Manufacturing Sovereignty and Manipulating Humanitarianism: The Diplomatic Resolution of the Mercenary Revolt in the Democratic Republic Of Congo, 1967–8
In 1967, European and Katangese mercenaries revolted against the rule of Mobutu Sese Seko in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) intervened to try to have the rebels peacefully leave the DRC. Katangese troops who fled to Rwanda with white mercenaries were forced by the Organization of African Unity and the Rwandan government to return to the DRC, where they were eventually executed. White mercenaries, under the protection of the ICRC and Rwanda, ultimately escaped Mobutu's wrath. Congolese and Rwandan leaders skillfully employed the ideal of African sovereignty and humanitarian rhetoric with its Western and African allies to ensure their consolidation of power.