The Skull beneath the Skin: Africa after the Cold War

By Mark Huband | Go to book overview

6
JUGGLING THE JUNTAS

Zaire, Nigeria, and Military Rule

A dictator doesn't give democracy. Everybody sees that the
people are behind the opposition. Each party has its own
identity. But for the exertion of pressure we are united.
Mobutu has no more drastic measures to take. He is weak
because he has survived through a system of state terrorism.
The people have lived in fear. We have demystified Mobutu.
And now the people are moving.

Etienne Tshisekedi

ETIENNE TSHISEKEDI, the stubbornly resilient leader of Zaire's 1 main opposition party, Union démocratique pour le progrès sociale (UDPS: Democratic Union for Social Progress), reflected in every one of his statements during our interview the core truth about politics in Zaire and the nature of the relationship between ruler and ruled—at the heart of Zaire's political life nobody had any illusions about anybody else. 2 He, like the other political opponents of the Mobutu regime, had no illusions as to what Mobutu Sese Seko would be prepared to do to stay in power. Equally, they had no doubts as to what it would take for them to seize that power. Relentless pressure was the only weapon they had at their disposal.

The demographics of Zaire, the vastness of the country, the fact that a major incident in one region could take place without having any real impact on

-115-

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The Skull beneath the Skin: Africa after the Cold War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • Prologue viii
  • Part One - Empty Promises i
  • 1 - Sell the Silver, Steal the Gold 3
  • 2 - The Skull beneath the Skin 31
  • 3 - Great Game, Dirty Game 57
  • Part Two - The Time of the Soldier 79
  • 4 - Whispers and Screams 81
  • 5 - A City on the Lake 97
  • 6 - Juggling the Juntas 115
  • 7 - The Deadly Harvest 137
  • Part Three - Blood of the Ancestors 159
  • 8 - Myths, Chiefs, and Churches 161
  • 9 - Genocide 184
  • 10 - The Spit of the Toad 217
  • Part Four - New World, Old Order 249
  • 11 - Rogue States and Radicals 253
  • 12 - The Mogadishu Line 277
  • 13 - France, Africa, and a Place Called Fashoda 307
  • Epilogue - The Center Cannot Hold 327
  • Notes 335
  • Bibliography 355
  • Index 361
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