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A fascinating account of a huge Central African country, almost completely unprepared for liberation from colonial rule in 1960 and plunged into the anarchy of factional struggles for central power, against a background of regional separatism. A UN force stepped in to prevent the mineral-rich province of Katanga from breaking away and stayed for nearly four years, after which quarrelling warlords fought for central power, or for or against separatism. In 1965, Mobutu came to power, ruling as a dictator his Single-Party State, until he was finally toppled in 1997 by a Tutsi-backed invasion force led by Kabila.
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Table of Contents

List of Maps Preface Acknowledgements Abbreviations Chronology The Belgian Congo Independence and Clashing Personalities Lumumba the Legend: 1960-61 ONUC v Katanga, and Others Prime Minister Tshombe The NLC in Retreat Plots, Mutiny and Revolt The First Invasion of Shaba The Second Invasion of Shaba The Single-Party State Genocide in Burundi and Rwanda The End of the Mobutu Era The Democratic Republic of the Congo Bleak Prospects Bibliography Index

About the Author

EDGAR O'BALLANCE served in the British and Indian armies during World War II, reaching the rank of Colonel. He worked as a journalist from 1948 to 1962 for a US Wire Agency, and since then as a freelance journalist. He has covered over 20 wars and insurgencies and written extensively on international relations, defence and strategic problems. He is a member of the IISS, RUSI, and the former Chairman of the London-based Military Commentators' Circle.


'...a timely work that can shed some light on the ongoing conflict in that country.' - Mathurin C. Houngnikpo, African Studies Review

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