DRCongo: IRIN Briefing VIII - Who's Who 23 May 1997

DRCongo: IRIN Briefing VIII - Who's Who 23 May 1997


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Democratic Republic of Congo: IRIN Briefing Part VIII: ADFL Government Who's Who 23 May 97

The leader of the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo-Zaire (ADFL) Laurent-Desire Kabila proclaimed himself president changing the country's name back to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on 17 May 1997. A new government was announced on 22 May which is comprised of 9 ADFL, 2 UDPS and 2 Patriotic Front members; seven more posts remain to be filled. For the moment, key "opposition" players such as HCR-PT president Archbishop Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya, PALU leader Antoine Gizenga and UDPS leader Etienne Tshisekedi remain outside the government.

New appointees in the DRC Government

President: Laurent-Desire KABILA - self-proclaimed DRC (ex-Zaire) President Kabila, a 56 year old from Shaba, has led a life that has generated mixed reviews. He studied in France and later East Germany. He was also a member of the North Katanga (Shaba) assembly, supporting then Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba. As with other members of the Lumumbist movement, Kabila was considered to have a Marxist/Maoist political orientation. Following Lumumba's death, he joined the Lumumbist rebel movement, the National Liberation Council of the Congo Zaire (NLC), and in April 1964 joined Gaston Soumaliot in launching the "Simba" rebellion in the Rusizi lowlands near Uvira. However, low morale, accusations of betrayal and dissension within the ranks of the NLC soon led to its collapse and following a US and Belgian-aided Zairean military offensive the rebels fled Zaire in 1964.

In October 1967, Soumaliot and Kabila founded the People's Revolution Party (PRP) with an armed wing called the People's Armed Forces, a rebel group based in Fizi and the Baraka mountains, near lake Tanganyika. Cuban revolutionary Che Guevara, having spent over a year with the PRP, was disillusioned with the rebels' incompetence, disorganization and the perpetual absence of Soumaliot and Kabila. Following their defeat in 1977, Kabila fled to Tanzania from where he continued his guerrilla warfare in the Fizi area until 1988.

Several weeks following the ADFL October 1996 attack on the Kivu regions, Kabila emerged as first spokesman, then leader of the four-party Tutsi-influenced ADFL.

Foreign Affairs Minister: Bizima KARAHA - A 29-year-old South African-trained medical doctor, he is a Banyamulenge Tutsi and member of the ADP. He is considered to be very influential and held the post of Foreign Affairs for Africa, America and Oceania in the ADFL.

Home Affairs Minister: Mwenze KONGOLO - Kongolo is an ethnic Mukongo from Katanga and was a member of ANACOZA in exile in the US. Previously held the post of "commissioner-general for justice" in the ADFL.

Finance Minister: Dr. Mawapanga Mwana NANGA - Before joining the ADFL, the 45 year old agronomist, a Mukongo who originates from Lower Zaire, had been living in exile in the US where he worked as a researcher at the University of Kentucky. Prior to this he had studied in the US on three separate occasions sponsored by USAID study grants. He was an active member of ANACOZA, joining the ADFL in October 1996. His Zairean wife remains in the US.

Under Nanga, who also has a doctorate in economics from Penn State University and held the post of economy and finance commissioner in the ADFL, administrative corruption is said to have declined in rebel-held areas. Kabila has included him in recent negotiations with international mining corporations.

Information Minister: Raphael NGENDA - A lawyer and member of former president Lumumba's Tetela ethnic group. Recently returned from a long exile in France and Belgium.

Mines Minister: Matakula KAMBALE - Former english language professor at Beni university. Trained in New York.

Planning and Development Minister: Babi MBAYI - Spent 10 years in France. Quoted on "free market social economy" this week.

Justice Minister: Celestin LWANGI

Telecommunications Minister: Paul KINKELA - A Kinshasa lawyer. Imprisoned several times for political protests. Founded "Patriotic Front" party in 1990.

Transport Minister: Henri MOVASAKANI

Health and Social Affairs Minister: Jean-Baptiste NSONJI - Medical doctor, fired from Gecamines for anti-Mobutu stance. Member of Kinkela's party.

Education Minister: Prof. Kamara ROKAHIKARA - From Ituri, northeast Zaire.

Minister of Agriculture: Paul BANDOMA - Not a member of the ADFL. He was a member of the UDPS and considered to be one of Tshisekedi's right-hand men. Had been appointed Minister of Public Works in Tshisekedi's ill-fated April 1997 government. Twice served as defence minister. From Equateur province.

Civil Service Minister: Justine KASUVUBU - Kasuvubu is the daughter of Zaire's first president Joseph Kasuvubu. She has remained in exile since her father's death in 1961. Tshisekedi brought her into the UDPS. Since then she has been the UDPS representative in Brussels. Although she did visit Kabila in Goma, she was not part of the ADFL. Presently, she is the only woman in Kabila's government.


Most of the above information was gathered from news and wire services (particularly Reuters) and interviews with various local sources. This document has been compiled for the benefit of the humanitarian community and in no way reflects the views of the United Nations.

Nairobi, 23 May 1997 [ENDS]

[Via the UN DHA Integrated Regional Information Network. The material contained in this communication may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies. UN DHA IRIN Tel: +254 2 622123 Fax: +254 2 622129 e-mail: for more information. If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer. Quotations or extracts from this report should include attribution to the original sources mentioned, not simply "DHA".]

Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 17:36:22 +0300 From: UN DHA IRIN - Great Lakes <> Subject: DRCongo: IRIN Briefing VIII - Who's Who 23 May 1997 97.5.23 Message-ID: <>

Editor: Dr. Ali B. Ali-Dinar, Ph.D

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