RAF IN THE COLD WAR Beverley ops

The Congo crisis of 1960-65 came soon after the Republic of Congo became independent from Belgium in June 1960. The following month, the Congolese Army was split by mutiny while struggling to contain various elements of federalism, tribalism and ethnic nationalism. It is estimated around 100,000 people were killed during the conflict.

By 1964, the government in Léopoldville, in the west of the country, was opposed by Maoist-inspired revolutionaries — known as Simbas — based at Stanleyville to the east, who had split the country to form the People’s Republic of Congo. Late that year the Simbas targeted the white and opposition population around Stanleyville with threats to massacre up to 1,000 foreign nationals. They held hostages in the Victoria Hotel as leverage for negotiations. Massacres and atrocities were widespread, and the UN was requested to protect and evacuate civilians.

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