As far as African dictators go, there is probably no single greater illustration of the nuances and complexities that underpin dictatorships in Africa, than Joseph Desire Mobutu’s 31 year stint, as the leader of the nation known today as the DRC.
A self-proclaimed anti-communist who modelled his entire state apparatus after China’s chairman Mao. A self-styled African revolutionary, who collaborated with his country’s former colonisers to assassinate his own prime minister and a proud Afrocentric, whose love for European luxuries and prestige would see him seize control of an estimated one third of his country’s GDP and build a personal net worth nearly twice the size of his country’s national debt.
A paradoxical man from a nation of paradox. Mobutu may have been stereotypically arrogant and cruel, but he was far from a simpleton. His over 3 decades as Congo’s Supreme leader, would be built on a complex combination of evil genius, will power and good fortune.
#Congo #Africa #History
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