Africa: Katanga's Threatened Giant

Though its mines provided the uranium for the Nagasaki and Hiroshima A-bombs, the durable giant known as the Union Minière du Haut-Katanga had never been so preoccupied with explosives as it was last week. Outside the southern Katanga town of Kolwezi, unruly "gendarmes" in the service of Katanga's President Moise Tshombe had wired demolition charges to two huge Union Minière power dams and threatened to push the plunger.

Destruction of the Kolwezi dams would unleash huge floods, wipe out at least one-fifth of Union Minière's $600 million investment in Katanga and cut off 80% of the province's power supply. Some...

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