Zairian president sacks PM; rebels reportedly capture key city
April 9, 1997
Web posted at: 10:31 a.m. EDT (1431 GMT)
KINSHASA, Zaire (CNN) -- Zairian President Mobutu Sese Seko
ousted the nation's prime minister Wednesday and immediately
named the army chief of staff to head the government. Also
Wednesday, witnesses said rebels in the east had captured the
nation's second largest city, Lubumbashi.
Defense Ministry spokesman Leon Kalima announced that a
successor had been named to replace Prime Minister Etienne Tshisekedi,
an opposition activist who was appointed to the post one week
ago. Tshisekedi reportedly was arrested by security forces
The announcement followed a morning of fierce clashes between
soldiers and thousands of protesters supporting Tshisekedi.
It also came less than 24 hours after Mobutu declared a
nationwide state of emergency and banned political rallies.
Also: The White House said Wednesday that Mobutu should leave
power because support for him was insufficient to lead Zaire
"into the next chapter of its history."
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