The continuing conflict in Zaire and the disintegration of that country’s political and socio-economic fabric, have their roots in the legacies of colonial rule. After independence in 1960, the political struggle for control of the new state erupted in open armed conflict, secession and political assassinations. Throughout this period, local politicians mobilised on ethnic lines and enlisted external political and military backing to serve exclusivist interests and concerns. Mobutu's regime created a politico-administrative resulting in a kleptocracy.