State of Katanga

The State of Katanga[lower-alpha 1] also sometimes denoted as the Republic of Katanga, was a breakaway state that proclaimed its independence from Congo-Léopoldville on 11 July 1960 under Moise Tshombe, leader of the local Confédération des associations tribales du Katanga (CONAKAT) political party. The new Katangese state did not enjoy full support throughout the province and was constantly plagued by ethnic strife in its northernmost region. It was dissolved in 1963 following an invasion by United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) forces, and reintegrated with the rest of the country as Katanga Province.

State of Katanga
  • État du Katanga
  • Inchi Ya Katanga
Motto: "Force, espoir et paix dans la prospérité"
"Power, hope and peace in prosperity"
Anthem: "La Katangaise"[1]
Katanga in green (1961)
StatusUnrecognized state
and largest city
GovernmentPresidential constitutional republic
Moïse Tshombe
Jean-Baptiste Kibwe
LegislatureNational Assembly
Historical eraCongo Crisis
11 July 1960
8 August 1960
21 January 1963
496,871 km2 (191,843 sq mi)
 1960 estimate
CurrencyKatangese franc
Time zoneUTC+2 (CAT)
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Today part ofDemocratic Republic of the Congo

The Katangese secession was carried out with the support of Union Minière du Haut Katanga, a mining company with concession rights in the region, and a large contingent of Belgian military advisers.[2] An army the government called the Katanga Gendarmerie, raised by the Tshombe government, was initially organised and trained by Belgium's military and consisted of Belgian soldiers as well as mercenaries from Northern Rhodesia and elsewhere.[3] There was a similarly organized Katangese Air Force.

Although the rebellion was conceived as an opposition to Patrice Lumumba's central government, it continued even after the democratically elected prime minister was violently overthrown, leading to Lumumba's own kidnap and murder inside the breakaway state. After Operation Grandslam, the rebels either scattered or surrendered to United Nations forces in 1963.

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