NOTHING NEW UNDER THE SUN (ALMOST)
11th July, 1960 : The 11-day-old Congo Republic is facing disintegration tonight after its richest province, copper-rich Katanga, declared its independence under Moishe Tshombe, a three-times-bankrupt businessman. Katanga, like the rest of the country is in chaos, with Belgian paratroops, flown in three days ago, desperately seeking to halt an orgy of looting and killing. Ten Europeans have been killed by Congolese mobs in the provincial capital Elisabethville in 24 hours. When the Force Publique mutinied six days after independence, there was rioting, rape and looting. Belgians fled in their thousands over the River Congo to Brazzaville, bitterly accusing the Brussels Government of betraying them.