Belgian mercenary leader Jean "Black Jack" Schramme disclosed in a recent interview that white mercenaries had planned to seize Katanga, the Congo's extremely rich southern province.
Belgian mercenary leader Jean "Black Jack" Schramme disclosed in a recent interview that white mercenaries had planned to seize Katanga, the Congo's extremely rich southern province. Schramme and his small army of about 120 mercenaries - remnant of the mercenary groups who led an anti-government revolt in the Congo's eastern provinces last summer, had been flown home after a long interment in Rwanda.
Schramme told newsmen that once the mercenaries had taken Katanga, the plan was to establish links with South Africa and Angola and set up a new African government approved by the province's population as a whole.
A long-term resident in the Congo, where he owned an extensive plantation in the eastern part of the country, Schramme was critical of French mercenary leader Bob Denard. He claimed Denard had failed to provide promised and badly needed munitions when Schramme and his band were holed up in Bukavu in a last-ditch stand against the Congolese army. Schramme said the Bukavu operations was intended originally as a diversionary tactic to draw the Congolese attack while other mercenary troops seized Katanga in the south.
Schramme said the mercenaries were fighting in the Congo on behalf of the white Europeans. He said he had no connection with reports of mercenary recruitment in Rhodesia, and also denied that he was in touch in any way with former Congolese President Moise Tshombe.
The interview took place at Colonel Schramme's home in Bruges.