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Published 26th January 2001

Vol 42 No 2


Congo-Kinshasa: Kabila est mort, vive Kabila!

The plot to kill the President has created the country's first dynasty and left a door ajar for peace

After a series of unexplained delays, Joseph Kabila was due to be sworn in to succeed his father at the Presidency on 25 January and Congolese officials insist they have launched an investigation to find out who was behind the assassination. Congolese doubt official information, especially after the three-day-long 'non-death' of President Laurent-Désiré Kabila. They are sceptical about the official version claiming that Kabila's was killed by presidential bodyguard Rachidi Kasereka, a Nandi from North Kivu. Shot dead in the palace, Rachidi can't help the investigation. In his home region, at present under Rwandan occupation, many people believe there was a link between the President's murder and the arrest, in Kinshasa on 21 November, of Commandant Anselme Masasu Nindaga, former leader of the Mouvement Révolutionnaire pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AC Vol 42 No 1). This was one of the four organisations which joined up behind Kabila to form the Alliance des Forces pour la Libération du Congo-Zaïre (AFDL), which in 1997 swept to power in Kinshasa. Masasu Nindaga, from South Kivu, was Kabila's first Chief of Staff but was arrested in November 1997 and accused of plotting a coup with other Tutsi officers; eleven people died resisting arrest. Masasu was found guilty by a court martial and remained in the underground prison at Bulowo, Katanga, until Kabila declared an amnesty in April 2000. This time, according to Asadho, a human-rights organisation, he was taken to Lubumbashi and executed a few days after his arrest.

The pro-consuls decide

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