Marcel Hondo-Demissie (1930-1977) was an Ethiopian warlord who became world famous for leading the failed Katangan Rebellion. Born in the village of Kongolo, his childhood was troubled. His mother was raped and killed by a Belgian officer, and his father was executed when he attempted to avenge his wife, orphaning Marcel at the age of six. He was taken in and raised by the local missionary. As the rebellion heated up in the thirties, Marcel would be caught up in it when his friends were captured by the colonial forces. He led a raid on the barracks where his friends were being held, where he discovered that they had been killed. Motivated by vengeance, him and his remaining friends killed the garrison and burnt down the barracks. Afterwards, he became a rebel leader during the long Congolese rebellion against the colonizing Belgians, where he gained a reputation for leading devastating ambushed before melting back into the countryside. This reputation earned him the moniker "The Katanga Ghost". After Ethiopia's annexation of the Congo in 1970, Marcel settled down in Katanga with his wife, Cassandre, where they had a daughter, Iphigenia.
The death of his wife and daughter during the ill-fated 1971 Kinshasa uprising sent him into a spiralling depression, causing him to grow disenchanted with the Ethiopian-led regime. The chaos of the Ethiopian Civil War created the perfect impetus for rebellion.
Throughout the mid 70's, Marcel fostered a rebel movement in Katanga with the intention of creating an Anarchist Commune, where the evils of government and power would no longer be present to hurt the people. It was during this period that his decreased mental state drove him to wear his wives dresses on occasion, a practice he would continue as it began to become attached to his public persona, where he had gained a new nickname, "The Rouge General". At the beginning of 1977, rising tensions over the corruption that had grown rampant in the local government gave Marcel his rebellion. The war continued over the course of the year, where Marcel lead his troops in victories that devastated the Ethiopian forces, eventually coming to a brief peace in the fall during concerns of a Spanish invasion of Ethiopia. During this time, Marcel established his the Katanga Free State.
The peace was short lived, as the other rebel leaders conspired to kill Marcel and parcel the anarchist state between themselves. They drew him and the forces of those loyal to him into the country under the pretenses of tribal warfare, ambushing him near the village of Fungurume. Though the loyalist forces won the initial battle, they were eventually ambushed and captured on their way into Luba territory. Loyal Bemba leader Leon Kapwepwe was killed in the fighting. Marcel was captured and initially sentenced to death, but news of a new Ethiopian assault to be led by Ras Hassan caused the fallen Katangan alliance to resolidify. Marcel was put back in charge, but with much less power. Hassan's strategy of harassing civilians rather then leading an assault on the Katanagan forces caused the Katangan alliance to break up again, with the Msiri of the Garangenze people leading a hot headed assault of the Ethiopian forces. Hassan offered the remaining Katangan forces a reward for turning in their leader, forcing Marcel to flee with his remaining allies. Marcel was officially captured, but managed to commit suicide with a smuggled knife by slitting his throat. His death marked the end of the Katangan independence movement.