To maintain order in the Belgian Congo - due to become independent June 30 - the Belgian Government have been flying in troop reinforcements.
To maintain order in the Belgian Congo - due to become independent June 30 - the Belgian Government have been flying in troop reinforcements. Leaving Brussels for the Kamina base in the South-Eastern Katanga region, May 18, were numbers of the Belgian "liberation" battalion, specially withdrawn from Germany after volunteering for the mission.
Following many tribal conflicts, the Belgian Government decided to strengthen its authority in the Congo and to reassure Europeans there by sending more troops out - particularly to the interior where at present there are 24,000 Africans commanded by 1,000 Europeans. Mr Ganshof van der Meersch has been appointed Minister for General Affairs in Africa - this has been welcomed as a sign of the Government's determination to avert further disintegration of institutions on the Belgian Congo.
Mr Patrice Lumumba, leader of the Congolese National Movement, appeared to have assumed almost complete authority throughout the north-eastern area of the Congo, May 17. After demanding the immediate handing-over of power by the Belgian Government, he ended a triumphal 200-mile tour of the Stanleyville area by sending a telegram to King Baudouin demanding the complete withdrawal of the Belgian troop reinforcements now being flown into the Congo.