Front for Congolese National Liberation

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Shaba Province, Zaire.

The Front for Congolese National Liberation (French: Front de libération nationale congolaise, FLNC) was a rebel group of Katangese origin which was active in the Angola and Zaire during the 1970s. The FLNC originated as the military of the secessionist State of Katanga during the Congo Crisis (1960–63) many of whose troops were forced into exile in Portuguese Angola in the mid-1960s. It was formed in Angola during the Angolan War of Independence under the leadership of Nathaniel Mbumba.

The FLNC is best-known for its two attempted invasions of Katanga Province (renamed Shaba) in Zaire in the 1977 and 1978. The incursions, which threatened the regime of Mobutu Sese Seko, sparked two international wars, Shaba I and Shaba II, further complicating the Angolan Civil War.

Shaba I[edit]

1,500 members of the FLNC invaded Shaba, Zaire from eastern Angola on 7 March 1977. The FLNC wanted to overthrow Mobutu. They quickly captured the city of Kolwezi, Kasaji, and Mutshatsha and defeated Zairian troops without difficulty. Mobutu appealed to William Eteki of Cameroon, Chairman of the Organization of African Unity, for assistance on 2 April. The French government airlifted 1,500 Moroccan troops into Kinshasa on 10 April. This troop force worked in conjunction with the Zairian army to beat back the FNLC with air cover from Egyptian pilots flying French Mirage fighter jets. The Franco-Egyptian-Moroccan force pushed the last of the militants, along with a number of refugees, into Angola and Zambia by April.[1][2][3][4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Schraeder, Peter J. United States Foreign Policy Toward Africa: Incrementalism, Crisis and Change, 199. Pages 87-88.
  2. ^ Constantine Panos Danopoulos and Cynthia Ann Watson. The Political Role of the Military: An International Handbook, 1996. Page 451.
  3. ^ Julius Omozuanvbo Ihonvbere, and John Mukum Mbaku. Political Liberalization and Democratization in Africa: Lessons from Country Experiences, 2003. Page 228.
  4. ^ Tanca, Antonio. Foreign Armed Intervention in Internal Conflict, 1993. Page 169.