Mobutu's return to
Kinshasa in December 1996 from cancer surgery in Europe was
stage-managed to reassure the public that the Big Man was back.
And he was prepared to fight the rebels who were mounting an
increasingly serious challenge in Zaire's east. Frail and
weak from prostate surgery, Mobutu made few other public
appearances after this event as his conditioned weakened and the
rebels strengthened. Six months after these photos were taken,
Mobutu was forced to flee Zaire. He died a few months
later in Morocco.
İAndrew Maykuth / The
Philadelphia Inquirer Click small pictures to see larger
The Council of Traditional Leaders waits to
give Marshal Mobutu the red-carpet treatment at Kinshasa Airport.
The Coca-Cola dancing girls prepare to greet
the president. So many supporters were positioned on the tarmac
that the blast from Mobutu's DC-8 blew over scores of them.
He Who Is Above All Others.
The gaunt president was surrounded by quite a few
Though he was sick, Mobutu lost little of the regal air that
helped keep him in power for more than three decades.
Mobutu moves unfazed through the media horde
awaiting his arrival at Kinshasa Airport