By Alan James
Based on interviews and on documentary collections in Britain, Sweden and the united states, this e-book describes and analyses Britain's often-tortured reaction to the quandary which happened in Congo instantly following its independence. mostly, it throws a lot clean mild on British coverage. however it additionally examines the influence of the trouble on Britain's prestige as an outstanding strength; unearths very important new fabric concerning the UN's behavior of its peacekeeping operation within the Congo; and attracts classes concerning the behavior of latest peacekeeping.
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Extra info for Britain and the Congo Crisis, 1960–63
But so far as colonies were concerned, not all these excuses were available. For, in formal terms, their futures lay within the legislative ambit of the metropolitan powers. The latter thus had at least a quarter of a chance, and often more, to attempt some long-term thinking about the direction in and the pace at which their wards should move ahead. Little use was made of it. Iri the case of Belgium, the degree of use was to all intents and purposes nil. Her colonial head was even more resolutely buried in the sand than most.
P. 83. 26 Carl von Hom, Soldiering for Peace (London: Cassell, 1966). The copy in question is lodged in the UN Archives. 3-162 (21 November 1961). 21 Shortly after he had arrived on his first post-independence visit to the Congo, Dag Hammarskjold summoned a UN Secretariat member, George Ivan Smith, to join him. On the latter's arrival, Hammarskjold's first remark to him was: 'George, this is the heart of darkness'. Hammarskjold was a keen admirer of Joseph Conrad, author of the novel set in Belgian Congo, Heart of Darkness.
France did likewise with regard to Indo-China and Algeria, and with some brutality. Portugal tried for 15 years to close her eyes to history, and the subsequent tribulations of Angola and Mozambique cannot be wholly divorced from this. Spain's arrangements for its part of the Sahara were rather less than carefully thought out. The ending of Britain's wardship of the admittedly complex Palestine was not particularly distinguished. And her hasty departure from the Indian sub-continent was accompanied by interreligious massacres and vast suffering.