MOBUTU retained his position for 32 years through several sham elections, as well as through brutal force.
Ethnic strife and civil war, touched off by a massive inflow of refugees in 1994 from fighting in Rwanda and Burundi, led in May 1997 to the toppling of the MOBUTU regime by a rebellion backed by Rwanda and Uganda and fronted by Laurent KABILA.
The Papua New Guinea government brought in the new laws after being criticised in June by the UN, which said that authorities were doing nothing to prevent the attacks.
A horrific video has emerged showing four young women accused of witchcraft being tortured in a village in Papua New Guinea.
The video shows at least four women being stripped, beaten and burned as they are interrogated by villagers.
Pasu Aiyo, Lidia's husband, tells me this is what happens.
"When you get sick, you get better or you die." But for the glow from the campfire, it is impenetrably dark.
In January 2001, KABILA was assassinated and his son, Joseph KABILA, was named head of state.
In October 2002, the new president was successful in negotiating the withdrawal of Rwandan forces occupying the eastern DRC; two months later, the Pretoria Accord was signed by all remaining warring parties to end the fighting and establish a government of national unity.
"Once they're suspected they're basically done for, they'll be tortured and maybe killed as well." One woman is reported to have died in the attack.
In April, four people were accused of witchcraft and tortured in a village in the country's superstitious highlands, and in 2013 a 20-year-old woman was stripped and burnt alive in Enga province.
Established as an official Belgian colony in 1908, the then-Republic of the Congo gained its independence in 1960, but its early years were marred by political and social instability. Joseph MOBUTU seized power and declared himself president in a November 1965 coup.