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Vol 38 No 7

Published 28th March 1997


Congo-Kinshasa

Kabila's long march

Mobutu is going and Zaïreans are asking questions about his would-be successors

As they go from victory to victory, Laurent-Désiré Kabila and his forces are having to face some tough political questions: firstly, about the composition of their Alliance des Forces Démocratiques pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL-CZ) and its ability to sustain its popular support; secondly, about their relations with the civilian opposition in Zaïre, which have remained ambiguous. The AFDL's military ascendancy is not in dispute. After taking Kisangani on 15 March, it is marching (though some rebels are taking the train) towards Lubumbashi, which it reckons will be under AFDL control by mid-April. The plan is then to move across to the diamond capital of Mbuji-Mayi in Kasaï-Oriental Province. Kabila promises to be in Kinshasa by June.

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