Conducts research and collects data on the global history of labour, workers, and labour relations

'Satanas' in Belgian Congo

11 July 1931
Kwango River

Villagers in Kwango and the palm oil plantation region of Kikwat, Belgian Congo, rose in revolt in June and July 1931. They repudiated all things European, including payment of taxes or use of colonial currency. Labourers on the palm oil plantations absconded, European trading companies neither received deliveries nor made any sales. The rebels were dubbed 'Satanas' and referred to as  a millenarian sect. As colonial government increased the number of military troops, the unrest in the Kwango district escalated at a high mortality rate. Troops moved from village to village demanding 'submission'. In September the entire region had been 'pacified'.

Martin Thomas, Violence and Colonial Order. Police, Workers and Protest in the European Colonial Empires, 1918-1940 (Cambridge 2012) IISH call no 2012/1580