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Rebellion Or Massacre? The UNIP-Lumpa Conflict Revisited

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Chapter Summary

The established and conventional history of the Lumpa-UNIP conflict views it as the culmination of a Lumpa rebellion against authority that began almost a decade earlier. The claim by the surviving members of the Lumpa Church that there was a massacre of Lumpa followers rather than a rebellion by Lumpa followers is clearly a partisan and partial rendering of the conflict. In many ways, this 'rebellion' was actually a war between local UNIP cadres and the Lumpa Church that culminated in the forced dispersal and occasional massacre of Lumpa followers by the colonial armed forces between July and October of 1964. In the most subtle study of the episode thus far, Andrew Roberts recognizes that the 'total commitment' to the cause of UNIP contributed to the conflict with the Lumpa Church. The Lumpa Church allowed Africans to enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

Keywords: colonial armed forces; Lumpa Church; Lumpa rebellion; UNIP-Lumpa conflict



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