Great Lakes Holocaust

First Congo War, 1996–1997

Tom Cooper

Date Published :
October 2013
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Series :
Illustration :
8pp color photos, c 100 b/w photos, maps
Format Available    QuantityPrice
ISBN : 9781909384651
Pages : 72
Dimensions : 11.5 X 8.5 inches


Great Lakes Holocaust' is the first in two volumes covering military operations in Zaire - as the Congo was named from 1971 until 1997 - and the Democratic Republic of Congo at the turn of the 21st century. This volume explores the events of the 1980s and 1990s in Rwanda and Uganda, which eventually spilled over the borders into Zaire, resulting in one of the worst tragedies ever to befall an African region.

The narrative traces the ascent of crucial Rwandan, Congolese and Ugandan military and political figures, and their connections within influential business and political circles in and outside Africa. It examines the build-up of the Zairian military under the government of Dictator Mobutu Sese Seko in the 1960s and 1970s, and provides an in-depth study into reasons for its near-collapse in the early 1990s.

The military build-up of Rwanda and Uganda is discussed in detail as is their planning for operations inside Zaire, and the global logistic tail that provided the Rwandan military, particularly, but also most of its opponents, with a capability of not only waging war beyond their borders, but - in the case of Rwanda - of invading and practically conquering a country the size of Western Europe or the USA east of the Mississippi.

The book further traces the covert Rwandan military actions inside Zaire, initially run under the guise of an insurgency by one of Zaire's ethnic minorities; how ever-deepening Rwandan operations inside Zaire were practically dictated by concentrations of Hutu refugees; and how the insurgency - led by Laurent-Désiré Kabila who was installed by key Rwandan and Ugandan military and political figures - developed into an organization that sought autonomy from the military and political dictates of Rwanda, in turn delivering a direct reason for the Second Congo War which was fought from 1998-2003.

About The Author

Tom Cooper is an Austrian aerial warfare analyst and historian. Following a career in worldwide transportation business – during which he established a network of contacts in the Middle East and Africa – he moved into narrow-focus analysis and writing on small, little-known air forces and conflicts (about which he has collected extensive archives). That resulted in specialisation in such Middle Eastern air forces as those of Egypt, Iran, Iraq and Syria - plus various African and Asian air forces. As well as writing and co-writing 25 other books and more than 400 articles, he has co-written an in-depth analysis of major Arab air forces at war with Israel during the period 1955-73 - resulting in the six-volume book series Arab MiGs.


For an adept, balanced briefing on the "First Congo War", get this terrific tome. Cooper masterfully distills the conflict's complexities. I loved it.

- CyberModeler, December 2013

" ... For military historians there is much reading material to digest and absorb, while those contemplating building something different by way of scale models or dioramas will find lots of inspiration from the included photos. This is an interesting insight of a war about which very little was known, until this was published."

- Model Art Australia, June 2014

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