Festival Honors Irish Peacekeepers

The annual Sarajevo Irish Festival is organizing an homage to the siege of Jadotville at the Obala Meeting Point cinema on Saturday. The event starts at 1.30 PM. The admission is free.

The Siege of Jadotville took place in September 1961, during the United Nations intervention in the Katanga conflict in Congo-Léopoldville, in Central Africa. “A” Company, 35th Battalion (UN service) of the Irish Army ONUC contingent was attacked by Katanga Gendarmerie troops loyal to the Katangese Prime Minister Moise Tshombe. The lightly armed Irish soldiers, besieged in Jadotville (modern Likasi), resisted Katangese assaults for six days as a relief force of Irish and Swedish troops unsuccessfully attempted to reach the Irish force.

The outnumbered Irish company was eventually forced to surrender after ammunition and supplies were exhausted, but not before inflicting heavy casualties on the Katangese and their mercenaries. They were held as prisoners of war for approximately one month, with no loss of life. It was the last engagement of the United Nations Operation in the Congo (ONUC) peacekeeping mission to use Irish and Swedish troops in hostile action.

Browse the festival’s full program here.

 

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