Moise Tshombe

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Moise Tshombe was born into the house of a successful Congolese businessman in Musumba. He was educated at an American missionary school where he trained as an accountant. After school in the 1950s he took over a chain of stores in the Katanga province and started to be involved in politics. He founded the CONAKAT party, which ran with the banner of an independent federal Congo. In the general elections in 1960 the CONAKAT party won and gained control of Katanga. In that same year the Congo became an independent republic. But in a quick move Tshombe and the CONAKAT declared Katanga’s secession from the Congo, which turned into the Congo Crisis. Then Tshombe was elected president of Katanga in 1960. Eventually UN forces succeeded in capturing Katanga, which in turn drove Tshombe into exile.

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