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Dag Hammarskjold

Myth-Busting: Dag Hammarskjöld, Katanga, And The Coup

On an almost monthly basis the press, and scholars, focus on the death of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, in a plane crash near the Rhodesian town of Ndola, not far from the Congo-Katanga border, on the night of 17 – 18 September 1961. Accident or assassination attempt? And if it was an assassination, who was guilty? These are questions to which the UN itself is seeking answers. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that the plane was shot down. If this is indeed the case, we must look for the perpetrators in what was then Katanga, a Congolese province which, shortly after Congo’s independence, broke away from the central power with the powerful mining company Union Minière (Umicore) and local politicians in the entourage of Moïse Tshombe.

Who Was Dag Hammarskjöld?

Dag Hammarskjöld set the standard for integrity and independence that all United Nations secretaries-general are judged against. He pioneered direct diplomacy by a secretary-general to defuse crises, and created U.N. peacekeeping. Hammarskjöld forged an independence between the Cold War powers that upset both and may have led to his death 60 years ago on Saturday. The son of a Swedish prime minister, Hammarskjöld came from a privileged background, unlike the Socialist Trygve Lie, the first secretary-general. Hammarskjöld became a lawyer, an economist, Sweden’s finance minister and was a delegate to the Paris Marshall Plan conference. Hammarskjöld was surprised to be chosen as Lie’s replacement. He was acceptable to both blocs, as he was seen as an apolitical technocrat.

Likely Assassination Of United Nations Chief Happened 60 Years Ago

United Nations -The United Nations is considering reopening its investigation into the mysterious 1961 plane crash that killed then-U.N. chief Dag Hammarskjöld after new evidence of possible foul play emerged. The U.N. General Assembly put the case back on its agenda in March at the recommendation of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after more than half a century of speculation that the Swedish diplomat’s plane was either sabotaged or shot down. Mr. Ban’s recommendation came after a report by the independent Hammarskjöld commission, formed in 2012 with the participation of South African jurist Richard Goldstone. The report in September raised the possibility the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies have a tape-recorded radio communication by a mercenary pilot who allegedly carried out an aerial attack on the secretary-general’s plane.
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