Report: Mobutu fortune once topped $4B

May 12, 1997
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LONDON, May 12 -- A published report says Zaire's embattled president built a personal fortune that was once worth $4 billion. The Financial Times reports that Western nations pumped money into Zaire despite warnings from the International Monetary Fund that there was widespread corruption in the government of President Mobutu Sese Seko.

Zaire received more than $3.9 billion in international aid between 1982 and 1991. Former Belgian Prime Minister Leo Tindemans told the Financial Times that 'there should have been a tougher policy towards Zaire.' The newspaper reports that the 66-year-old Mobutu has spent much of his fortune to defend his regime against the central African nation's rebel movement. Rebel leader Laurent Kabila reportedly is poised to seize the capital, Kinshasa. Despite its relative mineral wealth, Zaire's economy lies in ruins and many state workers have gone unpaid. ---

Copyright 1997 by United Press International. All rights reserved. ---

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