Zaire Table of Contents
This study replaces Zaire: A Country Study, which was completed in 1978, during the height of the personalistic regime of Mobutu Sese Seke, president since 1965. Since 1990, following an ostensible move toward multiparty democracy, Mobutu has presided over a nation in political, economic, and social disarray. This edition of Zaire: A Country Study focuses primarily on the Zaire of the early 1990s, during which time the Mobutu regime has appeared to be on the verge of collapse and yet has clung tenaciously to power, using its continued control of key military and security forces to obstruct the functioning of the transitional government, to intimidate the opposition, and to promote instability throughout the country.
Like its predecessor, this study is an attempt to treat in a concise and objective manner the dominant historical, social, economic, political, and national security aspects of contemporary Zaire. Sources of information included scholarly books, journals, and monographs; official reports of governments and international organizations; foreign and domestic newspapers; the authors' previous research and observations; and numerous periodicals. Chapter bibliographies appear at the end of the book; brief comments on some of the more valuable sources suggested as possible further reading appear at the end of each chapter.
Place-names follow the system adopted by the United States Board on Geograhic Names (BGN). Place-names in Zaire present a particular problem to the reader in that most, including the name of the country itself, have been subject to change. At independence in 1960, the former Belgian Congo adopted the name Republic of the Congo. This name was changed in August 1964 to Democratic Republic of the Congo, and then in 1971 to Republic of Zaire. In all cases, this country is to be distinguished from its neighbor, the Republic of the Congo, formerly the People's Republic of the Congo. At times in the past, the two have been differentiated by indicating the names of their capital cities, as in Congo-Kinshasa (now Zaire) and Congo-Brazzaville. Most place-names in Zaire were changed between 1966 and 1972 as part of a campaign to eliminate vestiges of colonialism. The older place-names are used in this volume in historical contexts. To assist the reader in tracking the changes, former and new names of major cities are given in Table B. In addition, a comparison of fig. 1 and fig. 4 will help the reader to attain a clearer understanding of the relationship between the old provinces and the new regions that replaced them in 1972.
Most personal names in Zaire also changed as part of the authenticity (see Glossary) campaign. For example, Mobutu Sese Seko was formerly Joseph-Désiré Mobutu. By the 1990s, however, many Zairians had resumed the use of their given forename, including, for example, opposition leader Étienne Tshisekedi wa Mulumba. In general, the authors have used the name by which individuals are (or were) most commonly known. In second references to individuals, only the surname is given. In the case of Zairian names, readers should note that the first name is the surname. Thus, Mobutu Sese Seku becomes Mobutu after the first use.
All measurements in this book are given in the metric system; a conversion table is provided to assist those readers who are unfamiliar with metric measurements (see table 1, Appendix). A glossary is also included to explain terms with which the reader may not be familiar.
The body of the text reflects information available as of December 1993. Certain other portions of the text, however, have been updated: the Introduction discusses significant events that have occurred since the information cutoff date; the Country Profile and Chronology include updated information as available; and the Bibliograhy lists recently published sources thought to be particularly helpful to the reader.
Data as of December 1993
Zaire Table of Contents