The Congo PP -

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Political Science, International Relations
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Chapter 6 The Secession of Katanga 19601965

Chapter 6 Why is this chapter important?

 This topic is a case study and is very important as it could be asked in Section 1 – DocumentsBased Question - in 2011 or 2012 examinations.

Elements Covered:  Africa – the “winds of change”.  Post-independence relations with the colonial power.  Economic consequences of the process of decolonisation.

Key Personality:  Sese Seko Mobutu Key Concepts:  Colonial rule  Racism  De-colonisation  Tribalism

Key Questions:

 How did the Congo gain independence?  Why did the province of Katanga secede?  Why did the UN intervene in the Congo and what role did the Cold War play?  Why was Patrick Lumumba removed from power and murdered?  How was the secession of Katanga ended?  How did Sese Seko Mobutu come to power and what was his rule like for the Congo?  What were the consequences of events in the Congo between 1960 and 1965?

Key Points:  At independence the Congo descended into chaos as Belgium encouraged the secession of the mineral-rich province of Katanga.  The crisis saw: - the first intervention of the UN into sub-Saharan Africa. - cold war divisions between the US and the USSR - the first military coup in Africa - the murder of the Prime Minister - the death of the UN Secretary General in a mysterious plane crash.  It brought to prominence General Joseph Mobutu who would rule the country from 1965 until 1997.

Key Question: How did the Congo gain independence?  Ruled by Belgium since the 1880s.  Immense country - 75 times the size of Belgium. Population circa 13 million including 100,000 white settlers.  Borders were lines drawn on maps by Europeans in the late 19th century.  The country contained over 200 separate ethnic groups or tribes, each with its own language.

 Profitable colony - producing copper, cobalt, industrial diamonds and uranium.  As it was the centre of copper production, Katanga was the richest province in the country.  Belgians did not allow Congolese to go to secondary school or to university – did not want to create educated class that would challenge their control.  Africans were unable to become doctors, engineers or lawyers or army officers in the army.

 Even in the late 1950s Belgium refused to consider self-government for its colony.

 In the late 1950s as other African countries gained Independence a number of political groups were founded most along tribal lines: - Abako led by Joseph Kasavubu. - Conakat was popular in Katanga - led by Moise Tshombe. - The Congolese National Movement (MNC) led by Patrice Lumumba.  January 1960 - Amid increasing violence Belgium agreed to elections followed by independence on 30 June 1960.

 The Elections of 1960 - Lumumba’s MNC was the largest party.  In Katanga Tshombe’s party was the largest.  Lumumba appointed Prime Minister while Kasavubu got the job of President.

Key Question: Why did the province of Katanga secede?  Unfortunately chaos spread quickly.  Independence ceremonies were marked by row between Lumumba and the Belgian king.  Then the army mutinied over pay and the lack of black officers.  Lumumba replaced all of the white officers with Congolese ones and made Joseph Mobutu the new Chief of Staff.

 However soldiers continued looting and attacking whites and thousands of white refugees fled the violence to neighbouring countries.  Lumumba refused permission for Belgian troops to protect Belgian citizens. Belgians ignored him and ordered their troops into action.

 On July 11 1960 Tshombe seized the opportunity presented by the continuing violence to declare the province of Katanga an independent state – the secession of Katanga.  The Belgian government “backed” Tshombe’s actions: - They wanted to safeguard western mining interests in Katanga. - They hoped to use Katanga as a base from which to replace Lumumba’s government.  6000 Belgian troops took control and trained the new Katanganese army called the Katangan Gendarmerie. White mercenaries played a prominent role in this force.

Key Question: Why did the UN intervene in the Congo and what role was played by the Cold War?  The Congolese claimed that Katanga was a Belgian puppet state and appealed to the United Nations (UN) to send troops to replace the Belgians and to restore order.  The international community was worried that events in the Congo might trigger copy-cat successions thereby plunge Africa into chaos.  The UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold also wanted to prevent the intervention of the superpowers, the US and the USSR.

 UN Security Council called on the Belgians to remove their troops from the country and sent UN troops to restore order but not to end the secession in Katanga.

 UNOC – United Nations Operations in the Congo was made up of troops from Africa, India Sweden and Ireland.  They established control and Belgian troops withdrew from the country except for Katanga.

 Enter the Cold War: Lumumba demanded that the UN enter Katanga to end the secession and threatened to ask the Soviet Union for help.  The US feared that Congo might become “another Cuba”.

 Matters made worse in August 1960 South Kasai broke away from the Congo.

 Lumumba now requested military aid from the Soviets – over 1000.  Major Mistake!!!  Growing fears about Lumumba among Western powers.

Key Question: Why was Patrick Lumumba removed from power and murdered?  US feared that the USSR would use the Congo as a base to support communist rebellions in neighbouring countries – wanted Lumumba removed.  Lumumba was a losing support among the Congolese e.g. General Mobutu strongly opposed the arrival of Soviet advisors.  On September 14 with the support of the CIA Mobutu seized power in a coup – Lumumba placed under house arrest.

 Kasavubu remained as President and a new government was formed but it excluded supporters of Lumumba.  The Belgians and the Congolese were worried at the prospect of a military coup in support of Lumumba and it was decided to kill him.  January 1961 Lumumba was flown to Elisabethville in Katanga – capital city of his sworn enemy Tshombe where he was then executed by a firing squad commanded by a Belgian officer.

Key Question: How was the secession of Katanga ended?  World opinion - shocked by murder UN Resolution 161 was passed in February gave the UN the power to take action against Katanga.  Tshombe refused UN request white mercenaries be withdrawn and the UN act: - Operation Rumpunch - Operation Morthor. Both failed.  In September Dag Hammarskjöld flew to the Congo but was killed in plane crash in Northern Rhodesia.

 November 1961 UN resolution (169) authorised UN troops to remove foreign forces from Katanga.

 The US looked for negotiated settlement but it was obvious that Tshombe was stalling for time.  In December 1962 the UN decided to act launched Operation Grand Slam.  UN forces were soon in control and Tshombe announced the end of Katanga's secession on January 14, 1963.

Key Question: How did Mobutu come to power and what was his rule like for the Congo?  In 1964 Simba rebellion now broke out in the east of the country.  The US and Belgium sent military aid to help the Congolese government.  Government troops led by white mercenaries defeated the Simbas in a brutal campaign.  In November 1965 Mobutu staged his second coup frustrated at the politicians’ inability to form a stable government - in power for the next 32 years.

There was a dark side though:  The country was poorly-run and corrupt beyond belief.  He robbed the people of the Congo and amassed a fortune of $5 billion.  The corruption of his government saw the invention of a new political term: kleptocracy.  In 1997 he was forced from power and died the same year.

Key Question: What were the consequences of events in the Congo between 1960 and 1965?  First crisis with an international dimension in postcolonial Africa.  Left a perception among Europeans that Africa was a continent of political instability.

 Showed the difficulty that in developing stable political systems in the face of many different tribal groups and the absence of any democratic traditions.

 Mobutu’s coup in 1960 was the first of many e.g. Ghana and Nigeria.  International community was opposed to secessionist movements - preferred to see the colonial borders remain.  The involvement of Cold War politics was to play a very important role after 1960 in African politics as the two superpowers competed to gain influence and control.

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