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The Congo - Essay Example

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Before the independence, under the external aggression of Belgium, in 1958, Patrice Lumumba founded the National Congolese Movement (MNC). Just after the foundation, the party started demonstrations and protests for independence from the colonial government of Belgium…
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The Congo
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Download file to see previous pages The independence did not solve all the problems of Congo, and problems started arising in the province of Katanga, which was enriched with mines. The province was under the control of Moise Tshombe, who in July 1960 supported the Belgium mercenaries and the Belgium Mining company named Union Minere. After having this support, he declared Kantanga independence. Due to this treachery to the Congo government, Lumumba requested United Nations to look into the matter and resolve all the upcoming issues and probable Civil War.
The Lumumba's government requested UN military assistance "to protect the national territory of the Congo against the present external aggression which is a threat to international peace." There was no request to restore internal stability. However, Secretary-General Hammarskjold recommended to the Security Council the establishment of a peace-keeping force to assist the government of the Congo in maintaining law and order until, with technical assistance from the UN, the Congolese national security forces were able to meet these tasks. The Security Council authorized the Secretary-General to take the necessary steps for this purpose and called on Belgium to withdraw its troops from the territory. Thus began what, until the operation in Cambodia, was the largest UN peacekeeping operation (reaching a peak of 20,000 troops plus a large civilian corps) and one with a profound influence on internal developments in a member state.
The Secretary-General was fully aware of the sensitivity of the action that the UN was undertaking in the Congo, both in terms of the attitudes of the foreign countries having a strong interest in the course of events in the Congo, and of the resistance of the Congolese government to any seeming.
UN Peace Keeping Mission in Congo -Congo Crisis (MONUC)
The secretary-general thus faced a government clearly desperately searching for assistance, and the possibility that outside powers might fill the resulting vacuum if the UN did not. Acting under Article 99 of the charter for the first time in the organization's history, the secretary-general called for a Security Council meeting to discuss the issue. In doing so, Hammarskjold set in motion the UN involvement in the Congo. That involvement took the form of an operation that, until the 1990s, was the largest UN peacekeeping operation on record. It was also an involvement that prompted a crisis so deep and an experience so devastating for the United Nations that once the UN operation in the Congo was officially over the UN did its best not only to put the experience behind it but also to forget it altogether.
The willingness to use force in the Congo was a first for the United Nations and it came in the early days of UN experience with peacekeeping. Some of the logistical and communication problems associated with the operation, therefore, can be attributed to a general lack of experience and procedures. Command and control problems, for example, such as those associated with the final unexpected push into Jadotville that surprised UN headquarters, fall into this category. It remains possible, though, that the Jadotville example, like the murky background to Operation Morthor, is an example of a disconnect between decision making in the field and decision making at UN headquarters, either ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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