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Mobutu et la guerre de "quatre-vingts jours"

Aggiornamento: 6 gen

Title: Mobutu et la guerre de "quatre-vingts jours"

Photographer(s): Alain Mingam



Publisher(s): Département de la défense nationale état-major général des forces armées zaïroises, Belgium

Year: 1978

Print run:

Language(s): French

Pages: 418

Size: 22 x 22 cm

Binding: Hardcover


Print: Casterman, Tournai, Belgium 1978

Nation(s) and year(s) of Protest: Zaire,1977


On that day, 7 March like today but in 1977, a rebel force of 1,500 men from eastern Angola invaded the rich mining region of Shaba in southern Zaire.

These were elements of the Front National de Liberation du Congo (FNLC) who had the support of the Angolan government (in reaction to President Mobutu's support for Jonas Savimbi's UNITA) and possibly Cuba.

Led by General Mbumba Nathanaël, the FNLC forces (they were called the 'Tigers') stormed Kapanga and at 13:00 Kisenge Manganese fell.

The next morning, around 9am, General Mbumba Nathanaël and his men entered Dilolo, before continuing on to Kasaji and Mutshatsha.

Ill-prepared, the Zairean troops were pushed back, as was Mobutu's elite division (the 'Kamanyola' division).

Mobutu then felt unable to stop this movement and resorted to international aid.

He brought 1,500 Moroccan soldiers, brought to Zaire by the French government.

They arrived in Zaire on 13 April and launched a vigorous counter-offensive by land and air.

But it took about two months to finish off the FNLC rebels who had retreated into Angola.

This attack had led to reprisals by the Mobutu regime in the areas previously occupied by the FNLC; which led to a mass exodus of refugees, as well as political and economic instability within the Shaba region.

The FNLC carried out a second invasion the following year, in 1978 (the so-called 'Second Shaba War'), without success.

After their second failure, these Katangese 'Tiger' fighters remained in Angola. Twenty years later, Laurent-Désiré Kabila reminded him of some of them who had even returned to military service during the AFDL's march on Kinshasa.

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