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Congo Puts Kabila’s Son in Charge

January 17, 2001

KINSHASA, Congo (AP) _ Congolese officials temporarily placed President Laurent Kabila’s son, Joseph, in charge of the government and armed forces Wednesday, a day after numerous foreign officials said the ruler of this troubled nation was shot and killed during a coup attempt.

Communications Minister Dominique Sakombi Inongo, who made the announcement on state-run television after an emergency Cabinet meeting, insisted Kabila was injured but alive.

The news came as Congolese officials appeared to be struggling to fill a power vacuum in the already unstable Central African country that has been ravaged by more than two years of civil war.

Joseph Kabila is already head of the armed forces and was reported to have been injured in the shooting. State-run television broadcast footage of him sitting alone silently, though it was not immediately clear when the images were recorded.

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