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Date: Sat, 14 Jan 1995 11:27:02 -0600
Message-Id: <9501141720.AA17558@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu>
Sender: Zaire and surrounding francophone countries Discussion List. zaire-l@rs6000.cmp.ilstu.edu

Zaire Network Office

From the Zaire Network Office, Washington, 5 December 1994

1511 K Street, N.W. Suite 925
Washington DC 20005

fax: (202)783-2776

December 5, 1994

Dear Friend of Zaire,

With this mailing the ZAIRE NETWORK OFFICE and the ZAIRE EDUCATIONAL COUNCIL would like to inform you about their work and urge you to participate in and support it. But above all else we encourage you to act now in whatever way you feel may be effective to free Zaire from the scourge of dictatorship.

Consider the strengths of the approach taken by ZNO and ZEDCO:

  • Both organizations were initiated by the Zairian community in the U.S. but recognise the critical role that U.S. citizens who have lived and worked in Zaire play in bringing about change in U.S. policy towards Zaire. Zairian community organizations from Iowa, Kentucky, North Carolina, Minnesota, New York, Virginia, and Washington, and The American School of Kinshasa Alumni formed the Zaire Network in May 1993 and opened the Zaire Network Office in September 1993.
  • Organizations of Zairians and friends of Zaire have democratic control of the Zaire Network Office and the Zaire Educational Council through their representatives on the Boards of Directors.

    They elect the staff and determine the program.

  • The Zairian community used its own resources to cover start-up costs and to furnish the office, and it continues to cover the office rent entirely. The staff has worked without pay for nine months to establish the organizations and has received half-pay for four months.
  • The Zaire Educational Council was granted tax-exempt status on December 1, 1994 by the Internal Revenue Service. All donations given to the Zaire Educational Council are exempt from taxes. Its activities complement those of the Zaire Network Office but are strictly educational in nature. ZNO is focused to a greater extent on bringing about change in U.S. policy through advocacy.

In one year of operation the Zaire Network Office and the Zaire Educational Council have established a credible voice in Washington for the people of Zaire. For our work to continue your response by donation or membership to this mailing is critical. Mail should be sent to the above address, fax or phone number.

A shackle was removed from all of us when race as a barrier to suffrage was shattered in the South African elections. But we are still enchained as long as 40 million Zairians are denied the vote by a dictator installed twenty-nine years ago with the assistance of the United States.

Will the ultimate sacrifice of our brothers and sisters in faith be honored by the United States and the international community? We can provide the answer by honoring their sacrifice ourselves-- by working together tirelessly to secure a more hopeful future for the people Zaire.


John Metzel
Associate for U.S. Constituency



Maintaining a Presence: To answer the need for an advocacy organization whose primary goal is to promote the interest of the people of Zaire.

Current Program Objective: To open and establish an advocacy and educational office in Washington. To manage operations of the office for the first year and lay the basis for the first five years of operation.

Progress to Date

May 22, 1993
Opening conference at Howard University, Board of Directors formed.
Board votes to open the Zaire Network Office, elects staff
August 3
Incorporated as a Not-for-Profit Corporation.
September 15
Lease signed for 2.5 years.
February 1994
ZNO receives grant through the Presbyterian Church USA
Through program with local universities, first group of 4 students interns earn credit while working at ZNO.
December 1
Zaire Educational Council granted tax exempt status by the Internal Revenue Service.


Advocacy for Zaire

To advocate for the well-being of the people of Zaire and to test whether each new regime's interest is that of the people.

Current Program Objectives
  1. To promote and defend the decisions and institutions established by the sovereign National Conference.
  2. To carry out a thorough program of advocacy with entities which influence U.S. policy towards Zaire and to advocate passage of current legislation containing sanctions against Mobutu (H.R. 128).
  3. To distribute accurate information in the policy-making community about Zaire and to expose the remaining special interests which are perpetuation dictatorship in Zaire.
Progress to Date
  1. ZNO organised the visit to the U.S. in October 1994 of Lambert Mende, Spokesperson for the Democratic Forces in Zaire and Minister of Communication and Press for Prime Minister Tshisekedi.

    Representatives of human rights groups, including Zaire Ligue des Electeurs and Toges Noires, and a range of other pro-democracy leaders have been assisted by ZNO.

  2. Meetings have included:
    Executive Branch -
    National Security Advisor Anthony Lake, Jennifer Ward, Donald Steinberg, Ernest Wilson
    State Department -
    Ambassador Robert Oakley, Reed Fendrick
    Congress -
    Representatives Lee hemilton, Harry Johnston, Donald Payne, and Cynthia McKinney
    Department of Defense -
    Lt. Col. Harvin, Central Africa Region
    World Bank -
    Vice President Kim Jaycox
    The Carter Center -
    Dr. Richard Joseph
  3. Production of a monthly newsletter, the Zaire Network News, has begun to update members and policy-makers about developments affecting Zaire. The first article, which exposed the role of Andrew Young in legitimating Mobutu's continued rule, was picked up by Newsweek, Village Voice, and the Atlanta Constitution.


Building the network

To cement our common ground and advance the advocacy goals agreed upon by our member organizations.

Current Program Objectives

  1. To organize meetings with key policy makers for Zaire-based and member organizations. To involve a broad constituency in our work by establishing a member group in each state.
  2. To lead public expressions of conscience by the network, including action alerts and peaceful public demonstrations.
  3. To build links to the environmentalist movement to expose the destruction of the Zairian rainforest, the world's second largest, by policies of the Mobutu regime.
  4. Implement a media campaign to increase coverage of Zaire's predicament.
Progress to Date
  1. The ZNO organized a meeting at the White House for 20 nongovernmental organizations working in Zaire with the Senior Director for African Affairs at the National Security Council, Jennifer Ward, on January 5, 1994. ZNO presented a document signed by the groups stating, "There can be no political solution in Zaire as long as Mobutu remains in power."
  2. Since 1992 staff members have organized a national demonstration to commemorate more than 42 Christians killed by Mobutu's troops on Sunday February 16, 1992 in a peaceful pro-democracy march. This year's event, on February18, was broadcast internationally. When the State Department violated President Clinton's Executive Order banning entry to Mobutu and his associates, ZNO organized 4 demonstrations in 3 states in one week and exposed the issue in the international press. ZNO mounted a large demonstration at the U.N. to protest the seating of Mobutu's delegation on October 11, 1993.
  3. California-based environmental leaders are helping to expose the plight of the rainforest after dialogue with ZNO.
  4. Lambert Mende presented the views of the democratic coalition in Zaire and exposed the illegality of the Kengo "government" in a press conference produced by ZNO at the National Press Club in October 1994. He was interviewed by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Baltimore Sun, and the Voice of America.

Kalala Mbenga Kalao, 1994 Winner of the National Press Club Freedom of the Press Award, works with ZNO to secure increasing exposure of Zaire.

Leading Zairian papers describe ZNO the "organization which is today the av avant-garde in the struggle against the regime of Kinshasa in Washington..."

To be continued...

- note: Due to its budgetary limitations, ZNO is not presently linked to the internet. I, Dan Metzel, have copied this bulletin for Zaire-l on behalf of ZNO and my brother, John. I am not employed by ZNO, but I would be glad to transmit messages to John. To communicate directly ZNO, use the "snail-mail" address, phone number, or fax number at the top of the posting.