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Justin Kokolo-Longo
Colonel Kokolo.jpg
Born 1913
Died 21 November 1960
Place of birth Mayombe, Belgian Congo
Place of death Léopoldville, Republic of the Congo
Allegiance Flag of Congo Free State.svg Belgian Congo
Flag of Congo-Léopoldville (1960-1963).svg Democratic Republic of the Congo
Service/branch Force Publique
Armée Nationale Congolaise
Years of service 1936–1960
Rank Colonel
Commands held Camp Leopold II
Battles/wars Congo Crisis

Justin Kokolo-Longo (1913 – 21 November 1960) was a Congolese military officer who briefly served as deputy chief of staff of the Armée Nationale Congolaise.

BiographyEdit

Justin Kokolo was born into a Bakongo family in 1913 in Mayombe, Belgian Congo.[1][2] He voluntarily enlisted in the Force Publique in 1936, quickly reaching the ranks of corporal and sergeant.[2] He was one of four Congolese soldiers in the entire army to achieve the rank of adjutant before the independence of the Congo. On 8 July 1960 Kokolo, as the most senior of the adjutants, was appointed by the Congolese government to be commander of the Camp Leopold II garrison.[3] He soon thereafter achieved the rank of colonel and became deputy chief of staff of the Armée Nationale Congolaise.[4] On 11 July Kokolo was dispatched from Léopoldville to Élisabethville, Katanga to oversee the "Africanisation" of the garrison's officers. However, that evening the provincial government seceded from the Congo and Kokolo was immediately expelled from its territory upon his arrival. From there he flew to Luluabourg to report on the situation to the president and prime minister.[5]

On 21 November Kokolo attempted to force his way into the Ghanaian embassy in Léopoldville to carry out an extradition order against the chargé d'affaires. United Nations peacekeepers on guard resisted, and in the ensuing conflict Kokolo and three of his men were killed. Once news of his death broke, soldiers rioted throughout the city. Kokolo was accorded a grand funeral along with his men, which garnered in upwards of 100,000 mourners throughout the capital. Camp Leopold II was renamed in his honor.[4]

CitationsEdit

  1. Gilis 1964, p. 246.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Mobutu 1970, p. 20.
  3. Kanza 1994, p. 192.
  4. 4.0 4.1 O'Ballance 1999, p. 38.
  5. Hoskyns 1965, p. 99.

ReferencesEdit

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