The United States Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, arrived in Zaire on Thursday (17 June) to discuss the possible sale of U.
The United States Secretary of Defence, Donald Rumsfeld, arrived in Zaire on Thursday (17 June) to discuss the possible sale of U.S. tanks and artillery to Zaire.
SYNOPSIS: Mr. Rumsfeld and his wife were greeted at Kinshasa airport by a full official welcoming ceremony and by top Zaire officials. His visit comes amid concern by Zaire over the large number of Soviet tanks and weapons left in Angola after the civil was there.
The weapons were supplied by the Soviet Union to help the MPLA and a Cuban expeditionary force to win the war against two pro-western Angolan movements.
United States sources say Zaire wants the Americans to sell it tanks and artillery in the face of the massive Angolan armoury. Western publications on Zaire show it has no tanks at present. Mr. Rumsfeld's visit follows one by Secretary of State, Dr. Kissinger, earlier this year.
The sources say his visit should be seen in the context of American military assistance aimed at countering Soviet influence in East and Central Africa. It follows talks in Kenya. There it was agreed in principle to sell Kenya 75 million dollars worth of aircraft. Mr. Rumsfeld is the first Secretary of Defence to make an official visit to Africa and he was sent on his mission by President Ford.