The United Nations in the Congo: A Quest for Peace

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The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace was established in 1910 to seek practical paths to peace. Income from the original en• dowment has been devoted to research and education in this field, including an active program of t>.ublications. In this connection, the Endowment assumes full responsibility for its decision to publish or sponsor the publication of works that appear with its imprint. How• ever, the decision to publish a work does not necessarily imply en• dorsement of statements of fact or opinion that appear in it. •



PREFACE ''In memory of Dag Hammarsk7old Secretary-General of the United Nations 195J to 1961 and those who with him lost their lives at Ndola in September 1961 in quest of peace in the Congo." Inscription on memorial plaque at United Nations Headquarters.

Overnight in mid-1960 the United Nations found itself with responsibilities for an area as large as Western Europe-the newly independent Congo. With the departure of the Belgians, it was a country administratively decapitated, a country on the brink of anarchy. To these almost insuperable problems was added the ever present threat of great-power intervention. Unprepared and ill-equipped, the United Nations embarked upon its task. There were failures, there were muddles, but the Congolese did not destroy each other in fratricidal war. Nor did the Congo become a great-power battlefield. It will be years before a definitive appraisal of this vast, complex tale of improvisation is possible. The present volume has a more modest goal. It seeks to relate the United Nations story as it evolved between the first fateful meeting of the Security Council in July 1960 and the efforts during the summer of 1962 to solve the Katanga problem. The story is not yet ended. Katanga still goes its separate way. The building of a self-reliant Congolese republic has only just begun. The United Nations is in the Congo and is likely to remain for some • time. The present account is based on United Nations documents, the author's personal experience, and his discussions with United Nations officials who participated in the Congo Operation. King Gordon, a Canadian, served with the United Nations for more than twelve years. He joined the staff in January 1950 as a senior officer in the Division of Human Rights, later held responsible field posts in Korea, the Middle East, and, most recently, on three assignments, in the Congo. He returned from his last assignment in the Congo as Chief Information Officer for ONUC, the United Nations Operation in the Congo, in August l 96i. ANNE WINSLOW




7 The Congo at Independence Mutiny of the 14,orce Publique




17 18 21 25

Complicating Factors Building a Consensus - ·First Days of ONUC


29 32 84

The Renegade Province Politics in Katanga - Breakthrough to Elisabethville The Break with Lumumba

87 44

THE CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS Trouble in Kasai Lumumba's Dismissal - The United Nations Intervenes Security Council Consideration • The Assembly Acts



Transport and Communications Health Agriculture Education Public Administration Finance and Economy Civilian Operations and Social Conflict

THE MONTHS OF DISCORD Two Central Governments Controlling the AN C ~ -Return of the Belgians The Victory of Kasavubu

THE ARREST OF LUMUMBA Impasse at the United Nations .....

A NEW BEGINNING Disintegration of Central Authority · Death of Lumumba The New Mandate__...


49 51 52 55 58

60 63 65

67 68 69 70

71 78 75 75

77 79

82 86 89 92 92





- The United Nations Force - Preventing Civil War Foreign Personnel and Army Reorganization Attempts at Reconciliation Tananarive to Coquilhatville Restoration of Legal Government

DRAMA IN KATANGA -"Operation of 28 August" Outbreak of Fighting~Death of Hammarskjold-Cease-Fire and Increased Tension The Council Acts - - Katanga's Strength Affreux et Ultras - The "Battle of Elisabethville" The Kitona Declaration

THE COSTS OF A PEACE FORCE Financing ONUC Sharing the Costs Meeting the Crisis

ALL QUIET IN THE CONGO Law and Order Showdown for Gizenga Expelling Mercenaries Baluba Refugees Aid for the Congo's Economy

THE ISSUE IS SECESSION The Adoula-Tshombe Talks Tshombe Plays for Time U Thant's Plan ...

AN INTERIM APPRAISAL .. _.... ........ .. - -· . .,



106 110 113 114 118 122 123 124

127 130 132 135 138 141

145 148

148 150 153 156 156 160 162

164 167 170 170 175 178 182


Maps The Republic of the Congo Kasai, Kivu, and Katanga Provinces

ONUC Organization Chart


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N. RHODESIA Novemb4tr 1962

THE BACKDROP Early in 1960 Africa moved into the center of the United Nations field of vision. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold's African tour brought him into touch with many leaders of new African states _and gave him a fresh appreciation of their urgent needs. "At the moment of transition to independence," he told the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), "new countries often have to take basic decisions which are likely to determine for many years the pattern of their national life as well as their relations to the rest of the world." At such a time, assistance from the international community "is likely to yield high returns and reduce the cost of the transition to the countries concerned, as well as to the world economy."1 Hammarskjold had reminded the Council that the United Nations stood in a very special relationship to these countries, that membership in it was a symbol of their independence. The United Nations and the specialized agencies could offer expert help that would be immediately valuable and they were well equipped to provide some of the key services most urgently needed. ECOSOC reacted sympathetically to the Secretary-General's plea. There was an increased allotment for aid to Africa out of the regular budget of the United Nations and under the Expanded Programme of Technical Assistance and the Special Fund. Thus the fifteen new African states admitted to United Nations membership that autumn could feel that their needs were receiving special attention. While Hammarskjold was making his African trip, Congolese political leaders were meeting with the Belgian government at a Round Table Conference in Brussels to discuss plans for the Congo's independence. Since Belgium had done little to prepare the Congolese politically and administratively to take charge of a new nation, independence was thought to be far in the future. Yet, within a week of the opening of the Conference, the date of independence had been set for five months ahead. Economic and Social Council Official Records (ECOSOC, OR): 29th Sess., Annexes, Agenda item 10 (E/8888, para. 8). 1


Ralph Bunche, United Nations Under-Secretary for Special Political Affairs, went to Leopoldville to represent the Secretary-General at the independence ceremonies. He was followed by a ·small group of officials from the United Nations Bureau of Technical Assistance. Shortly thereafter, Sture Linner of Sweden was named Resident Representative of the Technical Assistance Board. The United Nations stood ready to help. But when, less than two weeks later, an urgent appeal came to the Secretary-General from the Congo, it ·was not primarily for technical assistance but for military aid in the face of a thre·a t to international peace and security.

THE CONGO AT INDEPENDENCE Belgium's interest in the Congo goes back to the 1870s when King Leopold II commissioned Henry M. Stanley to establish trading stations along the Congo River. Further explorations were carried on by Stanley in the early 1880s. In 1885 a conference of thirteen European states meeting in Berlin to delimit territorial claims in Africa, recognized Leopold's private domain over the "Congo Free State." Through treaties with African chiefs, the development of plantations and mines, and the ruthless exploitation of African labor, Leopold turned the Congo into a profitable investment. The barbarous methods employed by the agents of the King-which find their echoes in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness-aroused widespread protest and eventually forced the Belgian government to assume full colonial responsibility for the Congo in 1908. •. After a timid start, the Belgian government introduced drastic reforms. A policy of paternalism replaced many of the brutal traditions of the earlier regime. Workers on the plantations and in the newly developed mines in Katanga enjoyed better wages and living conditions than most workers in other African territories. Primary education, mainly through government-subsidized Roman Catholic schools, was expanded year by year until, by 1958, 1,400,000 children were enrolled. Health services brought endemic and epidemic diseases under control, and hospitals equipped with modem facilities ministered to the needs of the sick. 8

A start was made toward improving agricultural methods in a country where most of the inhabitants lived on a subsistence level by cultivating small plots. Under a forward-looking agricultural program, thousands of paysannats were established, which provided for larger plots of land for groups of farmers and made mechanized farming feasible. Sometimes the entire paysannat would be organized as a cooperative; sometimes a central tractor station would rent farm machinery to the individual owners. Improved methods of cultivation, crop rotation, and the introduction of a greater variety of crops and better seeds made for a much higher standard of living and improved community facilities for those living on the paysannats. The industrial and commercial development of the Congo attracted a higher proportion of Africans to the cities than in any other African country. While a sharp line of demarcation separated the European · city from the cites indigenes, standards of housing and public utilities in these African communes showed a steady improvement during the I950s. The New City in Leopoldville, the modern communes in Elisabethville, and the imaginatively planned African town of Bagira outside of Bukavu are examples of progressive housing policies of the Belgian authorities. The tendency to denigrate the contribution made by the Belgian administration to the improvement of the life of the Congolese has led to misconceptions about the problems of the Congo as well as about its potentialities. Remarkable technical and humanitarian achievements tend to be ignored in view of Belgium's blind disregard of the need to train a people to administer a complex system that one day, inevitably, would be their own. The same applies to the possibility of rapid recovery once constitutional unity and peace are established and a full-scale accelerated program of training is launched. There is more than irony in the description of the Belgian Congo . as Africa's "showcase colony." The administration of the Belgian Congo, its public and technical services, were run almost exclusively _by Europeans. Very few Congolese held positions of executive or operational responsibility. By 1958 no more than 10,000 Congolese out of a population of IS,500,000 were attending secondary or vocational training schools. Until 1956 there was no university in the Congo, and in 1960 there were only seven9

teen university graduates who had received an education in Europe. The national security force, the Force publique, was officered entirely by Belgians and few educational facilities were open to the largely illiterate Congolese troops. The Congo was administered by the Colonial Minister in Brussels through a Governor General and a Governor for each of the six provinces: Leopoldville, Equateur, Orientale, Kasai, Kivu, and Katanga. The Governor General and Governors were assisted by appointed councils which, after 1945, included some Africans. The beginnings of local government appeared in 1957 when municipal elections were held in the three largest cities: Leopoldville, Elisabethville, and Jadotville. These municipal elections marked the emergence of political parties which had previously been banned. Antecedents of the parties are to be found in cultural organizations among the evolues based occasionally on old school associations but more often on tribal allegiance. The Abako party (Alliance des Bakongo) of Joseph Kasavubu, for instance, represents the Bakongo of the lower Congo region. The Balunda in southern Katanga provide the support for Moise Tshombe's Conakat party (Confederation des Associations du Katanga). The Kasai Baluba are the base for Albert Kalonji's branch of the MNC (Mouvement National Congolais) in South Kasai and the Katangese Baluba the foundation of Jason Sendwe's Balubakat (Association des Baluba du Kata1Jga) in northern Katanga. Until 1958 the Congo was singularly free from the political unrest that characterized many of the other African dependencies. Three events stimulated political activity: General de Gaulle's visit to Brazzaville (across the river from Leopoldville) to launch the French Community; visits of Congolese leaders to the Brussels World's Fair; and the first All-African People's Conference in Accra, which was attended by Patrice Lumumba. In January 1959 a meeting, largely of the unemployed, was called in Leopoldville by Joseph Kasavubu's Abako party. When Belgian authorities banned the meeting, rioting broke out and continued for two days; some forty-nine Congolese were killed by police. Belated attempts by the authorities to put political reforms into effect were overtaken by events. There was further rioting in the lower Congo 10

region and, in October, the banning of a meeting called by Patrice Lumumba's Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) at Stanleyville led to police action in which twenty-six died. The Leopoldville and Stanleyville riots established Kasavubu and L11m11mba as national leaders. ·Following the Leopoldville riots, on 13 January 1959, the Belgian government publicly recognized the right to independence of a united Congo and set a timetable for the establishment of democratic institutions up to the provincial level. On 16 October 1959, the Belgians announced that a Congolese central government would be set up the following year. Congolese political leaders demanded that they be consulted on all such matters rather than have the new institutions bestowed on them from above, and this led, in January 1960, to the convening of the Round Table Conference in Brussels. The Belgian government still hoped that the Conference might outline a program for the gradual attainment of full independence. But the first days of discussion revealed an uncompromising determination .. on the part of the eighty-one Congolese political leaders for "Independence Now," and by the end of the first week's debate, the date of independence was fixed for 30 June I 960, less than five months away. Lumumba emerged as the outstanding leader at the Conference; Kasa- ·. vubu had thrown away his original ascendancy by his truculent attitude, and by his insistence that the Conference turn itself into a constitutional assembly to set up a provisional government. The Conference provided for elections to be held prior to independence and for the formation of a central government; the new parliament was to draft a constitution. Meanwhile, the structure of the constitutional system-later embodied in a Loi fondamentale enacted by the Belgian Parliament-was outlined. This comprised a somewhat vague division of powers between the central and provincial governments. The unitary principle, however, was thought to be strong enough to offset the centrifugal tendencies manifested in Katanga's Conakat party and in some of the powerful tribal associations such as Abako. Least satisfactory was the relationship between the executive and legislative branches, and this was to be demonstrated in the constitutional crisis that developed in September. It must be said that, granted a period of quiet, these difficulties could probably have been



worked out satisfactorily during the constitutional session of the new parliament. The most carefully drafted constitution, however, could not have withstood the whirlwind that swept the country immediately after independence.1 In the five months between the Round Table Conference and independence, little was done to prepare the Congo for self-government. The liberal attitude of the Belgians at Brussels was not shared by the Belgian administrators in the Congo who attempted to use their influence to help promote the cause of politicians who could be counted on to work for the maintenance of close ties with Belgium.3 But the ·// May elections demonstrate·d a loss of strength for the Belgian-oriented parties and decided gains for the extreme nationalists, notably for Lumumba's MNC which led the polls with 41 seats out of 137. It has been argued by some commentators that such a trend was inevitable; even the best that could be offered by a paternalistic system was not enough to fulfil! the basic aspirations of a people preparing to take over the government of their own country:' Anti-Belgian sentiment increased and a host of Belgian functionaries began to feel the chill breath of resentment of those who tomorrow would be their masters. While Lumumba's MNC and its allies showed the greatest political strength, a rival coalition, built up around Jean Bolikango and Joseph Ileo, enlisted sizable support among parties and tribal groups more friendly to the Belgians and favoring a federalist rather than a unitary system of government. This second "cartel" was later to receive the support of Kasavubu and the Abako party. Lumum~a was invited by the newly appointed Belgian Resident Minister, Walter Ganshof van der Meersch, to explore the possibility of forming a government. But before Lumumba's mission was completed, van der Meersch turned to Kasavubu and asked him to make the attempt. !his action was bitterly resented by Lumumba, who had previously accused the Minister and other Belgian officials of scheming to block the nationalist An extremely valuable analysis of the work of the Brussels Round Table Conference and subsequent political developments in the Congo is to be found in J. Gerard-Libois and Benoit Verhaegen, eds., Congo 1960 (Bruxelles: Centre de Recherche et d'Information Socio-Politiques, n d.). 3 Georges Brausch, Belgian Administration in the Congo (London: Oxford Univ. Press, 1961), pp. 81-82. 4 Congo 1960, op. cit., Tome II, pp. 1070-1071. 2


parties. When Kasavubu, in tum, failed to establish a working majority in Parliament, a compromis~ was reached on the very eve of independence as a result of which\Kasavubu became President and Lumumba Prime Ministerf But Lumumba's speech at the independence cerefi:lonies in the presence of King Baudouin of Belgium showed that his resentment had not been diminished by his somewhat qualified triumph.

MUTINY OF THE FORCE PUBLIQUE On 5 July Congolese troops mutinie·d against their Belgian officers at Camp Hardy at Thysville and Camp Leopold II in the capital. If the Belgian administrators in the Congo had shown themselves unappreciative of the liberal spirit of the Round Table Conference, the commanders of the Force publique displayed a stubbornly reactionary attitude. The Round Table Conference had determined (and the Loi , fondamentale provided) that Belgian officers serving with the Force would continue in their positions until such time as Congolese had been trained and commissioned to replace them. No one hurried to meet the increasingly urgent demands that promotions be speeded up and Africanization begun. Lieutenant-General E. Janssens, the Force Commander, was particularly insistent that the army was above and separate from politics, that it would move over intact to serve the new republic as it had served the Belgian Congo. He wrote on the { blackboard of the officers' mess in Camp Leopold II: ''Avant lnde· pendance Apres lndependance." 5 The growing resentment against ~ the Belgians, however, which had become manifest in the country as a whole, could not be excluded from the army, and the fever of independence could not be restrained by rigid enforcement of discipline or by appeals to esprit de corps. Unrest had seethed for weeks and little was needed to spark open mutiny in those fateful days in July. The first mutinies in Thysville and Leopoldville appeared to subside but recurred in more serious form several days later and involved



Jbid., Tome I, p. 372. In his book J't!tais le General ]anssens (Bruxelles: Dessart, 1961) , he wrote: "The Force publique is an army whose hierarchy is clean-cut, 5

whose discipline is strict and just, whose morale is ~ood, whose impartiality is total, whose tradition is strong." (Mr. Gordon's translation.) Quoted in Etudes Congolaises (Uopoldville: lnstitut Politique Congolais, septembre 1961), p. 34. Janssens put down these words just sixteen days before the outbreak of the mutinies.


other garrisons. White civilians were manhandled and women raped. Word was received that 600 Belgian troops had been sent from Brussels to reinforce the metropolitan contingents at the Kamina and Kitona bases. The Belgian government tried to persuade the Congolese Prime Minister to invoke the Treaty of Friendship with Belgium and to request aid from the Belgian armed forces stationed in the Congo. But Lumumba insisted his government could bring tl\e situation under control. In Leopoldville, Ralph Bunche warned the Belgian ambassador of the serious consequences that would follow Belgian intervention without the Congo government's request or consent, and pointed out that the Security Council could be appealed to. By I O July the situation appeared more stable. Lumumba, in Luluabourg, was assuring the Belgian consul of his concern for the safety of "our Belgian friends with whom we wish to live in peace" and agreeing to the stationing of metropolitan troops in Kasai province for two months to assist in coping with the emergency.' Three unrelated events set off a new round of mutinies and violence of greater severity than the first. After all Europeans had been evacuated, Belgian warships and planes attacked the port city of Matadi with considerable loss of life. The news of this action was carried in_exaggerated reports over the army radio network and sparked outbreaks of violence in areas that had formerly been quiet. Belgian paratroop drops at widely separated points spread terror and increased the attacks on Europeans. On the same day, I I July, Moise Tshombe announced the secession of Katanga. The following day, President Kasavubu and Prime Minister Lumumba flew to Elisabethville to attempt a reconciliation with Tshombe and Belgian Minister van der Meersch advised his counterpart there, Auguste de Schrijver, to see the Leopoldville leaders as a matter of urgency. But the plane was denied permission to land on orders from Tshombe's "Minister of the Interior," Godefroid Munongo. Belgian troops were in charge of the Elisabethville airport. The break between the Central Government and Belgium was now complete. While the basis of Katanga's secession will have to be examined in greater detail in the appropriate context (see pp. 32ff), a word may be e The Province of Katanga and Congolese Independence (Leopoldville: Document Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs), p. 18.


said here about the background of the Lumumba-Tshombe differences. Belgium was originally committed to a policy of centralism for the future Republic of the Congo, with allowances for a certain amount of provincial jurisdiction in defined areas. At the Round Table Con- -✓ ference there was no basic difference between the Belgian attitude and that of Lumumha. Also, Tshombe's plea at Brussels for decentralization met with little or no response from the other Congolese leaders. In the weeks preceding independence, Tshombe persisted in his separatist convictions and sponsored two secessionist attempts which were firmly suppressed by the Belgian administration. Tshombe, a political leader of considerable ability, felt himself snubbed by the dominant Leopoldville group. At Brussels he had cut a poor figure alongside of Lumumba. Arriving at Leopoldville shortly after the independence celebrations, he had cooled his heels for days waiting vainly for an opportunity to see Lumumba and Kasavubu. Thus there was an element of personal revenge in Tshombe's decision to embark on the course of Katanga's secession, although the underlying motives went much deeper. Among the Belgian and other European civilians, already nervous as a result of the xenophobia that had been evident prior to independence, the mutinies induced a panic. From all parts of the Congo Europeans fled to the nearest exit points. The ferries across the Congo to Brazzaville were crowded with desperately frightened families. In th~ east, the exodus took place through Goma and Bukavu into RuandaU rundi and from Elisabethville south in to Rhodesia. By the time the flight had ended three-quarters of the European population had left. Since the Europeans were responsible for the maintenance of the administration, technical facilities, and health services, the Congo faced a complete breakdown of its social and economic organization. Confronted with a situation now obviously beyond its control, the Congo government looked abroad for assistance. On 11 July, the \ United States ambassador in Leopoldville was approached with a request for troops. He replied that he was sure his government would take the position that any aid should come through the United Nations and the request was transmitted to the Secretary-General by the United States Secretary of State. The next day, the President and the : Prime Minister of the Congo cabled the Secretary-General asking for 15

the "urgent dispatch by the United Nations of military assistance." Accusing the Belgian government of conspiring with a small group · of Katangese leaders in prepariµg the secession of the province, the Leopoldville leaders stressed th~t "the essential purpose of the requested military aid is to protect the national territory of the Congo against the present external aggression which is a threat to international peace." 7 A further cable froip Kasavubu and Lumumba on 1g July stated that military assistance .was needed, not to restore the internal situation but rather to protect Congolese territory, and warned that if United Nations aid was not f~rthcoming the Congo government would have to appeal to the Bandung Treaty powers. They also indicated to the USSR on 14 July that' they might be forced to request Soviet intervention if the West did. not stop its "aggression" against the Congo.8 ·

.... ;


Council Official Records (SCOR): 15th \'.r., Suppl. for July, Aug., and Sept. 1960 (S /4S82, I). 8 Jt should perhaps be mentioned that b~f~re the mutinies attained menacing proportions and before__ t~-~- B~lgian troops responded with strong counteractiQn, Bunche had exploreawith the Congolese authorities the possibility of the United Na!!on~ J!roviding techni~al ~ssistance in th~ field ?f ..administration of ~ecu~i~L" die tra1n1ng a-mt reo1gan1zat1on of the Force publ,que. A request was drafted by the Con_g~ gQv~rn~ent and presented to Bunche for tran"Smittal to the SecretaryGenefal. Owing to a temporary breakdown in communications, the request was literally overtaken by the more urgent appeal for military assistance. But it was one of the documents under consideration by the Secretary-General when he was preparing his presentation to the Security Council. 7 Security


CHALLENGE AND RESPONSE The Congo problem as reviewed by Secretary-General Hammarskjold had a number of aspects-some external, some internal, some a mixture of both. By studying his presentation to the Security Council at its meeting on 13-14 July and his subsequent comments in the course of the following week it is possible to reconstruct his appraisal of the situation.1 The external aspect of the problem was most clearly defined and was to set the main line of policy adopted by the United Nations. A member state of the United Nations had introduced its troops into the territory of an independent state (whose admission to United Nations membership had been recommended by the Security Council the previous week) without the request or consent of the latter's government. Whether this was to be considered an act of aggression, as was now charged by the Congo, or of humanitarian intervention to protect the lives of its nationals, as claimed by Belgium, it was an action likely to have serious international consequences. Already, states friendly to the Congo were threatening counter-intervention on its behalf and this counter-intervention might set off a chain reaction. Under the terms of the United Nations Charter, it appeared to be a classic situation that called for United Nations action to offset a threat to international peace. Since the main cause of the explosive international tension was the presence of Belgian troops, the main purpose of United Nations action should be to bring about their withdrawal. The introduction of an international force under a well-defined United Nations mandate would open the way for a voluntary Belgian military withdrawal and at the same time block the possibility of unilateral military action on the part of other member states. At first sight, it appeared that the best precedent was to be found in the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF), established at the time The thinking of the Secretary-General is revealed in his initial statement to . , the Security Council on 13 July 1960 (SCOR: 15th Yr., 873rd Mtg.), in his first progress report on 18 July 1960 (SCOR: 15th Yr., Suppl. for July, Aug., and Sept. 1960 (S/4389), and his statement to the Council on 20 July 1960 (SCOR: 15th Yr., 877th Mtg., pp. 1-4). 1


of the Suez crisis in 1956, when the invasion of Egypt by foreign armies constituted a threat to world peace. The primary function of the United Nations Force in the Congo would be similar to that of UNEF. As the Belgian troops withdrew, or even before, the United Nations Force would move in to fill the vacuum-just as the UNEF troops had followed up the withdrawal of the British and French troops from the Canal and Ports Said and Fuad and that of Israel's troops from the Sinai and Gaza. But there were notable differences in the two situations. UNEF had interposed itself between two or more opposing national armies. After the withdrawal of the invading armies, the national security forces and civilian authorities of Egypt resumed responsibility for the maintenance of law and order and for civil administration, which prior to the invasion had posed no special problems. In the case of the Congo, the disruption of law and order brought about by the mutiny of the national security forces had been the original cause of the trouble and the main reason for the intervention of the Belgian troops. It would therefore seem to follow that, after the withdrawal of the Belgian troops, the United Nations Congo Force would have continuing responsibilities in a purely internal matter-the maintenance of law and order-until such time as the national security forces were able to take charge. The mandate of the Congo Force would be more extensive and more complex than that of UNEF and, to be effective, would call for complete cooperation and rapport with the government of the Congo. A warning of the difficulties ahead can be seen in the Congo government's second cable to the Secretary-General: the purpose of military assistance was not to restore internal order but to protect Congolese • territory.

COMPLICATING FACTORS Another aspect of the Congo problem called for deep involvement of the United Nations in the internal affairs of the country. The mass flight of the Europeans following the mutinies had removed those professional workers, technicians, and administrators upon whose presence the satisfactory functioning of civilian Ii£e depended. Unless they were replaced, there would be a breakdown of all public services and a collapse of the economy, with disastrous consequences in terms 18

of human suffering and the further breakdown of law and order. The technical assistance that had been contemplated before and immediately after independence was now clearly inadequate. The situation : · demanded large-scale recruitment, on an international basis, of specialists and technicians in many fields who would serve not merely in an advisory but in an operational capacity. It was questionable whether the United Nations and its specialized agencies had the resources to meet this enormous challenge even on an emergency basis. And assuming the need could be satisfactorily met, the closest cooperation with the Congolese authorities would be required to avoid the suspicion that the imposition of a United Nations trusteeship over an independent state was contemplated. Finally, there was the problem created by the secession of Katanga \.-, -the most stubborn and complex problem in the Congo and the one that was to emerge as the direct or indirect source of most of the difficulties encountered by the United Nations in its Congo mission. From the start it, too, had its internal and external aspects. That it could not be considered purely an internal matter was evident from the first cable addressed to Secretary-General Hammarskjold by the President and Prime Minister of the Congo, which accused the Belgian government of conspiring with a small group of Katangese leaders to prepare the secession of the province. But to have accepted the problem in the terms set forth by the President and the Prime Minister and to have responded to their request to use the international force to terminate the secession would not only have distorted the role of the United Nations Force as originally conceived; it would have also ignored the internal political differences that, even before independence, had divided the Central Government in Leopoldville and the provincial government in Elisabethville. The Secretary-General attempted to separate the external and "' internal aspects of the problem. On the one hand, the secession of Katanga could not be accepted as an established fact. The Republic v ' of the Congo had been recommended for membership in the United Nations by a resolution of the Security Council on 7 July as a country made up of six provinces, one of which was Katanga. The Central Government, which had appealed to the United Nations for aid, was the government of the Republic of the Congo. The mandate of the 19

United Nations Force, once it was defined, would apply to the entire Congo. Belgian troops would have to withdraw from the Congo, including Katanga, and the United Nations Force would have the right of deployment in all six provinces, including Katanga. On the other hand, the constitutional relationship between Katanga and the Central Government was something that could not be determined either by the United Nations or by other outside forces. It was a matter that had to be worked out by the Congolese themselves. The United Nations, therefore, could not employ its military force to end the secession on behalf of or in cooperation with the Central Government. The most it could do-and this was its responsibility-was to ensure that no outside forces were interfering with or influencing the constitutional decisions that belonged to the Congolese people. It may be observed that the Secretary-General's thinking on Katanga, while implicit in his original statements, did not emerge in detail until strong resistance developed on the part of the Elisabethville authorities and the Belgian government to the withdrawal of Belgian troops from Katanga and the deployment there of the United Nations Force. It may also be observed that the external factors in the Katanga situation assumed increasing importance in the United Nations approach to the Katanga problem, particularly when it became apparent that they were a major factor in the reluctance of the provincial government to work out a reasonable constitutional solution with the Central Government. The full complexity of the Congo situation as it involved the relationship between the United Nations and the Central Government and between the United Nations and the Katanga authorities was to develop in the historical context of a rapidly changing situation. 'At the outset, the mandate of the United Nations in the Congo could be set forth in fairly simple terms; its main purpose was to guarantee the withdrawal of the Belgian troops from all parts of the Congo. The primary functions of the United Nations Force were those of a temporary security force responsible for the maintenance of order after the withdrawal of the Belgian troops. It was not a fighting force. Its weapons were to be used only in self-defense. The withdrawal of the Belgian troops, while related to the imminent presence of the United Nations Force, would be carried out with the acquiescence of, and


under the orders of, the Belgian government. In no sense could the United Nations Force be considered an agent for their removal. Nor could it conceivably fall within the mandate of the United Nations Force to bring about the overthrow of the Katanga government. After "' ✓ the removal of the Belgian troops, the constitutional situation of Katanga was a matter for the Congolese to settle. The initiative of the Secretary-General in bringing the Congo question to the Security Council under Article 99 of the Charter had two advantages. First, it placed the problem in the category of matters "which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security," ~~infor_