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Zaire Conflict #53974

ABC Evening News for Tuesday, May 23, 1978
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(Studio) Report on developments in Zaire situation. Situation in Kolwezi, with French troops as only viable pro-government fighting force in Shaba prov., described; ineffectiveness or nonmotivation of Zairian troops noted.
REPORTER: Peter Jennings

(Kinshasa, Zaire) Conditions of French For. Legion patrol of Kolwezi and their stated distrust of Zairian troops for backup in case of attack by Katanganese rebels reported Return of most Belgian troops to Brussels noted. Belief that many blacks in Kolwezi support rebels against Zaire government, reported to be corrupt, stated. Effect of rebel invasion, allegedly backed by Cubans and USSR , on mineral industry, especially copper mining, in area and effect of this on Zaire's economy outlined.
REPORTER: Howard Tuckner

(Studio) Death toll in Kolwezi fighting and number of white hostages still held by rebels reported President Mobutu's flight to Paris noted.
REPORTER: Peter Jennings

(Paris, France) Mobutu's sudden decision to attend conference that France had arranged for African friends noted. France's growing influence in Africa detailed. Participation of French military forces in west Sahara, Chad and Zaire mentioned; apparent support of Cuba in Zaire invasion stated. French President Giscard's view of France's role in Africa and concerns about growth of USSR and Cuban influence there described.
REPORTER: Jack Smith

(Studio) Controversy over role of Cubans in Zaire invasion reported Carter admin. position that Cubans are training rebels and apparent State Department disagreement noted.
REPORTER: Peter Jennings

(DC) Report on conflict between State and Defense Depts. concerning any involvement of Cuban forces in Zaire. Concerns about chgs. that White House used this incorrectly to support President Carter's statement that he needs more flexibility in meeting foreign policy emergencies from Congress noted. Fidel Castro's denial that Cubans were directly or indirectly involved in Zaire conflict reported Conflicting statements about situation by State Department and by Defense Department and CIA given.
REPORTER: John Scali

Jennings, Peter;
Scali, John;
Smith, Jack;
Tuckner, Howard

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