This book is the outcome of a systematic process of reflection conducted by a multidisciplinary team of Zairian intellectuals, and focused on developments rocking Zaïre since independence. Against a backdrop of social upheaval, democratic protest, economic crisis and social anomie in this fabulously endowed country, observers have often wondered if history were not merely repeating itself. For there are uncanny similarities between the current spate of Zairian crises and the Congo crisis whose outbreak in the 1960s to the accompaniment of military mutinies, incursions of air-borne foreign troops, and violent conflicts between factions of the local ruling class propelled Africa with brutal suddenness onto the international scene. The challenge the authors of this volume took up was to present an alternative vision of a country on which much has already been written, projected this time by Zairian scholars from within Zaïre. The resulting volume has a vibrant, original tone. It addresses the central question : where might the many crises besetting Zaïre lead? In their search for answers, in an environment notoriously hostile to tranquil scholarly analysis, the contributing authors faced the task of finding the resources needed for clear-headed scholarly work. This work is their courageous achievement. It presents an array of carefully researched, fact-based scenarios making it an invaluable reference tool.