Friday, January 01, 1960  — Wednesday, January 01, 1964

listed in Places the United States has Bombed


This is part of the bomb sites series by elin o'Hara slavick. Also available in book form: Bomb After Bomb: A Violent Cartography.

The Belgian Congo, Zaire, or The Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1960-64, for Patrice Lumumba and Barbara Kingsolver, "Within days of its independence from Belgium on June 30, 1960, the Congo was engulfed in strife and chaos...into this disorder Western powers were "naturally drawn"... CIA director Allen Dulles warned of a "communist takeover with disastrous consequences for the interests of the free world." Dulles authorized a program to replace the existing government of Patrice Lumumba with a "pro-western group." Lumumba became the Congo's first Prime Minister after his party received the majority of the votes in a national election. He called for the nation's economic and political liberation. July 11: the province of Katanga announced it was seceding. Katanga was led by Moise Tschombe. Eisenhower supported the Belgian military intervention on behalf of Katanga; the American embassy had requested the intervention. September 5: President Kasavubu dismissed Lumumba as Prime Minister, a step taken with American encouragement and assistance...Sept 14: army strongman Joseph Mobutu took power in a military coup. The CIA sent in lethal biological material for use in Lumumba's assassination. Mobutu detained Lumumba until January 17, 1961 when he was transferred to Moishe Tschombe, Lumumba's enemy. Lumumba was assassinated the same day. US Air Force C-130s were flying Congolese troops and supplies against the Katangese rebels, while simultaneously the CIA was aiding the very same rebels with aircraft and mercenary units. Washington dispatched 100-200 military personnel to the Congo and the CIA was conducting paramilitary campaigns against the insurgents. CIA pilots carried out regular bombing and strafing missions." -William Blum, Killing Hope

Published by: elin
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