Battle of Kolwezi

The Battle of Kolwezi was an airborne operation by French and Belgian airborne forces that took place in May 1978 in Zaire during the Shaba II invasion of Zaire by the Front for the National Liberation of the Congo (FLNC). It aimed at rescuing European and Zairean hostages held by FLNC rebels after they conquered the city of Kolwezi. The operation succeeded with the liberation of the hostages and light military casualties.

Battle of Kolwezi
Part of Shaba II

Mortar of the 2 REP in action.
Date18–22 May 1978 (1978-05-18 1978-05-22)
Result Coalition (Zaire/French) victory
Commanders and leaders
Philippe Erulin Nathaniel Mbumba
~5,000 3,000-4,000 (estimated)
Casualties and losses
Zaire~120 killed
France 5 killed, 6 missing
Belgium 1 killed
  • ~250–400 killed
  • 160 captured

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