Zaire, officially the Republic of Zaire, was the name of a sovereign state between 1971 and 1997 in Central Africa that was previously and is now again known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was, by area, the largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, the third-largest in all of Africa (after Sudan and Algeria), and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 23 million inhabitants, Zaire was the most-populous officially Francophone country in Africa, as well as one of the most populous in Africa.
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- Zaire is the country that has been the most heavily exploited in the world. That is why farms, ranches, plantations, concessions, commerce, and real estate agencies will be turned over to sons of the country.
- November 30, 1973, on the eve of "Zairianization". Zaire: A Country Study, "Zairianization, Radicalization, and Retrocession"
- In a word, everything is for sale, anything can be bought in our country. And in this flow, he who holds the slightest cover of public authority uses it illegally to acquire money goods, prestige or to avoid obligations. The right to be recognized by a public servant, to have one's children enrolled in school, to obtain medical care, etc. ...are all subject to this tax which, though invisible, is known and expected by all.
- November 25, 1977. D.J. Gould, "Patrons and Clients: The Role of the Military in Zaire Politics," in Isaac Mowoe, ed., The Performance of Soldiers as Governors, p. 485
- If you want to steal, steal a little in a nice way. But if you steal too much to become rich overnight, you'll be caught.
- D.J. Gould, "Patrons and Clients: The Role of the Military in Zaire Politics," in Isaac Mowoe, ed., The Performance of Soldiers as Governors, p. 485
- Democracy is not for Africa. There was only one African chief and here in Zaire we must make unity.
- George B. N. Ayittey, Africa Betrayed, p. 65
- We in Zaire spent a lot of time building a strong central state which could resist Soviet aggression quickly and effectively. This enabled us to decisively make the uniform decisions that were necessary to fulfill our national defense obligations and our commitments to the United States.
- George B. N. Ayittey, Africa in Chaos, p. 113
- Col. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup. He subsequently changed his name - to MOBUTU Sese Seko - as well as that of the country - to Zaire. MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several sham elections, as well as through brutal force. Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion backed by Rwanda and Uganda and fronted by Laurent KABILA.