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Mobutu Sese Seko's remains to be returned to DRC

Oct. 25, 2013 at 12:05 PM
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WASHINGTON, Oct. 25 (UPI) -- The remains of Mobutu Sese Seko, one of Africa's more flashy corrupt rulers, will be repatriated to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the DRC president said.

President Joseph Kabila told Congolese lawmakers Mobutu's body would be returned to the country per an agreement with his family, the British newspaper The Guardian reported Friday.

Mobutu, who ruled the country for 31 years, was overthrown in 1997 and died in exile in Morocco several months later. Kabila's father, Laurent, lead a rebel march on Kinshasa and forced Mobutu to flee to neighboring Togo.

The ousted president, born Joseph-Desire Mobutu, fled to Morocco, where he owned several homes, and reportedly was turned down by the French government to fly to France for prostate cancer treatment. Mobutu was admitted to a military hospital in Rabat and died in September 1997. He was 66 years old.

His son, Nzanga Mobutu, is a member of the DRC parliament and reportedly is a Kabila ally, The Guardian said.

The elder Mobutu seized power in a coup in 1965 and changed the country's name to Zaire. Known for his trademark leopard-skin hat, he stole an estimated $5 billion while in power.

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