The President of the People's Republic of the Congo, Marien Ngouabi, arrived in Kinshasa, capital of neighbouring Zaire, on Saturday (6 July), for a three-day official visit.
The President of the People's Republic of the Congo, Marien Ngouabi, arrived in Kinshasa, capital of neighbouring Zaire, on Saturday (6 July), for a three-day official visit. He was accompanied by the Congolese Foreign Minister, Monsieur Ganao, and members of the Central Committee of the Congolese Workers Party.
President Ngouabi and his party crossed into Zaire over the Zaire river, the natural border between the two countries. They were greeted by President Mobutu Sese Seko, and members of his Government. After a short welcoming ceremony, the two Presidents went to the Marble Palace, where President Ngouabi stayed during his visit.
During their official talks, the two leaders were expects to discuss the dispute between the two rival Angolan guerrilla groups one of which is based in Brazzaville the other in Kinshasa. The group based in Brazzaville is the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA). The guerrillas in Kinshasa call themselves the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA). Both have been waging guerrilla-warfare against the Portuguese army in Angola.
Over a week before, the MPLA had alleged that other Angolan freedom groups were trying to sabotage efforts to achieve independence for the territory. In a broadcast statement they accused such groups of being "assassins of the people", and warned that the MPLA would treat them as such.
The day after President Ngouabi returned to Brazzaville, a member of the MPLA's Directing Committee, M. Lucio Lara, said that his Movement was not prepared to negotiate with the F.N.L.A. in Kinshasa.
The next day, Sunday (7 July), President Mobutu escorted his guest on a visit to the third National Kinshasa Fair. They were greeted by the Commissioner of State for Commerce, Monsieur Ndongala Tadi Lowa, and M. Tumba Tunkadi, Director of the Fair.
After watching girls dancing in dresses decorated with portraits of the two Presidents, they went on to tour the stands in the Fair. The two Presidents were particularly interested in the exhibit showing development projects on the Zaire River, and another showing the progress of high-tension power lines stretching 1,243 miles (2,000 kms) between Inga and Shaba. They also saw the National Steel Industry's stand, and the Communications Pavilion where they were greeted by the Minister of State for Information, M. Sakombi Inongo.