President Mobutu Sese Seko, of Zaire, has offered a sweeping amnesty to exiles political foes and refugees in an effort to promote domestic order after last month's rebel invasion of Shaba.
President Mobutu Sese Seko, of Zaire, has offered a sweeping amnesty to exiles political foes and refugees in an effort to promote domestic order after last month's rebel invasion of Shaba. He said at the weekend (24 June) that peace had returned to the province, and he declared an end tot he state of alert for his armed forces.
SYNOPSIS: The President was making a tour of the fishing town of Kinkole, near the capital, Kinshasa, to mark National Fish Day. It was his first direct contact with the people in nine months. Hundreds of thousands of refugees from Zaire are understood to be in neighbouring countries like Angola, Burundi, Uganda, Sudan and Tanzania. President Mobutu suggested that they could return under the auspices of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees and the Organisation of African Unity.
He said Zaire's problems were economic, not political, and added: "Each time a political problem arises, I resolve it immediately".
President Mobutu acknowledged for the first time that some members of the armed forces had been extorting money from innocent civilians. He called on the public to complain to the authorities if they fell victim to such acts. He promised an end to extortion on the part of the soldiers. Western countries who are trying to raise a multi-million dollar fund to help Zaire's economy - of which fisheries are an important part - have urged President Mobutu to resolve his differences with rival groups outside the country.