Congo - Katanga - Paulis Part III

English version by V.E. Rosez

December 1th, 1964 …. General  Désiré Mobutu called his military adviser col BEM Marlière to go to Buta to resume the offensive in the sector “Ops North” to Paulis. The general wanted to gather some laurels after the occupation of Stanleyville by the 5th Mechanized Brigade of col BEM Vandewalle.

Meanwhile major Génis and lt Glorieux made the preparations of the combat unit and ltcol Itambo took the opportunity to travel to Leopold “to report his activities”.  The strength of his sector were very small: the group of the mercenary captain Robert Noddyn  (recruted in Belgium), two companies of former Katangan gendarmes including that of lt Fereira and his sergeant C.A. De Oliveira Cruz , the platoon of adjutant Gérard Madwa (1st Bn Congolese airborne) and the 52nd platoon of the 5th battalion commando of south Africans.   While he was moving to Paulis, major Genis was informed that Buta was taken over again by the Simba.  Ten Congolese soldiers were killed and the others fled.  The company of lt Ferreira collected the survivors of the 7th company and they continued their advance through the villages Poko, Ango and Dakwa in search of more hostages.  Seventy western hostages were rescued in these places and more than thirty were liberated at Niangara on following December 8th.  The combat group left Dunga very early on next morning and progressed rapidly to his objective, but the logistic team of “Ops North” fell into an ambush at Wamba and lt Glorieux was killed while major Génis and lt Passagez were seriously wounded.  The helicopter H21B of cdt Brokken landed to evacuate them but major Génis succumbed to his injuries during the fly.  He was replaced on the head of the logistical team by cpt Defreyne.  On December 9th, 1964 around 05:00pm Leopoldville received the message that the airfield of Paulis was clear of obstacles and that the evacuation of rescued hostages could begin during their progression.

Despite the massacres the majority of the local Congolese population remained faithful to the central government and she went under the protection of the ANC. Concerning the rebel major Omar, he was killed during the combat.

Copyright Victor E. Rosez 2011