Diplomatic Lepers: The Katangan and Rhodesian Foreign Missions in the United States and the Politics of Nonrecognition

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Though most scholars view them as distinct phenomena, Katanga’s secession from the Congo (1960-1963) and Rhodesia’s rebellion against Britain (1965-1980) make for a natural comparison. Through looking at the international and domestic political battles over the statuses of their foreign missions in the US, this article seeks to reexamine the fundamental similarities between their struggles for international recognition. For the supporters and opponents of these regimes, the stakes in the survival of these missions were seen to be massive, which made the legal and diplomatic minutiae surrounding the statuses of these missions a microcosmic battleground for the broader fate of independent Africa.