• Short Summary

    United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjoeld, freshly returned from his fact-finding trip to the Congo Republic, gave his report to the Security Council Aug 8.

  • Description

    "I do not hesitate to say that speedily as possible, I would even say immediate, the achievement of such a solution of the Congo problem is a matter of peace or war. And on saying peace or war, I do not limit my perspective to the Congo. The delay now, hesitation now, in efforts to safeguard national or group interests in a way that would hamper the United Nations efforts, would risk values immeasurably greater than any of those which such action may be intended to protect. This applies to all parties, first of all the one to which the Security Council has addressed this speech. I have felt it necessary, and in accordance with the intentions of the Council, that everywhere in the Congo the withdrawal of Belgian troops should be immediate, followed or even preceded by the entry of United Nations troops shouldering the responsibility for the maintenance of security and order. So it has been everywhere outside of Katanga. In Katanga this principle has led to the development of a vicious circle, the entry of United Nations troops is obstructed and correspondingly, the withdrawal of the Belgian troops is rendered impossible. If the principle is to be maintained, then at the withdrawal the responsibility must be taken over at once by the U.N. troops. However, the opposition of the United Nations is raised in the shadow of the continued presence of Belgian troops. This vicious circle must be broken, for the delays in the entry of the United Nations troops due to armed opposition can in my view not any longer be permitted to delay the withdrawal of the Belgian troops. If at the withdrawal of the Belgian troops the U.N. troops are not in the area because of such opposition, it is for those who oppose the entry of U.N. troops or support or encourage this obstruction, to carry the full responsibility for what may develop in the vacuum they have forced upon us."...

    Initials TDH/V/ES

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjoeld, freshly returned from his fact-finding trip to the Congo Republic, gave his report to the Security Council Aug 8. He told member nations that the Congo situation was a matter of War or Peace not only to Africa but to extraneous areas.

    Reiterating the UN's pledge of non-interference in the Congo Republica's domestic affairs, Mr Hammarskjoeld insisted that the Belgian withdrawal must be complete and unconditional, and that the UN could not tolerate threats of independent action in the Congo by member nations. This was taken as reference to Ghana's threat to send troops to oust Belgian troops in Katanga.

    Stating that he had no authority to sanction military action against Katanga's open resistance to UN forces, Mr Hammarskjoeld appealed to the Security Council to clarify its views and intentions. He flew back to the Congo Aug 9 after receiving authority to despatch UN troops to Katanga. Belgium was asked to withdraw all her troops from all parts of the Congo immediately.

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    Reuters - Including Visnews
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