The Simba rebellion of 1964–65, also known as the Orientale Revolt,was a rebellion in Congo-Léopoldville which took place within the wider context of the Congo Crisis and the Cold War. The rebellion, located in the east of the country, was led by the followers of Patrice Lumumba, who had been ousted from power in 1960 by Joseph Kasa-Vubu and Joseph-Désiré Mobutu and subsequently killed in January 1961 in Katanga. The rebellion was contemporaneous with the Kwilu rebellion led by fellow Lumumbist Pierre Mulele in central Congo. The rebels were initially successful and captured much of eastern Congo, proclaiming a People's Republic in Stanleyville. However, the insurgency suffered from a lack of organization and coherence, as well as tensions between the rebel leadership and its international allies of the Eastern Bloc. When the Congolese government launched a number of major counter-offensives from late 1964, spearheaded by battle-hardened mercenaries and backed by Western powers, the rebels suffered several major defeats and disintegrated. By November 1965, the Simba rebellion was effectively defeated, though holdouts of the rebels continued their insurgency until the 1990s.
The Republic of the Congo was a sovereign state in Central Africa that was created with the independence of the Belgian Congo in 1960. From 1960 to 1966, the country was often known as Congo-Léopoldville in order to distinguish it from its north-western neighbour, also called the Republic of the Congo or Congo-Brazzaville. With the renaming of Léopoldville as Kinshasa on 1 June 1966, it was known as Congo-Kinshasa until 1971.
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.
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union with its satellite states, and the United States with its allies after World War II. The historiography of the conflict began between 1946 and 1947. The Cold War began to de-escalate after the Revolutions of 1989. The collapse of the USSR in 1991 was the end of the Cold War. The term "cold" is used because there was no large-scale fighting directly between the two sides, but they each supported major regional conflicts known as proxy wars. The conflict split the temporary wartime alliance against Nazi Germany and its allies, leaving the USSR and the US as two superpowers with profound economic and political differences.
The causes of the Simba Rebellion should be viewed as part of the wider struggle for power within the Republic of the Congo following independence from Belgium on 30 June 1960 as well as within the context of other Cold War interventions in Africa by the West and the Soviet Union. The rebellion can be immediately traced back to the assassination of the first Prime Minister of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba, in January 1961. Political infighting and intrigue followed, resulting in the ascendancy of Joseph Kasa-Vubu and Joseph-Désiré Mobutu in Kinshasa at the expense of politicians who had supported Lumumba such as Antoine Gizenga, Christophe Gbenye and Gaston Soumialot.
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state 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.
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR), was a Marxist-Leninist sovereign state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were highly centralized. The country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Kiev, Minsk, Tashkent, Alma-Ata, and Novosibirsk. It spanned over 10,000 kilometres (6,200 mi) east to west across 11 time zones, and over 7,200 kilometres (4,500 mi) north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, taiga, steppes, desert and mountains.
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 1961, this change in power led Antoine Gizenga to declare the creation of a rebel government in Stanleyville. This new state, dubbed the Free Republic of the Congo, received support from the Soviet Union and China as they positioned themselves as being "socialists" opposed to American intervention in the Congo and involvement in the death of Lumumba although, as with Lumumba, there is some dispute over the true political inclinations of the Lumumbists. However, in August 1961, Gizenga dissolved the government in Stanleyville with the intention of taking part in the United Nations sponsored talks at Lovanium University. These talks ultimately did not deliver the Lumumbist government that had been intended, Gizenga was arrested and imprisoned on Balu-Bemba and many of the Lumumbists went into exile.
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.
The Free Republic of the Congo, often referred to as Congo-Stanleyville, was a short-lived rival government to the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Léopoldville) based in the eastern Congo and led by Antoine Gizenga.
China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering approximately 9,600,000 square kilometers (3,700,000 sq mi), it is the third or fourth largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, and the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau.
It was in exile that the rebellion began to take shape. In 1963, the Conseil National de Libération (CNL) was founded by Gbenye and Soumialot in Brazzaville, capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo. However, whilst these plans for rebellion were being developed in exile, Pierre Mulele returned from his training in China to launch a revolution in his native province of Kwilu. Mulele proved to be a capable leader and scored a number of early successes, although these would remain localised to Kwilu. With the country again seeming to be in open rebellion of the government in Kinshasa, the CNL launched its rebellion in their political heartland around Stanleyville.
Brazzaville is the capital and largest city of the Republic of the Congo. Constituting the financial and administrative centre of the country, it is located on the north side of the Congo River, opposite Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The population of the capital is estimated to exceed 1.8 million residents, comprising more than a third of the national populace, 40% of whom are employed in non-agricultural professions. During World War II, Brazzaville was also the capital of Free France between 1940 and 1942.
Kwilu Province is one of the 26 provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Its capital is Kikwit. It takes its name from the Kwilu River, which crosses the province from south to north.
Gbenye's forces were organized as the "Armée Populaire de Libération" (APL), though were generally nicknamed "Simbas",meaning a lion or big lion in Swahili. They were recruited from ANC mutineers, tribesmen, and youth militants (jeunesse). In general, the Armée Populaire de Libération was divided into regular units which were organized like the ANC (namely the unités d'operations and unités de garnison), and units which were more akin to irregular militias (barriéres). Although they were on average well motivated, the Simbas lacked discipline and their command as well as control were often chaotic.
The majority of the Simbas were young men and teens although children were not unheard of in the conflict. The rebels were led by Gaston Soumialot and Christophe Gbenye, who had been members of Gizenga's Parti Solidaire Africain (PSA), and Laurent Kabila, who had been a member of the Lumumba aligned Association générale des Baluba du Katanga (BALUBAKAT).[ citation needed ]
Christophe Gbenye was a Congolese politician, trade unionist, and rebel who, along with Pierre Mulele and Gaston Soumialot, led the Simba Rebellion, an anti-government insurrection in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during the Congo Crisis, between 1964 and 1965.
The Parti Solidaire Africain or PSA was a political party active in the Belgian Congo and subsequently in the Republic of the Congo after the country received its independence.
Because of the range of political beliefs amongst the Simba rebels, attributing an ideology to the rebellion is very complex. Whilst the leaders claimed to be influenced by Chinese Maoist ideas, the Cuban military advisor Che Guevara wrote that the majority of the fighters did not hold these views. The fighters also practised a system of traditional beliefs which held that correct behaviour and the regular reapplying of dawa (water ritually applied by a medicine man) would leave the fighters impervious to bullets.
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The Simba rebels managed to intimidate two well-equipped battalions of government Armée Nationale Congolaise (ANC) soldiers into retreating without a fight. They rapidly began to capture important cities. Within weeks, they controlled about half of the Congo. By August they had captured Stanleyville where a 1,500-man ANC force fled leaving behind weapons and vehicles which the Simba rebels captured. The attack consisted of a charge, led by shamans, with forty Simba warriors. No shots were fired by the Simba rebels.
As the rebel movement spread, acts of violence and terror increased. Thousands of Congolese were executed in systematic purged by the Simbas, including government officials, political leaders of opposition parties, provincial and local police, school teachers, and others believed to have been Westernized. Many of the executions were carried out with extreme cruelty, in front of a monument to Patrice Lumumba in Stanleyville.
With much of Northern Congo and the Congolese upcountry under control, the Simba rebels moved south against Kasai Province. Kasai had rich mining concerns but was also a strategic key to more lasting control of Congo. If the rebels could capture Kasai Province up to the Angola border they could cut the government forces in half, isolating Katanga Province and severely overstretching ANC lines. In August 1964 unknown thousands of Simbas moved down out of the hills and began the conquest of Kasai. As before ANC forces retreated with little fight by either throwing down arms completely or defecting to the rebels.
Newly appointed Prime Minister Moïse Tshombe acted decisively against the new threat. Using contacts he had made while exiled in Spain, Tshombe was able to organize an airlift of his former soldiers currently exiled in rural Angola. The airlift was enacted by the United States and facilitated by the Portuguese as both feared a Soviet influenced socialist state in the middle of Africa. Tshombe's forces were composed primarily of Belgian trained Katangese Gendarmes who had previously served the Belgian Colonial Authority. They were a highly disciplined and well equipped force who had only just barely lost a bid for independence in the previous conflict.In addition the force was accompanied by Jerry Puren and a score of mercenary pilots flying Second World War surplus training planes fitted with machine guns.
The combined force marched on Kasai Province and encountered Simba forces near Luluabourg. Its mercenary pilots strafed nearby Simba columns which lacked any anti-aircraft equipment. At the behest of accompanying shamans, many Simba warriors had even discarded their firearms as a way of purifying themselves from "Western" corruption.[ citation needed ]
The engagement began in a shallow, long valley with Simba forces attacking in an irregular mixture of infantry and motorized forces, which charged directly at the ANC force. In response, the ANC troops also advanced directly, led by jeeps and trucks. The Simba rebels encountered heavy losses because of ANC machine-gun fire. It was a decisive defeat and the Simba rebels were forced to abandon their attacks in Kasai.
Success in Kasai justified Tshombe's decision to bring in Western mercenaries to augment well-trained Katangese formations. Two hundred mercenaries from France, South Africa, West Germany, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, and Angola arrived in Katanga Province over the next month. The largely white mercenaries provided the ANC with a highly trained and experienced force that was unaffected by the indiscipline and social tensions within the ANC.They provided an expertise that could not be matched. Ironically, their presence also strengthened the recruitment efforts of the Simba rebels who could portray the ANC as a Western puppet.
Once the mercenaries were concentrated they spearheaded a combined offensive against the city of Albertville. Once captured, Albertville would give the ANC access to Lake Tanganyika and serve as a staging base for future offensives to relieve Government enclaves in the North. Simba forces were deployed in several large mobs around Albertville in expectation for an attack by ANC infantry and the motorized Gendarmes.
Mike Hoare, a white mercenary commander, led three boats of mercenaries around the Simba rebel flank to attack Albertville from the rear in a night attack. The move made good progress but was diverted when it ran across a Catholic Priest who convinced the mercenaries to rescue 60 clergy currently being held by Simba troops. The mercenaries failed to either rescue the priests or capture the Albertville's airport. The next day ANC infantry and the motorized Gendarmes re-captured the city, overwhelming poorly armed Simba resistance. Together with the success in Kasai the victory at Albertville stabilized the government southern flank. The abuse of the clergy also increased Western support for the Tshombe Government.
In July 1964, Moïse Tshombe had replaced Cyrille Adoula as Prime Minister of a new national government with a mandate to end the regional revolts. By early August 1964 Congolese government forces, with the help of the white mercenaries, were making headway against the Simba rebellion. Fearing defeat, the rebels reached out for support from the Soviet Union and Cuba.[ citation needed ] The Ugandan government, which felt that Tshombe was beholden to Western interests, offered covert aid to Gbenye. This included the use of government forces to train the rebels as well as the allowance for Ugandan territory to be used as a resupply route. Some Ugandan troops served alongside the rebels in combat, and the Congolese ANC and the Uganda Army's 1st Battalion directly clashed along the border of the two countries at some point in 1964. The Congolese government retaliated by bombing villages in Uganda's West Nile District.
The rebels started taking hostages from the local white population in areas under their control. Several hundred hostages were taken to Stanleyville and placed under guard in the Victoria Hotel. A group of Belgian and Italian nuns were taken hostage by rebel leader Gaston Soumaliot.The nuns were forced into hard labor and numerous atrocities were reported by news agencies all over the world. Uvira, near the border with Burundi was a supply route for the rebellions. On October 7, 1964 the nuns were liberated. From Uvira they escaped by road to Bukavu from where they returned to Belgium by airplane.
As the quasi-communist Simba rebels faltered, the Soviet Union and Cuba took an active role in the conflict, flying or trucking in supplies, armaments and personnel. Included in these were Soviet advisors who attempted to turn the Simba army into a Western-style force, based on squads of riflemen supporting a machine gun team. The reforms were conducted quickly, and by late 1964 the Simba forces had some degree of modernity, instead of loose gangs of men armed with anything available.[ citation needed ]
As aid from the Soviet Union was received by the Simba military establishment, the Simba force made one final push against the government capital of Kinshasa. The advance made some headway but was stopped cold when several hundred mercenaries were airlifted North and attacked the flank of the Simba pincer. The mercenaries were then able to capture the key town of Boende. After this success, more mercenaries were hired and dispatched to every province in Congo.
Once that the final Simba offensives were checked, the ANC began to squeeze Simba-controlled territory from all sides. ANC commanders formed a loose perimeter around rebel areas, pushing in with a variety of shallow and deep pincers. With mercenaries acting as shock contingent for ANC forces, the Congolese government used aircraft to transport mercenaries to hotspots or rebel strongholds. Mercenary forces became adept at outflanking and then reducing Simba positions with enfilade fire.
Though war was turning in favor of the ANC, problems remained for the Congolese government. Most notably, the rebels still held numerous hostages and important towns in eastern Congo. In response, the Congolese government turned to Belgium and the United States for help. The Belgian Army sent a task force to Léopoldville, airlifted by the U.S. 322nd Air Division. The Belgian and American governments tried to come up with a rescue plan. Several ideas were considered and discarded, while attempts at negotiating with the Simba force failed.[ citation needed ]
The Congolese government and its Western allies finally decided to launch a multi-pronged campaign. ANC troops led by mercenary columns would advance from the west, southwest, southeast (Albertville) and east (Bukavu). The mercenaries were well equipped for the campaign, and given access to jeeps, trucks, mortars and armoured fighting vehicles.In addition, the ANC was provided with foreign advisors, including about 200 Cuban CIA agents who operated on the ground and also flew for the Congolese Air Force. The ground forces which were coming from the west and attacking Bas-Uele were also supported by armoured trains. While these ground offensives were going on, an international task force was prepared for airborne attacks on the urban centers of the rebels.
Though the initial ground attacks met with some success, the Simbas still managed to offer significant resistance, and even retook some areas amid counter-attacks soon after the campaign's beginning.The first airborne assault was carried out on 24 November. Organized by Belgian Colonel Charles Laurent, the attack was code-named Dragon Rouge and targeted Stanleyville. Five US Air Force C-130 transports dropped 350 Belgian paratroopers of the Para-Commando Regiment onto Simi-Simi Airport on the western outskirts of Stanleyville. Once the paratroopers had secured the airfield and cleared the runway they made their way to the Victoria Hotel, prevented Simba rebels from killing most of the 60 hostages, and evacuated them via the airfield. Over the next two days over 1,800 Americans and Europeans were evacuated, as well as around 400 Congolese. However, almost 200 foreigners and thousands of Congolese were executed by the Simbas. While the Belgians were securing Stanleyville, the ANC's columns "Lima I" and "Lima II" broke through the Simba defenses and arrived at Stanleyville on the same day. On 26 November, a second mission (Dragon Noir) was flown by the Belgians and captured Isiro. The Belgians withdrew most of their forces from the Congo after the successful conclusion of Dragon Rouge and Dragon Noir. The fall of Stanleyville and Isiro "broke the back of the eastern insurrection, which never recovered." The Simba leadership fled into exile while descending into disarray and severe disagreements; Gbenye was shot in the shoulder by one of his generals after dismissing him.
Though the main rebel forces had been dispersed, large areas in eastern Congo remained under Simba control. Furthermore, the rebels began to receive more assistance from Cuba which sent around 100 Afro-Cuban volunteers under Che Guevara to train them in March 1965. There were also plans to send trainers from other Communist countries to Congo as well. Instead, however, international support for the Simbas declined. This resulted from growing conflicts within and among the Socialist states, most notably the 1965 Algerian coup d'état and the Sino-Soviet split. Furthermore, the Maoist leadership of the Simbas disagreed with the Cubans over ideology, resulting in tensions that undermined any military cooperation.
The ANC launched two major campaigns in 1965 against the two last major Simba strongholds which were located along the Ugandan and Sudanese borders as well as at Fizi-Baraka in South Kivu.By summer 1965, the Simbas had lost a majority of their territory and were being abandoned by the Soviets and Cubans. The final Simba stronghold near Bukavu held out for a month but was inevitably captured but only after the Simba force had killed several thousand civilians. In November 1965, the Communist Cubans left the Congo. At this point, the rebellion was effectively defeated.
Though the Simba rebellion had been crushed, rebel remnants continued to be active. Weak and no real threat to the Congolese government, they waged a low-level guerrilla war from bases in remote frontier regions.Notable Simba holdouts were located in the western Virunga Mountains (these forces eventually became the Parti de Libération Congolais) and in South Kivu (Kabila's People's Revolution Party). Some of the Simba holdouts continued to be active until the First Congo War in 1996/97 when Kabila became President of the Congo.
Despite successfully defeating the Simbas, Tshombe's prestige was damaged by the joint Belgian–US operation which saw white mercenaries and western forces intervene once again in the Congo.[ citation needed ]
The earliest discovered human remains in the DR Congo, were discovered in the 1990s and have been dated to approximately 90,000 years ago. The first real states, such as the Kongo, the Lunda, the Luba and Kuba, appeared south of the equatorial forest on the savannah from the 14th century onwards.
Moïse Kapenda Tshombe was a Congolese businessman and politician. He served as the president of the secessionist State of Katanga from 1960 to 1963 and as prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 1964 to 1965.
Cyrille Adoula was a Congolese trade unionist and politician. He was the prime minister of the Republic of the Congo, from 2 August 1961 until 30 June 1964.
The Congolese National Movement is a political party in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Operation Dragon Rouge was a hostage rescue operation in the Democratic Republic of the Congo conducted by Belgium and the United States in 1964. The operation was led by the Belgian Paracommando Regiment to rescue hostages held by Simba rebels in the town of Stanleyville.
South Kasai was an unrecognised secessionist state within the Republic of the Congo which was semi-independent between 1960 and 1962. Initially proposed as only a province, South Kasai sought full autonomy in similar circumstances to the much larger neighbouring state of Katanga, to its south, during the political turmoil arising from the independence of the Belgian Congo known as the Congo Crisis. Unlike Katanga, however, South Kasai did not explicitly declare full independence from the Republic of the Congo or reject Congolese sovereignty.
The United Nations Operation in the Congo was a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Republic of the Congo that was established after United Nations Security Council Resolution 143 of 14 July 1960. The mission was launched to help restore stability to the Congo after it fell into conflict and disorder following independence. ONUC was the UN's first peacekeeping mission with a significant military force. It was withdrawn in 1964.
Jean "Black Jack" Schramme was a Belgian mercenary and planter. He managed a vast estate in the Democratic Republic of the Congo until 1967.
Antoine Gizenga was a Congolese (DRC) politician who was the Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from 30 December 2006 to 10 October 2008. He was the Secretary-General of the Unified Lumumbist Party.
The State of Katanga, also sometimes denoted as the Republic of Katanga, was a breakaway state that proclaimed its independence from Congo-Léopoldville on 11 July 1960 under Moise Tshombe, leader of the local Confédération des associations tribales du Katanga (CONAKAT) political party. The new Katangese state did not enjoy full support throughout the province and was constantly wracked by ethnic strife in its northernmost region. It was dissolved in 1963 following an invasion by United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) forces, and reintegrated with the rest of the country as Katanga Province.
Pierre Mulele was a Congolese rebel active in the Simba Rebellion of 1964. Mulele had also been minister of education in Patrice Lumumba's cabinet. With the assassination of Lumumba in January 1961 and the arrest of his recognised deputy Antoine Gizenga one year later, Mulele became one of the top Lumumbists determined to continue the struggle. He went to Cairo as the representative of the Lumumbists' Congo National Liberation Committee based in Brazzaville. From Cairo he proceeded to China in 1963 to receive military training, and also took a group of Congolese youths with him, who received training in guerrilla tactics. Mulele was lured out of exile after Joseph-Désiré Mobutu promised him amnesty, but Mobutu had him tortured and executed after Mulele returned to the Congo. He was a member of the Bapende ethnic group.
The Kindu massacre, or Kindu atrocity, took place on 11 or 12 November 1961 in Kindu Port-Émpain, in the Congo-Léopoldville, where thirteen Italian airmen, members of the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC), sent to pacify the country ravaged by civil war, were murdered. The Italian aviators manned two C-119s, twin-engined transport aircraft known as Flying Boxcars, of the 46ª Aerobrigata based at Pisa Airfield.
Jason Sendwe was a Congolese politician and a leader of the Association Générale des Baluba du Katanga (BALUBAKAT) party. He served as Second Deputy Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo from August 1961 until December 1962, and as President of the Province of North Katanga from July 1963 until his death.
The Lumumba Government, synecdochically known as the Lumumba Ministry or Lumumba Cabinet, was the first set of ministers, ministers of state, and secretaries of state that governed the Democratic Republic of the Congo under the leadership of Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba from 24 June until 12 September 1960. Weak and divided, its tenure was dominated by a widespread mutiny in the army and two secessions. The government suffered from and inherited many problems from the era of the Belgian Congo, a tightly-administered colony which for most of is existence had few political freedoms. In the late 1950s an independence movement suddenly emerged, led by figures such as Patrice Lumumba and Joseph Kasa-Vubu. Fears that the situation might turn violent led the Belgian government to grant the Congo independence on 30 June 1960. A provisional constitution, providing for a parliamentary regime with a responsible government and prime minister and an irresponsible head of state, was instituted, and general elections were hastily organised. Lumumba's nationalist party, the Mouvement National Congolais (MNC), won a plurality of the seats in Parliament. After much hesitation, King Baudouin of Belgium appointed Lumumba formateur, tasking him with creating a government. On 23 June Lumumba announced his completed government, a broad coalition consisting of 23 ministers, 4 ministers of state, and 10 secretaries of state, and presented it to the lower house of Parliament, the Chamber of Deputies. The vote of confidence succeeded by only a small margin. The Senate gave a more decisive vote of approval the following day, and the Lumumba Government was officially invested. With Lumumba's backing, Parliament elected Kasa-Vubu President.
Rémy Mwamba (1921–1967) was a Congolese politician who twice served as Minister of Justice of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He was also a leading figure of the Association Générale des Baluba du Katanga (BALUBAKAT).
The Kwilu Rebellion of 1964 was a civil uprising which took place in the West of what is the modern day Democratic Republic of the Congo. The rebellion took place in the wider context of the Cold War and the Congo Crisis. Led by Pierre Mulele, a follower of ousted Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, a faction of rebel Maoists staged a revolt against the government in the Kwilu district of the country. Based around the struggle for independence, the rebellion was encouraged by economic, social, and cultural grievances. Supported by communist China, rebels used mainly guerilla warfare against government forces. The rebellion was concurrent with the Simba Rebellion occuring in other areas of the Congo during this time. While the rebellion was suppressed in the early months of 1965, it had lasting political impacts, leading to the dissolution of Kwilu as an official province.