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BILL RICHARDSON: Former US Diplomat Crucial In Negotiations For Honorable Exit of Mobutu Dies

Former New Mexico Governor and US ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson has died at the age of 75, the Richardson Center for Global Engagement have announced.

Richards was memorably in the 1990s sent to the Democratic Republic of Congo (then Zaire) to persuade then President Mobutu Sese Seko to handover power peacefully and leave office honorably.

The mission was part of the then US President Bill Clinton administration’s attempts to orchestrate a peaceful transition of power without further conflict or loss of life.

Richardson had thus played a critical role in the negotiations between Mobutu and rebel leader Laurent Kabila.

Later in 2011 and in the build up to the elections in the DRC, Richardson was also invited by the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and met President Joseph Kabila and opposition leaders to find ways to avoid political violence and ensure transparency during the electoral process.

Richardson, who diplomatic career spanned decades, was widely respected for his astuteness in negotiating delicate situations.

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