dimanche 23 janvier 2011

Thirteen Italian airmen butchered and eaten in Kindu in November 1961.



In October 1976, the Library of the History Department in Lubumbashi, Smiling, I show the work of geologist Belgian René Jules Cornet: Maniema. The country of cannibals, published by L. Cuypers in Paris in 1948 to my colleague Martin, N. Bangubangu, from Kindu. I just wanted us to discuss as we often did at the end of the course. To my great surprise, his face darkens.
"I'll tell you a secret, especially me promise to never tell anyone. At eight years, I ate the flesh of Italian Kindu. It was a November 12, 1961 and I have kept a terrible memory. I believe that this nightmare will pursue me until my death! These monsters have made us cannibals! " Tells me there crying.
         I returned to my room, horrified, my classmate was a cannibal! But was it his fault?
         Then I started thinking about those Italian Christian families who could not put flowers on the graves of their children's on Day of the Dead, "digested" by the Congolese women and children!

The last flight to the horror!

         The Fairchild C-119 "Lyra 5" twin-engine better known as the "Flying Car (Flying Boxcar)” is piloted by Major Amedeo Parmegianni (43 years), assisted by Lieutenant Pilot Onorio De Luca (25 years) , transports Dr. Francesco Paolo Remotti (29 years), Nazzareno Quadrumana engineer (42 years), Sergeant mechanic, radio operator, Sergeant Francesco Paga (31 years), Sergeant-Major Martano Marcacci (27 years) Sergeant Major Silverstro Possenti (40 years).
         The second C-119 transport aircraft India "Wolf 33" is piloted by Captain Giorgio Gonella (31 years), assisted by the co-pilot, Lt. Giulio Garbati (22 years). On board were the engineer Marshal Filippo Di Giovanni (42 years), Sergeant Antonio Mamone (28 years), radio operator, Staff Sergeant Armando Fabi (30 years) and Sergeant Stigliani Nicola (30 years).
         The two crews are part of the 46th Airborne Brigade based in Pisa, in Tuscany.
         They are beautiful, young and proud to serve Italy, taking off from Pisa. Like all the Italian people, they were moved by the sudden death of United Nations Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjöld, the most Christian on September 18, 1961.
         Before flying to Leopoldville (Kinshasa), two years earlier, they were lulled by the promises of heroism of the young Italian Minister of Defense, "The Divine Julius" Giulio Andreotti (40 years), the leading Christian Democracy, and head of "Gladio-The-Sword ", the secret NATO army face to Communism.
         Giulio Andreotti was to fly to the rescue of the young Chief of Staff of the Congolese National Army, the anti-Joseph Desire Mobutu (31 years).
The Italian mission in Congo was to end Nov. 23, 1961.
 
The ultimate "Mission: Impossible"

         On Wednesday, November 11, 1961 at 12h 30 ', they take off the military base at Kamina. Their two twin painted in UN land at Kindu Empain port at 14 hours. Their mission is clear: To suplply heavy equipment the garrison of 206 Malaysian peacekeepers to ONUC stationed in Kindu.
         On board of their planes: two small Ferret armored vehicles, mortars, ammunition and various military rations. Their mission: to deliver the material immediately and return to Kamina.
         The flight went smoothly. After landing, the two teams head to the officers' mess of the UN one kilometer from the airport to have lunch with Major Maude, commander of the garrison of Malaysia. At 16 h 30, they are quietly at the table, without weapons because the base is headed by Colonel Vital Lumumbist Pakassa Congolese National Army who tried to assassinate Mobutu in November 1960. The latter is then on the front of Kongolo. Twenty-four soldiers of the Congolese National Army enter the officers' mess.
They fear the warriors of the North Katanga Baluba Jason Sendwe (1917-1964), Deputy Prime Minister and Special Commissioner General.
But it is not there and its 2,000 troops get drunk constantly to give them courage to face an army Katanga framed by Belgian and European mercenaries "the famous terrible" that it hardly differ.
To understand the indescribable atmosphere of this incredible brutality, this is the testimony of the most famous "Ugly" French, Bob Denard (1929-2007): "Men began to bristle and they swallowed the lutuku (alcohol). When arriving Baluba melee; was merciless ritual too. They cut the limbs, tore the heart and ate the liver of the enemy. I had been drinking palm, too. So I did like them, I undressed, I kept a machete and my belt. I covered his face with mud and I led the charge in screaming like them (...). From that day; Katangans considered me one of theirs, I ate with them! "

All the villages and urban areas are on fire, bombed by UN peacekeepers, soldiers Gizenga, commandos backed by Katangan white mercenaries (Belgians, French, Portuguese, Rhodesians, South Africans etc. ...) ordered by Major John Schramme Belgian (1929-1988) and Major Bob Denard French. Murders and atrocities are forcing people to desert their villages that eventually come together in the bush around the airport. Children, women and old people are poor, hungry and emaciated.
For weeks, the ten thousand refugees await international food aid that does not come.
So when they see two aircraft painted in UN colors, they are jubilant: Food aid finally arrives!
Tension is at its peak. Suddenly, a soldier shouted: "The Belgian Paras! Belgian paratroopers of attacking us!" .
Twenty-six Congolese soldiers invade and take over the mess of Italians who try to justify a bad mistake in French. "Ah, the Flemings!" Replicate the rebels.
Dr. Francesco Paolo Remotti tries to escape through the window. A soldier opened fire on him killing him instantly. His fellow barricaded themselves inside the building. Congolese soldiers broke down the door, they master the Malay guards bound him and beat. They take roughly twelve airmen Italians they tie up, throw in trucks with the bloody corpse of Dr. Remotti to bring them to the local jail.
Storms on the avenue, renamed Lumumba Avenue in the common European Kasuku on the Congo River, complete with it's shots before the mob of Congolese. These hungry throw themselves on the remains, cut them with machetes and knives. Entire neighborhoods of human flesh is sold in markets to the poor wretches who still Congolese Francs. Inedible leftovers are thrown into the River Lualaba. The soldiers kept their fingers by way of "trophies".
In February 1962, the remains are bones and skulls were found in two mass graves in the cemetery of Tokolote, a small village on the shores of Lualaba.

If you are caught, the government deny being responsible for your actions!

If these 13 Italian soldiers were really employees of the UN, why is that neither the UN nor the Congolese government has never established a commission of inquiry to catch and convict the guilty?
Why these soldiers carrying weapons on board their planes were unarmed in a region madness?
Since Kisangani Gizenga breaking with the government of Cyrille Adoula (1921-1978) he was deputy prime minister and runs a parallel pro-communist government (recognized by 21 countries in Africa, Asia and Europe East) was he aware of the situation in Kindu?
Had he caused the bloody massacre as a slap at the authority of the UN in a region he hoped to conquer?
"I'm sick and disgusted with the actions of some of my fellow Congolese ... Shame on the units of the Congolese national army who behaves like a bunch of mutineers, and unaware. The government condemns the acts that were committed in Stanleyville and Kindu. It is the independence of the Republic and its existence are at stake Congolese, Congolese, help me ... ! "Says Prime Minister Cyril Adoula.
"Although any commander in chief of the Congolese national army, I am unable to control the national army in the city of Stanleyville (Kisangani) and in the province of Kivu," said then-General Joseph Désiré Mobutu Television Belgian.
It was only in 1994 that the Italian martyrs of Kindu have been decorated with a gold medal for military valor and received two memorials at the airport Leonardo da Vinci Fiumicino and Air Base Pisa.
After a very long procedure, it was not until 2007 that their families were compensated by the Italian government.
Why does the Italian government did it take 46 years to acknowledge his crime by sending its pilots to martyrdom in a "Mission Impossible"?
Why successive Congolese governments have they never deigned to bow to the memory of these martyrs of barbarism that has forever tarnished the image of the country and complete surrender to the misery of the town of Kindu?
Why Italy has it ever claimed the erection of a monument to their memory instead of their sacrifice in Kindu?

For more details:
-KANYARWUNGA I. N. Jean, RDC. Les générations condamnées. Déliquescence d’une société pré-capitaliste (Democratic Republic of Congo. Generations condemned. Failed of a pre-capitalist society), Publibook, Paris, 2006.
-MOLLICA Elena, Kindu, missione senza ritorno, He-Herald editore, 2008.