Kananga lo͞olwäbo͞orˈ [key], city (1984 pop. 298,693), capital of Kasai-Central prov., S central Congo (Kinshasa), on the Lulua River. It is the commercial and transportation center of a region where cotton is grown and diamonds are mined. The city was founded in 1884 by the German explorer Hermann von Wissmann. In 1895, Batetela troops stationed there revolted after their chief was executed by authorities of the Belgian-run Independent State of the Congo. At first successful, the mutineers were finally defeated in 1901. Kananga grew rapidly in the early 20th cent. with the coming of the railroad. Many Luba people settled there and became economically dominant over the indigenous Lulua people. After the Congo achieved independence (1960), there were violent clashes between the Luba and Lulua, and many Luba fled to the short-lived (1960–61) Mining State of South Kasai. In 1961–62, the city was held by rebel troops from the former Équateur prov.

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