Mobutu Sese Seko

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Mobutu Sese Seko
Mobutu in 1983
President of Zaire
In office
24 November 1965 – 16 May 1997
Preceded byJoseph Kasa-Vubu
Succeeded byLaurent-Désiré Kabila
Personal details
Born(1917-10-14)14 October 1917
Lisala, Belgian Congo
Died7 September 1997(1997-09-07) (aged 79)
Rabat, Morocco
Political partyPopular Movement of the Revolution
Spouse(s)Marie-Antoinette Mobutu (Deceased)
Bobi Ladawa

Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga (born Joseph-Desiré Mobutu; 14 October 1917 – 7 September 1997) (/məˈbt ˈsɛs ˈsɛk/ (audio speaker iconlisten)) was the President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country was known as Zaire for much of his rule.

Mobutu is commonly known as Mobutu or Mobutu Sese Seko.

During the Congo Crisis, Mobutu led a coup against the nationalist government of Patrice Lumumba. He wanted to take control of the government of Congo-Léopoldville. He soon became the army chief of staff.[1] In 1965 he led a second coup to be Prime Minister. Then in 1967 he established a presidential form of government headed by himself. As part of his program of “national authenticity,” Mobutu changed the Congo's name to Zaïre in 1971. He changed his own name to Mobutu Sese Seko in 1972. Mobutu established a one-party state and a cult of personality.[1] He was an anti-communist.

During his reign, Mobutu built a highly centralized state. He attempted to purge the country of all colonial cultural influence. He got a large personal fortune through economic exploitation and corruption. Because of this some people called his rule “kleptocracy.” The nation suffered from uncontrolled inflation, a large debt, and massive currency devaluations. By 1991 economic deterioration and unrest led him to agree to share power with opposition leaders. He used the army to stop this change. In May 1997 rebel forces, led by Laurent Kabila, removed him from the country.

Mobutu Sese Seko is notorious for the corruption, nepotism, and embezzlement of billions of dollars that took place during his reign. He also had extravagances such as Concorde-flown shopping trips to Paris.[2] Mobutu presided over the country for some four decades, despite many reports of abuses and human-rights violations. As such, many have described him as the "archetypal African dictator".[2]

Mobutu died in 1997 of prostate cancer in Morocco.

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Mobutu Sese Seko | Infoplease".
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Mobutu Sese Seko - Muammar Gaddafi and the Top 15 Overthrown Dictators - TIME". Archived from the original on 2013-04-24. Retrieved 2012-10-14.