Zaïre-RD du Congo: Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga

CE JOUR-LA… 7 septembre, comme aujourd’hui..

Le 7 septembre 1997, décès du Maréchal Mobutu. Ce jour-là, le Maréchal Mobutu Sese Seko Kuku Ngbendu Wa Za Banga meurt en exil, des suites d’un cancer de la prostate, dans un hôpital militaire au Maroc, âgé de 67 ans.

Il était le deuxième Président de l’Histoire de la République démocratique du Congo (ex-Zaïre). Ainsi se concrétisait l’adage selon lequel “tous les dictateurs meurent de la même façon, loin de leur base”. Il fut enterré dans la plus stricte intimité, en présence de quelques membres de sa famille biologique. C’est au cimetière chrétien de Rabat, capitale du Royaume du Maroc, que repose jusqu’à ce jour le Maréchal.

Depuis lors, sa dépouille n’a jamais été rapatriée en RD Congo.

Nzanga Mobutu, un de ses fils, a tenté, alors qu’il était vice-Premier ministre et ministre du Travail après les élections de 2006, de rapatrier sa dépouille à Kinshasa pour être dignement inhumé au pays de ses ancêtres, sans succès.

En dépit de toutes les erreurs qu’il a commises pendant son règne, le Maréchal Mobutu a laissé aux congolais (zaïrois) moult souvenirs et acquis, dont le plus vivace est l’attachement à la paix, à l’unité et à la stabilité du pays.

Pour le Maréchal Mobutu, la paix, l’unité du pays et l’intégrité territoriale étaient le leitmotiv de sa politique et elles étaient non négociables.

On se souviendra aussi qu’en 1977, afin d’apporter des réponses appropriées aux problèmes sociaux qui se posaient au peuple zaïrois de l’époque, Mobutu avait lancé le “Plan Mobutu”, suivi en décembre 1984 par “le Septennat du social”. C’est à ce moment-là qu’il s’était donné lui-même à sillonner les 9 régions du pays en y effectuant 559 visites afin de palper du doigt les conditions de vie de ses citoyens.

Enfin, on reconnaîtra de Mobutu un bâtisseur infatigable dont l’héritage en termes d’infrastructure fait, jusqu’à ce jour, la fierté des Congolais : le Palais du peuple, le barrage d’Inga, la sidérurgie de Maluku, le Pont Maréchal, la Cité de l’Union africaine, la Cité de la Voix du Zaïre (actuelle RTNC), les buildings CCIZ (l’actuel Hôtel du Fleuve), le stade des Martyrs, etc.


Qui etait cet homme?

Joseph-Désiré Mobutu est né à Lisala en 1930. Son père, Albéric Gbemani, cuisinier pour un magistrat colonial de Lisala, meurt alors que le jeune Joseph-Désiré n’a que 8 ans. Élevé par son grand-père et un oncle, il poursuivit ses études dans une école catholique. Alors âgé de 20 ans, il s’enrôle dans la Force publique à Luluabourg. Il y obtient le brevet de secrétaire-comptable, avant d’être affecté à l’état-major de Léopoldville, en 1953.

À 25 ans, il se marie avec Marie-Antoinette Gbiatibwa Yetene, âgée de 14 ans et avec laquelle il aura huit enfants

Après son passage dans l’armée, dont il sort sous-officier, il devient journaliste pour le quotidien libéral de Léopoldville L’Avenir. En 1957, grâce à l’un de ses mentors, le journaliste Antoine-Roger Bolamba, il rencontre Patrice Lumumba. Il voyage pour la première fois en Europe lors d’un congrès de presse à Bruxelles, où il reste quelque temps pour suivre une formation d’assistant social.

Au même moment, les représentants du Mouvement national congolais (MNC), menés par Patrice Lumumba, négocient l’indépendance de la colonie. Lorsqu’ils arrivent à Bruxelles pour la tenue d’une table ronde, Mobutu se joint à eux avec Antoine Kiwewa et devient membre du MNC ; en janvier-février 1960. C’est à cette occasion qu’il est repéré par Larry Devlin (en) officier de la CIA et futur chef d’antenne de la CIA au Congo avec lequel il établit de bonnes relations.


En juillet 1960, il devient secrétaire d’État du gouvernement indépendant de Patrice Lumumba. Il profite du désaccord entre les différents hommes politiques et du fait d’être l’un des seuls lumumbistes à avoir une quelconque expérience militaire pour évoluer très rapidement dans la hiérarchie militaire.

C’est ainsi en tant que chef d’état-major adjoint, et sous l’influence de l’ambassadeur de Belgique, qu’il fait arrêter et assigner à résidence Lumumba en 1960.

Ce premier coup d’État le 14 septembre 1960 comptera beaucoup dans les relations entre les Belges et Mobutu. Il met en place un gouvernement temporaire, le Collège des commissaires généraux. Devant les caméras, Mobutu accuse ensuite Lumumba de sympathie pro-communiste pour s’attirer le soutien des États-Unis. Lumumba tente de s’enfuir à Stanleyville, mais est rattrapé en chemin par les soldats. Mobutu le fait mettre en prison, où il est maltraité et torturé. Il est ensuite envoyé à la République du Katanga de Moïse Tshombe, où il est assassiné le 17 janvier 1961, son corps « disparu en brousse » selon les documents officiels.

Sous la direction de Pierre Mulele, des rebelles partisans de Lumumba partent en guerre contre Mobutu. Ils occupent rapidement deux-tiers du Congo, mais avec l’aide des États-Unis, Mobutu parvient à reconquérir l’ensemble du territoire. Cette « victoire », qui n’aurait pas été possible sans l’aide occidentale, est habilement mise à profit en interne par un Mobutu se parant de la vertu de pacificateur, d’unificateur du territoire. Il pose ainsi son pouvoir sur deux piliers : à l’extérieur, le contexte de la guerre froide et à l’intérieur, la stabilité.

Un autre moyen d’affermir son pouvoir est la prise de contrôle du pouvoir politique, dont le corollaire est la répression d’une partie des citoyens congolais.

En 1994, malgré le partage du pouvoir avec le président du Parlement, le pays s’enfonce de nouveau dans la crise. Celle-ci s’aggrave avec l’arrivée de réfugiés rwandais fuyant d’abord la répression du génocide au Rwanda, puis à partir de 1996 la progression de l’Alliance de forces démocratiques pour la libération du Congo, bras armé congolais du Front patriotique rwandais et de l’Ouganda, emmenés par Laurent-Désiré Kabila.

Ceux-ci entrent à Kinshasa le 17 mai 1997, entraînant la chute définitive et la fuite de Mobutu Sese Seko, malgré une dernière tentative de négociation pour le partage du pouvoir parrainée par Nelson Mandela sur le navire Outenika.

Mobutu se réfugie dans un premier temps au Togo mais le président togolais Gnassingbé Eyadéma insiste pour que Mobutu quitte le pays. Après avoir été soigné pendant de longs mois en Suisse et en France, Mobutu Sese Seko meurt d’un cancer de la prostate le 7 septembre 1997 à l’hôpital militaire Mohammed V de Rabat et il est inhumé au cimetière européen de la ville, quatre mois après l’accession au pouvoir de Laurent-Désiré Kabila.

Il laisse un pays économiquement exsangue, en conflit avec de nombreux pays voisins pour ses richesses et son espace et en pleine guerre civile.

Sources: Wikipédia et le blog : www.babunga.alobi.cd

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