US formally defends Zairian government

In the face of charges of corruption in the strategic African nation of Zaire , the US State Department has reaffirmed its full support for the Zairian government headed by President Mobutu Sese Seko.

In a press statement, the State Department said it was pleased at the "increasing effectiveness" of US assistance reaching the poor in Zaire. "Year's of neglect, poor management, and misallocation of resources" in Zaire "cannot be reversed overnight," the statement said. But the Zairian government's performance over the past year "demonstrates that it has and will continue to make an effort to improve its military, economic, and social performance," according to the statement.

Nguza Karl+Bond, the former prime minister of Zaire, told a US House subcommittee Sept. 15 that a Zairian parliamentary investigation showed Mobutu and several members of his family took more than $150 million from the Bank of Zaire from 1977-79.

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