Katanga Province

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For other meanings of Katanga see Katanga (disambiguation)
Province du Katanga
Image:None Image:None
(Provincial flag) (Provincial Seal)
Country Image:Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svgDemocratic Republic of the Congo
Capital Lubumbashi
Largest city Lubumbashi
National language Swahili, Tshiluba
Land area¹ 496.871 km²
Governor Urbain Kisula Ngoy

(est. 1998)

Districts 5
Cities 3
Demonym Katangan
Official Website [ Province du Katanga]
Territorial Organisation - Cities

Katanga is the southern province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, regional capital Lubumbashi (formerly Elizabethville in French, Elisabethstad in Dutch). 518,000 km² with a population of around 4.1 million. Farming and ranching are carried out on the Katanga Plateau. In the eastern part of the province is a rich mining region, which supplies cobalt, copper, tin, radium, uranium, and diamonds.


[edit] Early and colonial history

Beginning in the 17th century, the province was controlled by the Luba and Lunda.

In the late 19th century, a trader from Tanzania called M'Siri founded a short-lived kingdom that lasted until he was killed by the Belgians in 1891.

Though on 15 April, 1891, the administration of the Katangese areas conquered by the Congo Free State was entrusted to the Compagnie du Katanga, no effective administration was set up until 19 June, 1900, when all Katanga was entrusted to the Comité Spécial du Katanga, an administration totally separate from that of the Congo. On 1 September, 1910, Katanga was integrated into the Belgian Congo but it retained a large measure of autonomy until 1 October, 1933, when part of its Lomami-district was also transferred to the province of Kasaï. On 1 October, 1933, it was renamed the province of Elisabethville (in French; Elisabethstad in Dutch), after its capital (now Lubumbashi).

Under Belgian control, from around 1884, the mineral resources were heavily exploited by Belgian firms (notably Union Minière du Haut Katanga) and the province was developed much more than the rest of the country. The Belgian mining cartel employed a mixture of contract mercenaries and hired guards in order to subdue the local population and to ensure the proper transport of minerals and other goods out of the country. The Luba people often interfered with their mining operations in the province, and many were killed in raids on mining operations.

With the high demand of mining workforce in the region many people were brought from neighbouring regions, mostly Luba people from the Kasai area and even workers from Zambia.

[edit] Secession

State of Katanga
Image:Flag of Katanga.svg
The flag of Katanga during the period of independence
Capital Elisabethville (Lubumbashi)
Created June 1960
Dissolved January 1963
Demonym Katangan
Currency Katanga franc

Following the granting of independence to the Congo in June 1960, Katanga (an autonomous province since 1 July 1960) broke away from the new Congolese government of Patrice Lumumba in July and declared independence under Moise Tshombe. Lumumba was replaced in September 1960 in a coup d'état by Joseph Mobutu.

Image:Stamp Katanga 1961 fair 50c.jpg
A postage stamp issued in 1961; although Katanga was not a member of the UPU, its stamps were tolerated on international mail.

In January 1961 northern Katanga was invaded by the Congolese government, and in response the UN sent in 'peacekeeping' forces, authorised in February 1961 by the Security Council to use force in self-defence. Under pressure due to the continued unrest in the Congo, the UN launched a controversial attack on Katangan forces in September. In spite of superior fire power, the attack proved unsuccessful. Peace negotiations ensued, in the course of which, UN secretary-general Dag Hammarskjöld died in uncertain circumstances in a plane crash near Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia), most probably due to a pilot that was inexperienced in the African territories where altitudes vary incredibly. A ceasefire was agreed, but broken in December 1961 when UN forces launched a second unsuccessful attack on the Katangan forces of Tshombe. Again, multiple allegations were made, most notably '46 Angry Men', a statement signed by 46 civilian doctors of Elisabethville testifying to numerous atrocities by UN forces.

In January 1962, Katanga created its own air force of 10 Harvard T-6 bombers and two Vampire jets under the commanded of Jan Zumbach. Under UN pressure, Tshombe later agreed to a 3-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 leader Cyrille Adola, UN forces launched a decisive attack on Katanga in December 1962. The capital, Elisabethville (now Lubumbashi), fell in January 1963, and Tshombe fled to Kolwezi, where he surrendered on January 15, 1963. The Katangan secession was formally terminated by the National Conciliation Plan.

[edit] Post-Reunification

In 1966 the central government nationalized the Union Minière du Haut Katanga, as Gécamines. In 1971 Katanga was renamed Shaba. Throughout the 1970s further insurrections were put down by the government with help from foreign nations. In 1978 for example, on 12 May, rebels occupied the city of Kolwezi, the mining centre of the province. Zaire asked the United States, France, and Belgium to restore order. This resulted in 700 African and 170 European victims.

In 1995 the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights considered a complaint entered by the Katanga People's Congress against Zaire alleging a breach by Zaire of the international law principle of self-determination, embodied in Article 20 of the African Charter of Human and People's Rights, and requesting the Commission to recognise a right of secession for Katanga from Zaire.[1]

Whilst the request was rejected, in consistency with other international jurisprudence, on grounds that "The Commission is obligated to uphold the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Zaire", the Commission hinted that the people of Katanga might have a right to autonomy, as a form of so-called "internal" self-determination.

The province became Katanga again in 1997 after Mobutu Sésé Seko was exiled, as part of the reverting of much of his 'zairisation' of colonial names.

Following the promulgation of the 2006 Constitution, Katanga will be divided into the following provinces:

[edit] Sources and External links

Katanga Province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Image:Flag of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.svg
Territorial districts
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