Zaire Table of Contents
In part as an effort to improve the state's performance of the police function, and in part as a redistribution of power and influence, in 1984 Mobutu once again decentralized police powers and created a national civilian police organization, known as the Civil Guard (Garde Civile), to perform normal civilian police duties, as well as customs and border control. The guard's precise name is the General Elite Peace Force. The guard, trained and equipped by the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) and Egypt, appeared initially as if it might provide more effective and rational law enforcement than that which had been provided by the gendarmerie. However, it too has suffered, among other things, from insufficient pay and is just as ineffective and feared by the citizenry as the National Gendarmerie. Nevertheless, in the early 1990s the Civil Guard was regarded as loyal to Mobutu. In conjunction with the elite DSP, it was deployed to harass the opposition and transitional government on Mobutu's behalf and was generally paid--or at least paid more regularly than ordinary military and security units.
Although the Civil Guard was designated to take primary responsibility for police matters in Zaire, it probably had no more than 10,000 personnel in its ranks in the early 1990s, and its deployment was limited largely to the country's urban centers. The National Gendarmerie was still the prominent organization in rural areas and a competitor for dominance in most urban areas as well.
Data as of December 1993