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Vol 37 No 20

Published 4th October 1996


Follow the Guide

Whether or not Mobutu returns to the helm, politicians are now fighting to succeed him

In Zaïre, facts are scarce and often unreliable. The Prime Minister, Léon Lobitsch Kengo wa Dondo, said last month that President Mobutu Sese Seko would come home from Switzerland in October, to start work again after his operation for prostate cancer on 22 August. Many believe this is untrue and the 'Guide' is gone for good. Amid near-panic in early September, it was rumoured the President was dead. One thing at least is clear: things will never be quite the same again. The struggle for the succession is now open. There is bitter disagreement within all major groups over whether the state should be unitary or federal. The vagueness of the constitutional situation and the uncertainty of the political alliances mean almost anything could happen.

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