Kabila, Laurent Desire


Kabila, Laurent Desire
▪ 1998

      After having dropped out of sight for nearly a decade, Zairean opposition leader Laurent Kabila reemerged in October 1996 as leader of the newly formed Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire. Supported by a nation outraged by the dictatorial leadership of Mobutu Sese Seko, Kabila rallied forces consisting mostly of Tutsi from eastern Zaire and marched west toward the capital city of Kinshasa, forcing Mobutu to flee the country before their arrival. On May 17, 1997, Kabila installed himself as head of state. He also rejected the name Zaire, which Mobutu had given the country in 1971, and reverted its name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In September Mobutu died in Morocco after having squandered the country's mineral-rich resources and having left it poorer than it had been since before independence in 1960. As the country's leader, Kabila inherited an economy that by 1994 had shrunk to 1958 levels, although the population had tripled. By 1997 commercial banks had recorded only about 8,000 accounts from a population of more than 46 million.

      Kabila was born in 1939 into the Luba tribe in Jadotville, a city in the Belgian Congo's southern province of Katanga. He studied political philosophy at a French university and attended the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanz., where he met and formed a friendship with Ugandan Yoweri Museveni (Museveni, Yoweri Kaguta ) (q.v.). In 1960 Kabila became a youth leader in a political party allied to Congo's first postindependence prime minister, Marxist-Maoist Patrice Lumumba. Lumumba was deposed in 1961 by Mobutu and later killed. Assisted for a time in 1964 by guerrilla leader Che Guevara, Kabila helped Lumumba supporters lead a revolt that was eventually suppressed in 1965 by the Congolese army led by Mobutu. Mobutu seized power that same year. Kabila then founded (1967) the People's Revolutionary Party, which established a Marxist territory in the Kivu region of eastern Zaire and managed to sustain itself through gold mining and ivory trading. When that enterprise came to an end during the 1980s, he ran a business selling gold in Dar es Salaam until he resurfaced in Zaire.

      Kabila charged that under Mobutu's rule the country had been sold out to international capitalists who sought to plunder Zaire's resources. In August 1997 he pledged, "We came to rebuild the country. We will . . . halt the intolerable interference of foreign powers in our internal affairs." Kabila publicly stated that his model for Congo's future was the one fashioned by Museveni, who as president of Uganda had turned around the economy by embracing capitalism. Regional support was swelling for the new Kabila government, but international bodies raised several reservations. Reportedly, Kabila's troops had been responsible for the murders of thousands of Hutu refugees who had fled Rwanda into Zaire in 1994. In addition, many international aid agencies had been denied access into the country to assess the needs of the people. Although it was too soon to be certain what direction the Kabila government would eventually take, the United States government offered aid and believed that Kabila could be encouraged to accept elections soon.

ANTHONY L. GREEN

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kabila, Laurent-Desire — ▪ 2002       Congolese political leader (b. Nov. 27, 1939, Jadotville, Katanga province, Belgian Congo confirmed dead on Jan. 18, 2001, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo [DRC; formerly Zaire]), was president of the DRC from 1997 until… …   Universalium

  • Kabila, Laurent (Désiré) — born 1939, Jadotville, Belgian Congo died Jan. 18?, 2001, en route to Harare, Zimb. Rebel leader and president (1997–2001) of Congo (Kinshasa). He attended schools abroad, including military school in China, before participating in several… …   Universalium

  • Kabila, Laurent (Désiré) — (1939, Jadotville, Congo Belga–¿18 ene.? 2001, en camino a Harare, Zimbabwe). Líder rebelde y presidente (1997–2001) de la República Democrática del Congo. Estudió en establecimientos en el extranjero, entre ellos una escuela militar en China,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Kabila, Laurent-Désiré — ► (1939 2001) Político de la República Democrática del Congo. Derrocó a Mobutu Sese Seko en 1997 y asumió la presidencia del Zaire, que pasó a denominarse República Democrática del Congo. Murió asesinado …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Laurent-Desire Kabila — Laurent Désiré Kabila (* 27. November 1939 in Moba, Katanga; † 16. Januar 2001 in Kinshasa) war von 1997 bis 2001 Präsident der Demokratischen Republik Kongo. Leben Laurent Désiré Kabila wurde 1939 im Norden der Provinz Süd Katanga, in der… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Laurent-Désiré Kabila — Este artículo o sección necesita referencias que aparezcan en una publicación acreditada, como revistas especializadas, monografías, prensa diaria o páginas de Internet fidedignas. Puedes añadirlas así o avisar …   Wikipedia Español

  • Laurent-Desire Kabila — Laurent Désiré Kabila Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kabila et Mzee. Laurent Désiré Kabila …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Laurent-désiré kabila — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kabila et Mzee. Laurent Désiré Kabila …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Laurent Désiré Kabila — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kabila et Mzee. Laurent Désiré Kabila …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Laurent-Désiré Kabila — (* 27. November 1939 in Moba, Katanga; † 16. Januar 2001 in Kinshasa) war von 1997 bis 2001 Präsident der Demokratischen Republik Kongo. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 1.1 Unabhängigkeitskampf gegen Belgien …   Deutsch Wikipedia


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.