April 27, 1857|
Ixelles, Brussels, Belgium
|Died||March 14, 1933
Uccle, Brussels, Belgium
|Occupation||Soldier, civil servant|
Chaltin was born in Ixelles in Belgium. He was appointed a lieutenant in 1885 and entered the service of the Congo Free State in 1891. In 1893 he was head of the Force Publique station at Basoko. He left this post to ascend the Lomami River to Bena-Kamba, then striking overland to Riba Riba, near present-day Kindu. Chaltin burned down Riba Riba. When rebuilt, the town took the name of Lokandu. He then raised the siege of the Stanley Falls station, now Kisangani when it was on the point of falling to the Swahilis. He defeated the Arab-led forces on 18 May 1893. After defeating them again at Kirundu, the Arabs were expelled from the region. On 15 July 1898 the Stanley Falls district would become the Province Orientale, with Stanleyville as its headquarters.
In 1896, King Leopold II decided to extend the Free State territory to the northeast. His forces were to advance first to the Lado Enclave on the Nile, which had been ceded to him but not yet occupied, and then northward towards Khartoum, capital of the declining Mahdist state of Sudan.
A force of 2,700 men led by Francis, Baron Dhanis was to march by way of the Aruwimi River, while Chaltin was given a force of 700 men to take a more northerly route along the Bomu River. Dhanis's force was mainly made up of Batetela people, who mutinied and killed several Belgian officers, then went on the rampage in the region. Dhanis managed to escape, but it was several years before the Batetela revolt was suppressed. Chaltin managed to reach the Nile at Bedden in February 1897, and defeated the Mahdists there in the Battle of Rejaf.This consolidated Leopold's claim to the Upper Nile, but Chaltin did not have the forces to do more.
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