Congo's Ruler Speaks Better English Than French

At the tender age of 35, Joseph Kabila is taking on one of the most difficult jobs in the world - running the vast, chaotic, war-shattered country that is the Democratic Republic of Congo.

He has already been doing the job for almost six years on an interim basis after inheriting the post following the assassination of his father, Laurent Kabila.

But after winning DR Congo's first democratic elections in more than 40 years, he now has the legitimacy to stamp his authority on the country and move out of his father's shadow.


In order to avoid the attentions of Mobutu's intelligence service, he was sent over the border to Tanzania, where he grew up, pretending to be a member of Tanzania's Fipa ethnic group, our reporter says.

As a result, he speaks English better than DR Congo's official language, French and he speaks East Africa's lingua franca, Swahili, better than the Lingala spoken in western DR Congo.

Wednesday, 6 December 2006

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