Can't Please Everybody

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KINSHASA, Congo: On the eve of his swearing-in as President, Laurent Kabila's 'stability before democracy' prescription for rebuilding the new Congo continues to leave little room for dissent. In Kinshasa, armed soldiers broke up a crowd of about 1,000 opposition activists marching in defiant support of Etienne Tshisekedi, the former Prime Minister passed over by Kabila when he formed his new government last week. No injuries were reported, but some 50 who had been chanting "Kabila, assassin of Congo!" were detained after the army moved in. TIME's Marguerite Michaels notes that the relatively small turnout means Kabila still has plenty of support. "If Tshisekedi, who is thought to be popular in Kinshasa, can't muster more than 1,000," she says, "Kabila doesn't have to do much of anything. Tshisekedi may just fade away." Besides, Michaels notes, Tshisekedi is hardly a martyr of Congo's new order. "Kabila offered him a place in the government," she says. "But not only did Tshisekedi refuse to accept anything less, he insisted he was still Prime Minister. He insisted that Kabila come to him."