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Mobutu Sese Seko


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • Mobutu Sese Seko Originally Joseph Désiré Mobutu. 1930-1997. Zairean president (1967-1997). A general in the army, Mobutu overthrew the existing government of the Congo in 1965. He later established himself as president (1967) and renamed the country Zaire (1971). He died shortly after being ousted by political insurgents.


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  • Building on a corrupt tradition dating back to the colonial era, the man now known as Mobutu Sese Seko has parlayed extravagant tastes and a gift for plunder into a fortune estimated by U.S.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • For 32 years, with the backing of Western allies, the dictator Mobutu Sese Seko plundered his own state and pitted ethnic communities against one another through cynical divide-and-rule policies.

    Digging for the Truth About a Dirty Trade

  • The other involved money deposited by Mobutu Sese Seko, former president of Zaire, now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo, who died in 1997.

    Tracking Assets in the Arab Spring

  • Mr. Kabila is the son of Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who overthrew Mobutu Sese Seko and then went on to rule the country for four years before his assassination, when he was succeeded by Joseph Kabila.

    Violence Hits Congo Elections

  • Our record of shoring up some of the nastiest tyrants of the last 50 years -- the Duvaliers in Haiti, the Shah of Iran, Ferdinand Marcos in the Philippines, Mobutu Sese Seko in Zaire, Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua and Saddam Hussein in Iraq -- does not.

    Milburn Line: Don't Downsize Democracy -- Here or Abroad

  • Another spurt of interest in the whereabouts of dictators' loot occurred in the late 1990s after the overthrow of Mobutu Sese Seko, President of Zaire now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and the sudden death of Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha.

    Ibrahim Warde: From Marcos to Gaddafi: Kleptocrats, Old and New

  • Congo's presidential vote is the second since the 2001 assassination of revolutionary Laurent-Désiré Kabila, who overthrew strongman Mobutu Sese Seko in 1997.

    Congo Strife Rises After Poll

  • A century of brutal colonial rule, followed by three decades of equally brutal rule by military leader Mobutu Sese Seko decimated this country, leaving it with a broken economy, and decaying infrastructure.

    Opportunity International Says Microfinancing Blooming in Congo

  • The war in Congo—a hollowed-out state that has known little but slavery, colonialism and dictatorship for four centuries—started not as a civil war but, Mr. Stearns notes, as "a regional war, pitting a new generation of young ­visionary African leaders against Mobutu Sese Seko, the continent's dinosaur."

    The Triumph of Fear

  • That's what happened in 1997, when Mobutu Sese Seko of Zaire now The Democratic Republic of Congo refused to step down.

    African Countries Have Mixed Record on Power Succession


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