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Vol 56 No 25

Published 18th December 2015


The Kinshasa shell game

The President has been wooing rival parties to come into his big tent but some have their own agendas

The Tshisekedi clan has done it again. Félix Antoine Tshisekedi, son of Etienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba, the octogenarian leader of the opposition Union pour la démocratie et le progrès social (UDPS), appears to have got the better of President Joseph Kabila just as his father did in 1991 to the late President Mobutu Sese Seko. That September, Tshisekedi Senior convinced Mobutu that once he was Prime Minister, he would recognise Mobutu's authority as President. Yet on taking office and receiving his first big payment, he promptly made it clear he was determined to oust Mobutu. The President had appointed Tshisekedi only because he was under Western pressure to 'democratise'. He found he could not tolerate him and sacked him a month later.

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