Jean Schramme

Last updated
Major

Jean Schramme
Birth nameJean Schramme
Nickname(s)"Black Jack"
Born(1929-03-25)March 25, 1929
Bruges, West Flanders, Belgium
DiedDecember 14, 1988(1988-12-14) (aged 59)
Rondonópolis, Mato Grosso, Brazil
Allegiance
Service/branch
Years of service
  • ?-1953 (Belgium)
  • 1961-1963 (Katanga)
  • 1964-1965 (Republic of the Congo)
Rank
Commands held
  • Chief of Police, Katanga
  • Major, 10 Commando
Battles/wars
Other workTechnical Adviser, Exército de Libertação de Portugal

Jean "Black Jack" Schramme (March 25, 1929, Bruges, Belgium – December 14, 1988, Rondonópolis, Brazil) was a Belgian mercenary and planter. He managed a vast estate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo until 1967.

Bruges Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Bruges is the capital and largest city of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, in the northwest of the country.

Rondonópolis Municipality in Central-West, Brazil

Rondonópolis is the third-largest municipality in Mato Grosso. It is located around 215 km (134 mi) from Cuiabá, the capital of the state. The city is named for military officer and explorer Cândido Rondon.

Mercenary Soldier who fights for hire

A mercenary, sometimes known as a soldier of fortune, is an individual who takes part in military conflict for personal profit, is otherwise an outsider to the conflict, and is not a member of any other official military. Mercenaries fight for money or other forms of payment rather than for political interests. In the last century, mercenaries have increasingly come to be seen as less entitled to protections by rules of war than non-mercenaries. Indeed, the Geneva Conventions declare that mercenaries are not recognized as legitimate combatants and do not have to be granted the same legal protections as captured soldiers of a regular army. In practice, whether or not a person is a mercenary may be a matter of degree, as financial and political interests may overlap, as was often the case among Italian condottieri.

Contents

Congo Crisis

When the Belgian Congo gained its independence in 1960, the country quickly descended into civil war. Several hundred white people were held hostage, and Belgium sent troops to Congo to free them and to protect its interests. Patrice Lumumba, the first Prime Minister of the Congo, was murdered. The rich province of Katanga, soon followed by the eastern part of Kasai, were trying to gain independence. As they were rich in copper, cobalt and diamonds, they believed that they would be better off without the rest of Congo. A violent clash between pro-secession and pro-unity movements soon broke out.

Belgian Congo former Belgian colony corresponding to modern Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Belgian Congo was a Belgian colony in Central Africa from 1908 until independence in 1960. The former colony adopted its present-day name, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), in 1964.

Congo Crisis 1960–1965 war fought in the Congo

The Congo Crisis, was a period of political upheaval and conflict in the Republic of the Congo between 1960 and 1965. The crisis began almost immediately after the Congo became independent from Belgium and ended, unofficially, with the entire country under the rule of Joseph-Désiré Mobutu. Constituting a series of civil wars, the Congo Crisis was also a proxy conflict in the Cold War, in which the Soviet Union and the United States supported opposing factions. Around 100,000 people are believed to have been killed during the crisis.

Patrice Lumumba 20th-century Congolese Prime Minister and leader

Patrice Émery Lumumba was a Congolese politician and independence leader who served as the first Prime Minister of the independent Democratic Republic of the Congo from June until September 1960. He played a significant role in the transformation of the Congo from a colony of Belgium into an independent republic. Ideologically an African nationalist and Pan-Africanist, he led the Congolese National Movement (MNC) party from 1958 until his assassination.

In 1965, Colonel Mobutu became president and from then on Belgium started protecting his regime against rebellion. Mobutu immediately began to arrest the former government ministers of Congo. In 1971, he changed the name of the country to "Zaire".

Arrest deprivation of liberty

An arrest is the act of apprehending a person and taking them into custody, usually because they have been suspected of committing or planning a crime. After the person is taken into custody, they can be questioned further and/or charged. An arrest is a procedure in a criminal justice system.

Zaire country in Africa now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Zaire, officially the Republic of Zaire, was the name of a sovereign state between 1971 and 1997 in Central Africa that is now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The country was a one-party totalitarian dictatorship, run by Mobutu Sese Seko and his ruling Popular Movement of the Revolution party. Zaire was established following Mobutu's seizure of power in a military coup in 1965, following five years of political upheaval following independence known as the Congo Crisis. Zaire had a strongly centralist constitution, and foreign assets were nationalised. The period is sometimes referred to as the Second Congolese Republic.

On June 30, 1967, president Moise Tshombe's jet aircraft was hijacked to Algiers, before he could return to Congo after his exile in Spain. He was imprisoned in Algeria and two years later he died in suspicious circumstances. For Schramme, this was a sign that he was fighting the wrong enemy and on July 3, 1967 he began to lead an uprising in Katanga against Mobutu. This was known as the Mercenaries Revolt. Jack Malloch, the Rhodesian pilot and gun-runner, supported Schramme's forces with flights supplying him with weapons. [1]

Jet aircraft aircraft propelled by jet engines

A jet aircraft is an aircraft propelled by jet engines.

Aircraft hijacking incident involving unlawful seizure of an aircraft in operation

Aircraft hijacking is the unlawful seizure of an aircraft by an individual or a group. In most cases, the pilot is forced to fly according to the orders of the hijackers. Occasionally, however, the hijackers have flown the aircraft themselves and used them in suicide attacks, such as the September 11 attacks, and in at least three cases, the plane was hijacked by the official pilot or co-pilot.

Algiers City in Algiers Province, Algeria

Algiers is the capital and largest city of Algeria. In 2011, the city's population was estimated to be around 3,500,000. An estimate puts the population of the larger metropolitan city to be around 5,000,000. Algiers is located on the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-central portion of Algeria.

On the morning of 5 July 1967 10 Commando ANC, Schramme's unit, launched surprise attacks on Stanleyville, Kindu, and Bukavu. Schramme tried to take control of Stanleyville, Congo. [2] By August 10, his troops conquered the border town of Bukavu and had grown considerably in number. Schramme was able to hold Bukavu for seven weeks and managed to defeat all ANC troops who were sent to retake the town. The ANC suffered from a lack of artillery and was frustrated and demotivated over its continuous losses. By accident, some ANC T-28 flying missions even attacked their own troops instead of Schramme's. Extra forces helped the ANC to finally defeat Schramme on October 29, 1967. The surviving rebel troops fled towards Rwanda.

Kisangani Place in Tshopo Province, DR Congo

Kisangani is the capital of Tshopo province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It is the third largest urbanized city in the country and the largest of the cities that lie in the tropical woodlands of the Congo.

Democratic Republic of the Congo Country in Central Africa

The Democratic Republic of the Congo, also known as DR Congo, the DRC, DROC, Congo-Kinshasa, East Congo, or simply the Congo, is a country located in Central Africa. It is sometimes anachronistically referred to by its former name of Zaire, which was its official name between 1971 and 1997. It is, by area, the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa, the second largest in all of Africa, and the 11th-largest in the world. With a population of over 78 million, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is the most populous officially Francophone country, the fourth-most-populous country in Africa, and the 16th-most-populous country in the world. Eastern DR Congo has been the scene of ongoing military conflict in Kivu, since 2015.

Bukavu Place in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo

Bukavu is a city in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), lying at the extreme south-western edge of Lake Kivu, west of Cyangugu in Rwanda, and separated from it by the outlet of the Ruzizi River. It is the capital of the South Kivu province and as of 2012 it had an estimated population of 806,940. The current Governor of South Kivu is Claude Nyamugabo, elected on 29 October 2017, who replaced Marcelin Chishambo.

Later life

On April 24, 1968, Schramme and all the other European mercenaries returned to Belgium. Almost 20 years later, on April 17, 1986, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison for a murder. Schramme was not living in Belgium at the time of the sentence: he died in 1988 in Brazil.

Belgium Federal constitutional monarchy in Western Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

Brazil Federal republic in South America

Brazil, officially the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, and its most populated city is São Paulo. The federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, and the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas; it is also one of the most multicultural and ethnically diverse nations, due to over a century of mass immigration from around the world.

See also

Footnotes

  1. "Jack Malloch Timeline". A Biography on the Life and Times of Jack Malloch. Retrieved 14 June 2019.
  2. Haskin, Jeanne M. (2005). The Tragic State of the Congo: From Decolonization to Dictatorship. New York: Algora Publishing. p.  40. ISBN   978-0-87586-417-4.

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