1979 Photo Contest, Photo Sequences, 3rd prize

Wim Hofland

De Telegraaf

01 May, 1978

At Brussels airport, a mother and son wait anxiously for their husband and father, who has been evacuated from Zaire. In May 1978, an uprising took place in Katanga against President Mobutu. The Front for the National Liberation of the Congo (FNLC), supported by Cuban troops from Angola, took about 3,000 Europeans and Zairians as hostages, executing several of them after a failed intervention by Zairian paratroopers. Upon Mobutu’s request for foreign assistance, Belgian and French airborne forces arrived in Zaire to conquer the occupied city of Kolwezi and rescue the European and Zairian hostages. Within two days, they had the entire city under control and the European hostage were secured an evacuated on 21 May.

About the photographer

Wim Hofland

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