Déjà vu? Congo from Mobutu to Kabila, twenty years later
Analysis and policy brief 22
Twenty years ago, Laurent Kabila’s AFDL troops marched into Kinshasa, thus putting an end to 32 years of rule by Mobutu. In fact, however, it was a victory orchestrated not by Kabila alone, but by a wide regional coalition whose members had good reasons for wishing to topple the regime. Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Angola wanted to neutralise the Zaire-based rebel movements that threatened them with Mobutu’s overt or covert support. Other countries, such as Eritrea, Ethiopia, Zambia and Zimbabwe, had their own reasons for supporting Kabila’s campaign. They all reasoned that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. The anti-Mobutu alliance was circumstantial, and its frailties would soon appear.
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