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NEW LEADERSHIP IMMINENT IN ZAIRE

SHARE NEW LEADERSHIP IMMINENT IN ZAIRE

Opposition leader Etienne Tshisekedi said Tuesday he probably will have his new government named within 24 hours, a move that could end the 26-year-old dictatorship of President Mobutu Sese Seko.

A conference of opposition parties to endorse Tshisekdei's appointment as prime minister was put off from Tuesday until Wednesday, Tshisekedi told reporters. No reason was given for the postponement.Mobutu formally appointed Tshisekedi as prime minister early Tuesday, and his long-time opponent accepted on condition of approval by the conference.

Tshisekedi, 58, pledged Monday that his new government would take control of this sprawling central African country from Mobutu, who has ruled with an iron grip since taking power in 1965.

Until last week's mutiny by soldiers and riots, Mobutu had thwarted the campaign for multiparty democracy that has dislodged three dictators across Africa and forced 16 others to allow opposition parties to form the past two years.

France and Belgium, which sent paratroopers to Zaire when unpaid Zairean soldiers rioted, supported Tshisekedi's nomination.

Life in this riot-torn city continued to return slowly to normal, but Tshisekedi warned that the city faces famine unless Western governments rush in food to replace stocks looted by civilians and mutinous soldiers last week.