In a solemn ceremony July 18 at Camp Massart - the military base near Elizabethville, which only two weeks ago was the scene of fierce fighting between mutinous Force Publique and Belgian troops--the new Katanga flag was hoisted in the presence of Premier Moise Tshombe, members of his Cabinet, and high-ranking Belgian army officers.
LV Troops lined up.
SCU Minister of Interior Munongo and Minister of Works.
SV Premier Tshombe arrives and is greeted by officers.
SV Tshombe walks past troops.
SV Tshombe reviews troops and shakes hands with Belgian officer.
SV Congolese soldier steps forward to flag pole.
SV Soldier with flag.
CU Flag is raised.
ANGLE V..Flag at masthead.
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Background: In a solemn ceremony July 18 at Camp Massart - the military base near Elizabethville, which only two weeks ago was the scene of fierce fighting between mutinous Force Publique and Belgian troops--the new Katanga flag was hoisted in the presence of Premier Moise Tshombe, members of his Cabinet, and high-ranking Belgian army officers.
The flag is composed of two diagonal Halves of red and green separated by a white diagonal stripe. In the lower green half and three white crosses.
A simultaneous flag-hoisting ceremony was held at a nearby police camp. Two more new flags were scheduled to have been hoisted above other important centres, but unfortunately they were not delivered on time from the manufacturers. Premier Tshombe's decision to take such quick action reflects his determination to make Katanga's independence from the central Government a fact regardless of outside opinion.
In Elizabethville July 18 he announced that new currency and postage stamps would be printed and issued, and that the Katanga Parliament July 17 had unanimously approved the independence of the province. He also said that three other provinces are preparing to follow Katanga's example and proclaim their independence.
An ultimatum demanding recognition of its independence was sent by the Katanga Government July 18 to the United Nations in New York. Premier Tshombe repeated his warning that he would not allow UN troops to enter the now peaceful province.
Dr. Ralph Bunche, UN under-secretary General, said in Leopoldville July 19 that all Belgian troops would be withdrawn from the Congo Republic by 22,000 hours July 23. Although the majority of the troops would be withdrawn to the Belgian trusteeship territory of Ruanda-Urundi, some units may be moved to the provinces of Kasai and Kivu until their future has been decided. Kasai and Kivu are two of the three provinces said by Premier Tshombe to be considering secession from the Congo Republic.