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État du Katanga
Inchi ya Katanga
State of Katanga
Unrecognized state

Flag Coat of arms
"Force, espoir et Paix dans la Prosperite" (French)
("Power, Hope and Peace in Prosperity")
La Katangaise
Territorial Control in Congo (1960-61). Katanga in Green.
Capital Élisabethville
Government Republic
President Moise Tshombe
Historical era Cold War
 - Congolese independence 30 June 1960
 - Secession 11 July 1960
 - Kasai secession¹ 8 August 1960
 - Defeated 15 January 1963
Currency Katangan franc
¹ South Kasai secession 8 August 1960 to 30 December 1961.

Katanga was a breakaway state proclaimed on 11 July 1960 separating itself from the newly independent Democratic Republic of the Congo. In revolt against the new government of Patrice Lumumba in July, Katanga declared independence under Moise Tshombe, leader of the local CONAKAT party. The new Katangese government did not enjoy the support throughout the province, especially in the northern Baluba areas. The state is now Katanga Province, part of Democratic Republic of the Congo.

A postage stamp issued in 1961; although Katanga was not a member of the UPU, its stamps were tolerated on international mail.

The declaration of independence was made with the support of Belgian business interests and over 6000 Belgian troops. Tshombe was known to be close to the Belgian industrial companies which mined the rich resources of copper, gold and uranium. Katanga was one of the richest and most developed areas of the Congo. Without Katanga, Congo would lose a large part of its mineral assets and consequently government income. The view of the Congolese central government and a large section of international opinion was that this was an attempt to create a Belgian-controlled puppet-state run for the benefit of the mining interests. Not even Belgium officially recognised the new state despite providing it with military assistance.

In September, Prime Minister Lumumba was replaced in a coup d'état by Joseph Mobutu. On 17 January 1961 Mobutu sent Lumumba to Élisabethville where he was tortured and executed shortly after arrival. Belgian officers, under Katangan command, were present at the execution.

The United Nations Security Council met in the wake of Lumumba's death in a highly emotional atmosphere charged with anti-colonial feeling and rhetoric. On 21 February 1961 the United Nations Security Council adopted resolution 161, which authorised 'all appropriate measures' to 'prevent the occurrence of civil war in the Congo, including ... the use of force, if necessary, in the last resort'. This resolution demanded the expulsion from the Congo of all Belgian troops and foreign mercenaries, but did not explicitly mandate the UN to conduct offensive operations. This resolution was ultimately interpreted by the local UN forces justify military operations to end the secession of Katanga. Despite this new resolution during the next six months the UN undertook no major military operations instead concentrating on facilitating several rounds of political negotiations. However, many sources on location claims that UN troops initiated and maintained a high degree of violence and was responsible for hundreds if not even thousands of civilan deaths. Civilian buildings, such as Elisabethville's main hospital was targeted by the UN troops according to local witnesses (source "The Fearful Master")

In June, Tshombe signed a pledge to reunite Katanga with rest of the country. However, by August it was clear he had no intention to implement this agreement. In August and September, the UN conducted two operations to arrest and repatriate the mercenaries and political advisors by force. The second operation was resisted by the Katangan Gendarmerie and resulted in casualties on both sides.

Peace negotiations ensued, in the course of which, UN secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld died in a plane crash near Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia).

Under UN pressure (military attacks and indiscriminate bombing), Tshombe later agreed to a three-stage plan from the acting Secretary General, U Thant, that would have reunited Katanga with Congo. However, this remained an agreement on paper only.

Urged on by Congo's leader Cyrille Adola, United Nations forces launched a decisive attack on Katanga in December 1962. The capital, Élisabethville (now Lubumbashi), fell in January 1963, and Tshombe fled to Kolwezi, where he surrendered on 15 January 1963. The Katangan secession was formally ended by the National Conciliation Plan.

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