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Religion in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Religions of Democratic Republic of the Congo

Thanks to international pressure, parliamentary elections were held at the end of 1977 and some power was given to the new legislative assembly. They helped to divert international attention from the repression against students and intellectuals in the cities, from the concentration camps set up for opposition groups and the harsh treatment of the returning refugees who had been favored by an amnesty decreed in 1979.

At that time, Zaire was the world's largest exporter of cobalt, the fourth largest producer of diamonds, and was among the ten largest producers of uranium, copper, manganese and tin. According to Countryaah data, the cobalt used in the North American aerospace industry comes from Zaire for the most part, but the regime's widespread corruption led to severe economic crises with sky-high unemployment.

In the period from 1980-1981, the Western powers decided to intervene to ensure control of the country's strategically important mineral deposits. The IMF offered to support Zaire and renegotiated a debt settlement agreement. Drastic measures were put in place to introduce a minimum of morality within the bureaucracy. Zaire's economy was formally put under direct administration by the IMF, whose employees in Kinshasa personally oversaw the country's finances.

Towards the end of 1982, the statistics began to show positive trends, which helped the international and European creditors to breathe a little easier, although conditions for the people of Zaire deteriorated due to the rigid methods recommended by the IMF.

In April 1981, then-Prime Minister Nguza Karl in Bond resigned and applied for asylum in Belgium; he accused Mobutu of abusing power while trying to portray himself as a decent alternative to the widespread corruption in the country.

In the July 1984 election, Mobutu obtained 99.16% of the votes cast. In February 1985, Zaire entered into a security agreement with Angola to improve relations between the two countries that had been in bad shape for most of a decade due to Zaire's support for FNLA and the presence of the Congolese Liberation Movement on Angolan soil.

Less successful was the initiative Mobutu presented in July 1984 on the establishment of a "League of Nations from Black Africa", openly intended to compete with the Arab League. The proposal was rejected by all progressive countries in the region.

The Government of Angola claimed that $ 15 million in aid from the Reagan administration was secretly channeled through Zaire to FNLA; In doing so, the Central African country was transformed into a veritable weapons warehouse for FNLA.

During a visit to Washington in June 1989, Mobutu obtained a $ 20 million World Bank loan. Mobutu had arrived in Washington with an important diplomatic victory in his back: In his hometown, Gbadolite, he hosted the historic meeting of Angola President Edoardo dos Santos and UNITA rebel leader Jonas Savimbi, where it was decided to enter a ceasefire agreement to find a peaceful outcome to the conflict in Angola.

To prepare for a process he thought was imminent, in April 1990 Mobutu decided to make a bold attempt: he abolished the one-party system, allowed alternative unions, and promised to hold free elections over the next 12 months. It became the beginning of a rapid process of political organization; hundreds of federations of various kinds and political organizations demanded legalization. The popular reaction surprised the authorities and on May 3, Mobutu declared that no party had yet been legalized and that a constitutional amendment would be necessary before the election, as the head of state wanted to "preserve his power without being subjected to criticism".

 

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