Mobutu Sese Soko

Essay by aznsoljuhHigh School, 10th grade March 2004

download word file, 2 pages 4.6

Like so many other African countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo was taken over by rouge military officers upon the deportation of former colonial powers. Many of the new leaders preached for unity and nationalism, only to turn into ruthless despotic leaders. They not only stole from their country but gave little to nothing back to their people. Mobutu Sese Soko was one such ruler.

Joseph Desire Mobutu, the former dictator of Zaire or Democratic Republic of Congo was born on October fourteenth 1930 and died in 1997. Following independence from Belgium in 1960, he took control in the Katanga province, only to return power to the civilian government five months later. Lumumba, the first premier of the country appointed Mobutu chief of staff of the army. Mobutu betrayed Lumumba in September of that year and had him killed. He not only changed his name to Mobutu Sese Soko, but also changed the country?s name to Zaire. He seized power with more than a little help from our own government. Backed by the CIA he proclaimed himself head of state, commander in chief of the armed forces, and head of the popular movement of the revolution. The CIA provided more than three hundred million in weapons and one hundred million in military training. He turned this gift into a means of controlling and suppressing his own people.

It has been said that the only thing he gave to his country was a new name. He managed to exploit his countries abundant supply of natural resources including gold, copper, cobalt, rubber and ivory. It has been estimated that his personal fortune to be more than four billion US dollars. He took so much money that the World Bank declared Zaire bankrupt and closed its office in 1995. His form...