Kabila to Mobutu: Get Out Of Town

  • Share
  • Read Later
GOMA, Zaire: Laurent Kabila has given President Mobutu Sese Seko three days to get out of town. Declaring a "pause" in his march across Zaire, Kabila issued this ultimatum: "In three days, if we will not get good news from Kinshasa of his willingness to depart to the north, then we will be forced to continue the military advance." Kabila, who ordered the pause to give his armies time to regroup, hopes the delay will bring Mobutu under increasing pressure to leave. "This gives people in Kinshasa a chance to put some more pressure on Mobutu and his government," notes TIME's Peter Graff. "With the U.S. and now Belgium having publicly called for Mobutu's resignation, Kabila can wait to see what will happen." There have been indications that Kabila is expecting some kind of peace overture, either from Mobutu or from his underlings at the talks currently idling in South Africa. Despite his public posture, the rebel leader may be waiting for an offer. While talks continue, Kabila will use these three days to consolidate militarily. Rebel soldiers are said to be within 160 miles of Kinshasa. But the bulk of Kabila's forces are scattered up and down Zaire's eastern border, and the trip across Zaire's nearly roadless heart figures to be a long one.