INTRODUCTION: Zaire Army paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines on Thursday (28 April) in an attempt to hasten the defeat of the rebels who invaded the southern province of Shaba eight weeks ago, according to the official Zaire news agency.
INTRODUCTION: Zaire Army paratroopers dropped behind enemy lines on Thursday (28 April) in an attempt to hasten the defeat of the rebels who invaded the southern province of Shaba eight weeks ago, according to the official Zaire news agency. Meanwhile, President Mobutu Sese Seko, flew once again? to the front-line in the company of Uganda's President Idi Amin.
SYNOPSIS: President Mobutu had been in Shaba province earlier in the week, as his forces were re-capturing Mutshatsha. He had arrived in the town of Kolwezi on Monday (24 April) and on Tuesday (25 April) he visited the town's General Hospital where 60 wounded soldiers, including seven Moroccans, and 95 civilians were being treated.
Hospital officials said that most of the injured soldiers were being treated for wounds received from landmines. All the Moroccan soldiers in the hospital were said to have been wounded by landmines. They were members of the one thousand five hundred strong force which arrived in Zaire earlier this month to give support to the Government troops. On the same day that the President and his wife were visiting Kolwezi, the Zaire Army, backed by Moroccan troops, were capturing the town of Mutshatsha.
It was the first major victory of an eleven day counter offensive against rebels in Shaba Province. The town had been seized by the rebels a month ago and was regarded by the Government as an important target symbolising its resolve to push the rebels back across the border with Angola.
The day before President Mobutu had donned combat clothing to inspect the damaged bridge over the Lubudi river - the last major physical obstacle to the Government forces' thrust.
After his visit to the Kolwezi Hospital, President Mobutu said he would be visiting Mutshatsha the next day.