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Location of Kolwezi in Democratic Republic of the Congo

Kolwezi is a city in Lualaba Province in the south of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, west of Likasi. It is home to an airport and a railway to Lubumbashi. The population is approximately 418,000.

Kolwezi is an important mining centre for copper and cobalt. There are also uranium, radium, oxide ores, and lime deposits.



The city was created in 1937 to be the headquarters for the western mining group of the High Katanga Mining Association (UMHK).

On 13 May 1978, rebels supported by Angola, occupied the city. The government of Zaire asked the U.S., France, Morocco and Belgium to restore order. The 2e REP, an elite paratroopers unit of the French Foreign Legion, were sent in to drive out the rebels and rescue any hostages. The Belgian army also deployed a force of some 750 Paracommando Regiment paratroopers and moved out just over 1,800 Europeans to other cities in the region. 700 Africans, including 250 rebels,[1] 170 European hostages and 6 paratroopers died.

Near Kolwezi there is the static inverter plant of the HVDC Inga-Shaba.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Général Gaussères. Les enseignements de Kolwezi - Mai 1978, in les Cahiers du Retex n° 12, supplément à Objectif doctrine 37 (published by Centre de doctrine de l'emploi des forces, Ministère de la Défense). On line : [1], 37-31
  2. ^ Dalarnas Tidningar - Ludvika

External links

Lualaba Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Kolwezi (capital) || Communes : Dilala, Manika
Territorial districts
  • Province not divided into districts

Coordinates: 10°43′S 25°28′E / 10.717°S 25.467°E / -10.717; 25.467



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