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How did Mobutu Sese Seko become president of Zaire?I have to write a paper and i am...

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kambelu96 | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted August 15, 2012 at 9:01 PM via web

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How did Mobutu Sese Seko become president of Zaire?

I have to write a paper and i am comparing Rafael Trujillo and Mobutu Seko. I know that they are very alike in many ways. They both became president of their countries in a sneaky way. I already have Rafael i just need Sese. Can anyone help me? 

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lprono | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted August 17, 2012 at 11:02 AM (Answer #1)

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Mobutu came to power by exploiting the divisions between the two leaders of the newly independent Zaire (former Belgian colony of Congo), the socialist Premier Lumumba and the President Kasavubu. Mobutu, whom Lumumba had initially trusted, took control of the army in the face of the growing internal divisions following the independence and promised to restore order. On September 14, 1960 he organized a coup d'etat which subjected the country to military rule under his command, although Kasavubu nominally remained president. Because of Lumumba's socialism, Zaire had progressively shifted towards the Soviet Bloc in the Cold War alliances. However, it soon became clear that Mobutu opposed this choice and this won him the support of Western governments. Some historians have argued that Mobutu was helped by the CIA in consolidating his power as well as in kidnapping and killing Mobutu.

After five years, in November 1965, when new division emerged in the country, Mobutu orchestrated another coup, this time directly taking power and beginning a large program of repression of political opposition.

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