1961 Photo Contest, Photo Stories, 1st prize

André Lefèbvre

01 September, 1960

Luba tribesmen have surrounded Congo government troops during a clash near the village of Lukengele, 15 miles outside the city of Bakwanga (now called Mbuji-Mayi) in Kasai province. In June 1960, Congo gained independence from Belgium. Almost immediately afterwards, a period of violent turmoil, the so-called Congo Crisis, broke out, which did not end until 1966 when Joseph Mobutu seized power. In August 1960, the autonomous Mining State of South Kasai was proclaimed, with its capital at Bakwanga and Luba chief Albert Kalonji as president. Patrice Lumumba, newly elected prime minister of the Congo, launched a bloody campaign to bring the rebellious province under government control, causing the deaths of hundreds of Luba tribesmen. The photos were made in early September 1960, when André Lefèbvre, together with American journalist Henry N. Taylor and French reporter christian d'Epenox, accompanied Congo government troops on their mission in the Kasai region. Taylor was killed in a clash with Luba tribesmen outside the village of Lukengele, 15 miles outside Bakwanga.

About the photographer

André Lefèbvre

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