Zaire dissidents doubt Mobutu's amnesty

By , Special to The Christian Science Monitor

Most Zairian dissidents exiled here have reacted with suspicion to President Mobutu Sese Seko's recent amnesty for political prisoners. Although former minister and ambassador Mungul Diaka, a prominent opponent of the Zairian leader, has announced his intention to accept the May 20 amnesty offer and return to the ex-Belgian colony, most other exiles intend to remain outside the country. Many see the amnesty, which came a few months after a report by the London-based Amnesty International criticizing Zaire's human rights record, as an adroit maneuver undermining their possible support.

But they also note that the amnesty was not the first such move by Mobutu and was accompanied by a warning that opposition to his regime would continue to be repressed.

The Congolese National Liberation Front headed by Mr. Mungul and the Congolese Democratic Front headed by former Prime Minister Nguza Karl-I-Bond have maintained their criticism of the Mobutu regime. A statement also noted that Mobutu, who has been president for over 20 years, may have sought to undermine the opposition in preparation for elections in 1985.

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