Thousands of whites fled the former Belgian Congo in the weeks after independence. This movement had a significant impact on the politics of Southern Rhodesia. Disquieted whites in Rhodesia feared they might face a similar fate. They apprehensively mobilised in an effort known as Operation Refugee to support the displaced. Conversely, black nationalists were energised by the disruption. Their ranks increased and their rhetoric became more confrontational. While the transnational Congo Crisis is routinely evaluated through the framework of the Cold War, in the region’s white settler territories, the decolonisation imperative was another critical perspective through which the events in the Congo were perceived.