Letter: Horror in Zaire

Sir: I am very happy to know that President Mobutu has returned to Zaire "to bring a solution to the problems of the east of the country".

These are the problems for which the east of the country expects him to bring a solution: the wretched girls of Idohu school, kidnapped by the retreating FAZ (Zaire Armed Forces), begging the population of Marabo to free them from their captors after days and nights of continued rape; the hungry population of Bunia with its market and shops looted and burned by the FAZ, with no way to find their daily food; the ransacked hospitals of Rwanguba, Katwa, Beni, Oicha and Rethy, pillaged by the FAZ; the nuns of Maboya, raped and murdered by the FAZ; the four truck-loads of fleeing Goma residents, women and children, massacred in cold blood by the Interahamwe, now fighting on the side of the FAZ; the girls and nuns of Institut ChemChem in Bunia, raped by the FAZ.

President Mobutu could follow the example of rebels now in control of Goma; they have put deserting FAZ soldiers into a one-year retraining course, to drum it into their heads that the role of the military is to defend civilians.