Katanga, the southern province of the former Zaïre extends norteast to Lake Tanganyika, east and south to Zambia, and west to Angola.
It was inhabited by Luba and Bantu peoples, and was one of Africa's richest mining areas. In 1960, Katanga, under the leadership of provincial president Moise Tshombe and supported by foreign mining interests, seceded from newly independent Republic of the Congo. A period of political confusion and bloody fighting involving Congolese, Belgian and United Nations forces ensued. At the end of the rebellion in 1962, Katanga was reintegrated into the republic, and is known as the Shaba region.