJ-enee. hai deteriorated Hill further in recent year* Several of Zaire* retpow are to physically and psycho logically separated from Kinshasa that thet are pur! ol the country in name onlyda shortof fuelimited contact between ihe capita! andoutlyiaa rcsponar lo and lessen the Uehhoodeport oouUrea J

J> Ethnic and retponal <ln>age*ringhem ro the fim remainoored Tha insularis* help, to preventroadly baaed da-tderice if. kimhaia or in other urban areas

Safelyto ameliorate evenomiein the urban areas to tome degtee beU the Statistical indicators pointing to ever declining IrvklPrincipal among these *afrH is live .il..'- origin oi many urban dwellers. In timet ol yhortages or hardship, family memfaen go lo ihelr home tillage) lo be fed and cared for. when they return iheyod mostly for family eonsi.inpt.rm but foras well Some* poinl outercent of all urban women areome tort of market activity: this contributes in -mail degree is alleviating the distress of urban workers.

et few of the rese-oaratasitiea inherentHiy system, th-steth fob* c* olher resources mvoi help lets fortunatehai in effect an informal but effectivee redo-inbutioo and welfarehai relieve* an other- tvr bleak ecoe-omic Etuation

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