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The Cold War comes to Africa: Cordier and the 1960 Congo crisis.

The spectacle is of the working of the political fate of human beings: the veiled logic which requires from political men actions which are the function of what they represent -- and to a lesser extent of what they are -- in circumstances which they cannot ever have wholly foreseen.

The movement of this logic, toward the mutual destruction of Dag Hammarskjold and of Patrice Lumumba, is the movement of Murderous Angels. The angels are the great and noble abstractions represented by the protagonists: Peace in the case of Hammarskjold, Freedom in the case of Lumumba. That the idea of Freedom can be murderous is obvious.... To connect Peace with murder seems ... shocking, yet the reality of the connection can be demonstrated.

-- Conor Cruise O'Brien, former representative

of the U.N. Secretary-General to Katanga, in

the preface to his 1968 play Murderous Angels.(2)

Since its founding, the United Nations has sought to defuse tensions between member states that have threatened international peace and security. In the past five years, however, the U.N. Security Council has increasingly authorized intervention in civil conflicts including those in Angola, Bosnia and Croatia, Cambodia, El Salvador, Mozambique, Somalia and Western Sahara. U.N. operations in Cambodia and the Balkans are reported to be the largest such operations since the United Nations' 1960 intervention in the former Belgian Congo (now Zaire). A measure of this growing interventionist role in civil conflicts has been the price tag: Such U.N. operations cost member states a mere $200 million in 1987, but close to $3 billion by 1992.

U.N. members have increasingly supported intervention in civil conflicts for humanitarian reasons -- to assist famine victims and halt widespread violence against civilians -- as well as to forestall wider regional strife and to monitor democratic elections aimed at restoring peace. While the United Nations has been reluctant to become too deeply involved in these complex local conflicts, the mounting human toll from inter-ethnic and sectarian violence has multiplied demands for U.N. action. The central dilemma of such intervention, however, lies in the risk that the United Nations itself may become a player in the local conflict, sacrificing its ostensible role as a nonpartisan mediator. The neutrality and impartiality of a U.N. intervention has been challenged, fairly or not, as far back as the 1960 Congo crisis and as recently as its current interventions in Angola, Bosnia, Cambodia and Somalia.

Indeed the 1960 United Nations Operation in the Congo (UNOC) presents a classic example of the risks of U.N. crisis intervention and attempted mediation in a civil conflict. UNOC looms large in U.N. institutional memory because, until recently, it was the largest U.N. peacekeeping operation ever, involving over 20,000 troops and logistical support from 30 countries;(3) it marked one of the first U.N. attempts to intervene in a civil conflict, albeit one involving many external powers, and set major precedents for future interventions; it further polarized already acute East-West tensions and paralyzed U.N. decision-making for years afterward; it served as an unconscious midwife to the arrival of the Cold War in Africa; and it inadvertently aborted the Congo's transition from colonial to democratic rule.

In analyzing the U.N. intervention in the Congo, this paper focuses on a pivotal man, a pivotal period and a pivotal decision. While most studies of the Congo crisis concentrate on Dag Hammarskjold -- the charismatic U.N. Secretary-General who directed the overall intervention in the Congo until his death in a suspicious 1961 plane crash(4) -- this study focuses on Andrew W. Cordier, who worked for the United Nations from its inception in 1946 until 1961, and later went on to a distinguished career at Columbia University. As Hammarskjold's executive assistant from 1952 until soon after the Secretary-General's death, Cordier became a pivotal diplomatic player early in the Congo crisis.(5)

Although UNOC lasted nearly four years, from July 1960 to June 1964, this paper focuses on the operation's first eight months. This pivotal period began with an international agreement on the need to intervene in the Congo to maintain the peace. By the end of the period, in February 1961, that consensus had shattered, and East and West were locked in a diplomatic confrontation that effectively paralyzed the United Nations' capacity to maintain international peace and security. During the pivotal period, the United Nations was transformed from a would-be mediator to a defacto player in the political dynamics of both the Congo and the Cold War, seriously compromising its efforts to restore peace. Alienated by U.N. leaders' actions, many African and other non-aligned members gradually withdrew their political support -- and troops -- from UNOC.

The resulting discord was heightened as a result of pivotal decisions taken by Cordier in early September 1960, while filling in as the Secretary-General's interim special representative to the Congo after the departure of the African-American diplomat Ralph Bunche and before the arrival of Bunche's successor, Indian General Rajeshwar Dayal. Cordier's barely three week stay in the Congolese capital of Leopoldville (now Kinshasa) coincided with a constitutional crisis: the reciprocal efforts of the Congo's President Joseph Kasavubu and its Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba to dismiss each other from office. Cordier's decisions effectively threw U.N. support behind Kasavubu and reinforced U.S. and Belgian efforts to oust Lumumba -- seriously compromising the United Nations' impartiality. Some scholars argue that Cordier's actions ultimately served to help abort the Congo's transition to democracy, set in motion a series of events culminating in the murder of Lumumba -- the Congo's first democratically elected prime minister -- and facilitated the rise to power of a young Congolese army officer, Joseph Desire Mobutu, whose more than a quarter century of rule has been marked by widespread human rights abuses and kleptocratic government.(6)

The Zairian people are still grappling to this day with the tragic legacy of these decisions. Likewise the United Nations has continued to struggle, both during the 1991 Persian Gulf War and the more recent U.N. interventions -- such as in Somalia -- undertaken in the unipolar post-Cold War era, with a central dilemma of the Congo crisis: how to maintain its credibility as a mediator when its acts, ostensibly based on multilateral consensus, appear to serve the unilateral policy objectives of one or a few U.N. member-states.


The origins of the crisis can be found in the Congo's history as a Belgian colony, a history of exploitation of African labor and extraction of wealth by Belgian and other foreign economic interests. This history began with the European slave trade, in which perhaps 30 million people were killed or abducted, and which depopulated large tracts of Zaire, decimating the indigenous societies. In the late nineteenth century, Belgium's King Leopold II imposed the first central administrative authority to tax the Congolese people, as well as a forced labor system for collecting rubber and ivory that proved to be even more brutal than slavery.(7) Such harsh practices sparked one of the first international human rights campaigns, in which Mark Twain played a prominent role. Although blood flowed less freely when the Belgian government took over administration of the Congo after 1908, the Belgian colonial state did little more than modernize Leopold's system. It retained Leopold's coercive tax structure and used the First World War as a pretext to reimpose forced cash cropping and conscription, practices which lasted well into the 1950s.(8) It also imposed a system of rigid repression, racial segregation and white privilege -- modelled after South Africa's apartheid system -- that aroused intense resentment among virtually all Congolese and helped ignite the mutiny of Congolese soldiers against Belgian officers that broke out only days after independence in 1960.

The Belgians did virtually nothing to prepare the Congolese for self-rule.(9) Compared to other colonial powers, Belgium went to extremes in barring Africans from most educational opportunities and from all but the most menial positions in the colonial government. The Congolese were also prohibited from voting or forming political parties until 1957, barely three years before independence and, even then, such activities were largely restricted to urban areas.(10) Colonial prohibitions on free speech, assembly and travel -- maintained until the eve of independence made political discussion and coalition-building beyond local levels all but impossible.

In addition, Belgian mining, agricultural and commercial interests fostered extremely uneven economic development, creating regional antagonisms and political fragmentation along ethnic lines. Recruitment of workers on a tribal basis sowed further social tensions, as did the colony's systematic deployment of Congolese soldiers to areas outside their home regions, where they could not speak any of the local languages. These factors led to horrendous fragmentation when Belgium legalized political activity in the late 1950s. Belgian suppression of trade unions deprived the Congolese of an important institution that nurtured multi-ethnic independence movements elsewhere in Africa.(11) Whereas years of anti-colonial agitation in other African countries often led to unified independence movements -- or at most the establishment of only two or three major parties -- in the Congo over 100 political ethnic, geographic or personality-based micro-parties rapidly formed in the year preceding independence. United only in their demand for immediate independence, they quickly became mired in political infighting once Belgium suddenly conceded the issue in early 1960.(12) Seventy-five years under a colonial government, which had deliberately divided in order to rule, had prevented the Congo's diverse peoples -- speaking more than 200 languages and dialects -- from melding into a nation.


The suddenness with which Belgium acquiesced to Congolese demands for independence contributed to the series of crises that began just days after the new Congolese government assumed power on 30 June 1960. In January 1960, Belgium had unexpectedly agreed to grant independence to the Congo by the end of June, following national elections to be held in May. In those elections, Lumumba -- the most charismatic leader in the Congolese independence movement -- and his Stanleyville-headquartered Mouvement National Congolais (MNC) won a plurality over all other Congolese parties, including the ethnically based Association des Bakongo (ABAKO) party headed by Joseph Kasavubu, a long-time advocate of independence.(13) Barely a week before independence, the newly elected parliament chose Lumumba to be prime minister and Kasavubu to be the largely figurehead president and chief of the army.

A key characteristic of the Congo crisis was its complex sequence of events, a product of multiple political actors -- nationalist and secessionist politicians; external powers such as Belgium, the United States, the Soviet Union, France and various African and other Third World countries; and multilateral agencies like the United Nations -- stalking the Congo's political landscape. In addition, these actors tended to be non-unitary and often changed their positions;(14) and the Congolese and Belgian governments in particular suffered from frequent internal divisions. U.N. intervention was ultimately sabotaged by this complexity.

The Congo crisis was actually a composite of several smaller but interrelated crises, three of which initially caused the new Congolese government to request U.N. assistance between 10 and 13 July 1960. First, a spontaneous mutiny of Congolese soldiers against their remaining Belgian Officers that broke out between 4 and 5 July led to a crisis in public order. The mutiny reflected the pent-up grievances of Congolese soldiers against the remaining Belgians, many of whom still retained privileged positions in the post-colonial bureaucracy and army. The mutiny quickly spread and led to riots, looting and -- to a lesser extent -- attacks on Europeans, although the latter became the major focus of Western media coverage. For Belgium, this crisis provided the ideal pretext to justify introducing Belgian troops to support Katanga's secession.(15) The mutiny was the primary precipitant to Lumumba's and Kasavubu's joint appeal for U.N. assistance.

Second, a crisis of secession erupted in the province of Katanga when Moise Tshombe -- then president of the provincial government -- declared the copper-rich province independent on 11 July. Provincial government leaders in the diamond-rich province of Kasai quickly followed suit. The secessions, largely instigated by Belgian settlers and business interests remaining in the Congo -- but also backed by Rhodesian (now Zimbabwean) and South African elements -- played on ethnic and regional divisions and threatened to dismember the Congo. The loss of Katanga and Kasai would have deprived the central government of most of its revenue, and left it unable to pay for routine government functions let alone development.

Third, Brussels' dispatch of troops to the Congo between 9 and 10 July to protect Belgian citizens and economic interests, as well as to support indirectly Belgian-backed Kasai and Katanga secessionist movements, led to a crisis of direct external intervention. The Belgian deployment violated the provisions of a treaty signed on the eve of Congolese independence which required the new central government to approve any such troop movements. Belgium's intervention was driven by its economic dependence on Congo investments; both its government and private interests wanted to maintain Belgian control of the Congolese economy. They were also determined to oppose any central government headed by Lumumba, whose radical-sounding anti-colonial sentiments, calls to diversify the Congo's external economic ties and willingness to accept aid from the Soviet bloc were anathema to them.(16)

Two subsequent crises quickly emerged to further complicate U.N. mediation efforts. First, President Kasavubu's decision, in early September 1960, to dismiss Prime Minister Lumumba, and Lumumba's reciprocal efforts in kind provoked a constitutional political crisis. Allied after independence despite strong personality clashes and political differences, their working relationship had begun to unravel in August because of diverging views on how to handle the Katanga secession. This dispute polarized their respective supporters in the legislature and throughout the country. The crisis was compounded by the ambiguity of constitutional arrangements inherited from the Belgians. Second, disagreements between U.N. member-states over the organization's efforts to resolve the conflict and Hammarskjold's and Cordier's actions -- which had the effect of strengthening Kasavubu in his conflict with Lumumba -- led to a spinoff crisis within the United Nations.(17) Growing splits among the East, the West and the Non-Aligned Movement over the legitimacy of those actions shattered the body's initial consensus on how to respond to the crisis and immobilized the Security Council for six months. For the first time, the U.N. General Assembly was asked to make decisions on a U.N. peacekeeping operation; it soon became equally mired in vitriolic debate.

While each of these smaller crises retained its own distinctive political dynamic, they influenced each other in various ways. Although such linkages can sometimes facilitate mediation, in this case their very multiplicity doomed U.N. attempts to synchronize subsidiary negotiations around these smaller crises. Given that various actors disagreed as to which crises were most critical, U.N. mediation efforts failed to resolve the overall crisis. In f act, the Congo situation gradually evolved into a more or less continual crisis that flared up repeatedly in following years and on which U.N. mediation efforts and troops had very little effect. Linkage effects generated an impasse rather than providing a basis for a diplomatic breakthrough.


Congolese Leaders

Lumumba, Kasavubu and other Congolese nationalist leaders were divided by competing personal ambitions, ethnic loyalties and political ideologies that shaped their divergent views of the U.N. mediation effort. Initially, Lumumba and Kasavubu jointly requested the intervention of U.N. troops to preserve the Congo's territorial integrity, national unity and sovereignty. Lumumba evidently believed that U.N. troops would join with Congolese forces to help end the Katangan secession. His acceptance of the U.N. role was tacitly but clearly predicated on its assumed willingness to help the new government exert control over all national territory and counter the secessionists.(18) When in late July, it became clear that the Secretary-General would not order U.N. troops to do so, Lumumba began to oppose the U.N. presence and to solicit Soviet military assistance in ending the Katangan succession. Lumumba's anti-U.N. stance intensified in August when Hammarskjold effectively ignored Lumumba's legal government and flew to Katanga to negotiate directly with Tshombe.

U.N. Member-States

UNOC was intended to restore civil order, which had collapsed in urban areas following the mutiny of Congolese troops in early July. Multilateral intervention was also designed to exclude external actors -- explicitly Belgium and implicitly the Soviet Union -- from becoming further involved. As consensus on how to maintain the peace collapsed, U.N. members soon formed competing coalitions reflecting their increasingly divergent goals and the larger Cold War-era divide between Western and Soviet blocs. While African and Third World members, supported by the Soviet bloc, wanted the United Nations to induce Belgian troops to withdraw and help end secessions threatening the Congo's sovereignty and unity, the United States, Belgium and other Western allies emphasized the need to halt the growing Soviet presence in this strategically located nation. These coalitions increasingly disagreed on the legitimacy of U.N. objectives and actions in the Congo. Even U.N. officials differed on how best to resolve the crisis, as Cordier did with his more neutralist successor Rajeshwar Dayal.

U.N. Officials

Senior U.N. officials were motivated to intervene, quite apart from any Congolese request, because they feared that the crisis -- on the heels of the U.S.-Soviet U-2 incident, Cuba's turn to the left and simmering East-West tensions in Indochina -- might escalate into a major global conflict.(19) For Hammarskjold and Cordier, the core issue was always maintenance of global peace in a world deeply split by the Cold War. They believed that Congolese issues were of subordinate importance to the risk that the Congo crisis might intensify East-West tensions and ultimately spark a nuclear showdown. This fear blinded them to the fact that many Congolese and other Africans perceived their actions as so skewed to Western priorities as to render the neutrality of their actions suspect, especially in relation to Belgium. Further, neither Hammarskjold nor Cordier saw any contradiction between their anticommunist stances and their roles as international, ostensibly neutral and nonpartisan civil servants. While both criticized Belgian intervention, they saw the Soviet Union as a possibly greater irritant in the Congo crisis and the primary threat to global peace. Cordier's comments on the Soviets at the United Nations reflects this sweeping anti-communism: "I know that their fundamental aim is one of the destruction of Western civilization."(20)

Because Cordier and Hammarskjold shared the Western anti-Soviet worldview, they felt little discomfort in collaborating with Western interests and strategies, including those of the U.S. Department of State and the Central Intelligence Agency.(21) Several sources, including Madeleine Kalb's study based on declassified diplomatic cable traffic, document the extent to which Cordier continually briefed and was briefed by U.S. diplomats and collaborated with them on Congo policy.(22) At one point Cordier noted that U.S. assistance, especially financial, was essential to the U.N.'s presence in the Congo: "It is always necessary to keep the leadership firmly in our hands, providing thus a basis for support from the mass of the U.N. membership. Washington has been giving excellent support at all times."(23) Cordier provided $1 million -- money supplied to the United Nations by the U.S. government -- to Mobutu in early September to pay off restive and hungry Congolese soldiers and keep them loyal to Kasavubu during his attempt to oust Lumumba as prime minister.(24) Such U.S.-U.N. cooperation became a highly contentious issue for African and Third World states, some of whom felt the United Nations had become "the transmission belt for American policy."(25)

Given the primacy of the Cold War in his calculations, Cordier was particularly incensed that Lumumba "has been playing a game of bilateral competition and has therefore opened the door quite wide to Soviet influence in the Congo."(26) Cordier and Hammarskjold shared the assumption that there were no valid grounds for Lumumba to seek Soviet assistance. Both felt, seemingly a priori, that any Soviet aid to the Congo was both an expansion of Soviet influence into Africa and a "provocation" they feared could ignite an East-West crisis. That Lumumba would take such aid indicated that he was either ultimately a Communist sympathizer or a dupe, both equally illegitimate in their eyes. As Cordier wrote:

One of the extraordinary features of their [Soviet] tactics is the

feverish support that they give to people like Castro and

Lumumba, persons who are themselves destroyers and who therefore

not only become the symbols of Russian influence abroad but

the outposts of their effort.(27)

The dangers of such aid legitimated almost any actions needed to forestall it. Hammarskjold and Cordier were willing to undermine any leader, like Lumumba, whom they thought served Soviet aims in the Congo.

Still, Cordier was no simplistic admirer of the Belgians: "The world is now reaping the whirlwind of Belgian misrule" in the Congo, he wrote, adding that after 80 years of colonial rule the Congolese "people were left in a state of illiteracy and poverty and were used as pawns in the Belgian game of profit seeking."(28) He consistently saw the presence of Belgian troops as a central irritant in the crisis: "The presence of Belgian troops in the Congo was a most disturbing element in the preservation of peace. There was simply no alternative except to seek their complete removal from the country."(29)

Western Players

Brussels initially saw support for Katangan secession as an ideal means to maintain its economic interests and protect its settlers in the Congo. But Belgian ministries and politicians became increasingly divided throughout 1960 and 1961, however, over the extent to which Belgium should become involved in Congolese internal affairs, or support or oppose U.N. mediation and Katangan secession. Brussels' policies and resolve varied accordingly. At times Brussels actively supported Tshombe's Katanga; at other times it sought an accommodation with Leopoldville and the United Nations. Yet Brussels resisted U.N. pressure to cut all support for the secessionist movements.

The United States -- particularly sensitive to newly Communist Cuba and a more assertive Communist China -- was obsessed with preventing the Soviet Union from using its championing of anti-colonial struggles to expand its influence in Africa. London and Paris soon joined Washington in backing U.N. mediation as a more politically acceptable way to pre-empt Soviet intervention without open alliance with the discredited Belgians, although the Eisenhower administration tended to view Brussels as a stabilizing force in the Congo. Whenever the United Nations put greater emphasis on issues other than containing Soviet influence, as it tended to do after Dayal replaced Cordier in September 1960, the U.S. and other Western powers tended to reduce their support for U.N. mediating efforts. While Cordier sought American support for the U.N. role in the Congo, it is equally clear that Washington sought to use the United Nations to pursue its own policy objectives. Nominally neutral, UNOC could not have operated without the roughly $100 million a year it received in U.S. funds, and was thus heavily influenced by Washington.(30) U.S. influence was especially strong during the first months of Congolese independence, when Bunche and Cordier served as Hammarskjold's representatives in Leopoldville.(31)


For Hammarskjold and Cordier, Lumumba became the central factor blocking U.N. mediation efforts. Of all the characters on the Congolese political stage, none so fueled the fears of political opponents, Western powers and U.N. diplomats as this charismatic, abrasive and mercurial man. His anti-colonial passion, his grip on the popular imagination, his growing international following and his advocacy of non-alignment raised -- in the Cold War-clouded minds of U.N., Belgian and especially American policy makers -- the specter of a socialist Congo with strong links to the Soviet bloc.(32) Cordier and Hammarskjold consistently discounted Lumumba's legitimacy and sincerity, and failed to distinguish him from his Soviet supporters. They failed to grasp what he symbolized -- or, in death, came to symbolize -- for millions of ordinary Africans. As O'Brien noted:

To say that millions of Africans are affected by some event, or

impressed by some personality is usually an exaggeration... But

the name and fate of Patrice Lumumba have really reached the

minds and hearts of millions of Africans. The thousands of "Cafe

Lumumba" and "Lumumba Chop Bar" signs scattered through

countless bush villages in tropical Africa are a more impressive

tribute to his memory than the Patrice Lumumba University in


Given his fiery oratory, Lumumba's efforts to be privately charming and conciliatory with Westerners, instead of soothing their fears, made him seem all the more unpredictable and duplicitous. The Belgian government's unrelenting hostility toward Lumumba -- mainly due to his trenchant criticism of their remaining economic interests in the Congo and his desire to eliminate their continuing lock on Congolese export markets -- largely motivated their decision to back the secessionist movements in Kasai and Katanga.

Early in the crisis, both Hammarskjold and Cordier came to distrust and dislike Lumumba.(34) Cordier's antagonism towards Lumumba was evident. He saw the Congolese leader as the precipitant of the crisis:

Since July 10 ... we have surmounted several crises already [including

getting Belgium to start withdrawing its troops in the Congo]

but now we are in the middle of a new one centering around the

person of Mr. Lumumba, the Prime Minister. He is completely

irresponsible -- if not a mad man.(35)

Cordier seemed only bemused by the fact that Lumumba was the democratically elected and legitimate leader of the Congo government, who had received significantly more votes than Kasavubu in the May elections and commanded predominant support in the Congolese parliament. Rather than accepting Lumumba's legitimate claim to political authority, Cordier believed that "all these Lumumba explosions"(36) were dangerous developments that needed to be countered, circumvented and neutralized:

He is wildly ambitious, lusting for power and strikes fear into

anyone who crosses his path. There is really no such thing as a

Congolese Government. Several weeks ago I sent a cable to Dag

suggesting that he see someone in the Government about a certain

matter. He replied, "But who can I see?" There is a cabinet, but

Lumumba uses it as his tool. Some members of the Cabinet share

his vision and lust for power, while the few moderates ... are understandably

fearful to take any positive line.(37)

In his letters to Schwalm, Cordier consistently portrays Lumumba as corrupt. He recounted Belgian tales of Lumumba's conviction on embezzlement, alleges that Lumumba "got away" with some $400,000 while working for a soft drink company in the capital, and says that "there are those ... who say that he is a drug addict," though he never cites any hard evidence or sources.(38) In general, Cordier seems to have little sympathy for African nationalists, characterizing -- in one startling passage -- then Ghanaian president Kwame Nkrumah as "a madly ambitious man," and then going on to assert that "Nkrumah is the Mussolini of Africa while Lumumba is its little Hitler."(39)

Cordier seems blind to any U.N. obligation to mediate between contending politicians or defend the Congolese people's right to choose their leaders without fear of foreign intervention. Cordier's dislike of Lumumba seems to have prevented him from pushing for a reconciliation -- a more traditional mediator's goal -- between Kasavubu and Lumumba in early to mid-September, when their rift might still have been resolved.(40) Rather, he identifies Lumumba's personality as the problem to be circumvented:

The only real solution of the problem is a change of leadership. It

will not be easy, however, to remove Lumumba from his position.

Furthermore there are limits to our own capacity to bring about a

change of leadership. We can produce such a situation in the

international climate as to affect political pressures within the

country, but we are excluded under the Charter from direct action

of a political character which would affect the political balance of

leadership within the country. In various ways the Secretary-General

has given encouragement to the moderates and they are also

receiving encouragement from other powerful political sources.(41)

In his search for alternatives to Lumumba, Cordier initially saw Kasavubu as a "reasonable man who has often been at odds with Lumumba but... is ineffective since he is unwilling to use the same rash methods as those used by Lumumba."(42) By early 1961, however, Cordier was commenting that "Kasa-Vubu's [sic] ineptness, inaction and incompetence continue to this day."(43) Cordier found Kasavubu's inaction particularly frustrating, especially when compared with Lumumba's energy and initiative:

The whole situation ... is a story out of Gilbert and Sullivan. Each

day brings its own extraordinary surprises of ineptitude, inexperience

and futility. For example, to my amazement, after the President

returned from the radio station [after dismissing Lumumba]

he went to bed around midnight and assumed I guess that his job

had been done. There were most essential contacts that he should

have made in the early hours of Tuesday morning but he was

unavailable. On the other hand Lumumba ... worked around the

clock without regard for sleep or meals,...rounding up support

and generally beating down efforts made by the President and his

few active supporters.(44)


In September 1960, while still in Leopoldville, Cordier made several key decisions that effectively aligned the United Nations with Kasavubu in his dispute with Lumumba. Cordier's 15 September letter to Schwalm reveals that he had advance notice of Kasavubu's intent to dismiss Lumumba, and that he welcomed the move but wanted to ensure that the United Nations not appear too blatantly partial to Kasavubu. Cordier notes he met four times with Kasavubu, at the latter's request, to discuss the firing of Lumumba, and "explained to him in detail the extent, as well as the limitations of the role of the United Nations force in a national emergency."(45) When Kasavubu announced his dismissal of Lumumba from office on the radio on Monday, 5 September, Cordier -- at Kasavubu's request -- made his "two most important

decisions:" to send U.N. troops to close the airport and to seize the radio station.

These nominally neutral actions, ostensibly taken "to keep the crisis within bounds and especially to avoid bloody civil out-breaks," primarily hurt Lumumba because only Kasavubu enjoyed access to radio facilities in the neighboring state of Congo Brazzaville).(46) Similarly, Kasavubu's allies were allowed to use the ostensibly closed airport to travel into the Congolese interior to mobilize support for the president while Lumumba's supporters were grounded. Both U.N. actions entrenched Kasavubu's control of the capital and helped him silence his charismatic rival.(47) The legal fiction that the United Nations was acting only to preserve the peace was for the international audience; it convinced no Congolese. As a result of Cordier's decision, the United Nations lost both credibility and leverage over the Lumumbist forces and contributed to the spread of civil unrest. As U.S. Ambassador Timberlake noted following a 7 September 1960 speech by Lumumba to parliament:

Lumumba ... attacked the UN saying the country was not really free

if arms, airports and radio facilities were controlled by the UN.

How could the UN justify this interference if it refused to liberate


Cordier was uninterested in having the United Nations try to reconcile Kasavubu and Lumumba; for instance, he made himself "unavailable" when Lumumba "demanded" to see him early on the morning of 6 September.(49) His letters reflect an obvious but surprising disdain for the Congo's one most democratic institution, its parliament. He saw it as little more than a tool for Lumumba-because its members supported Lumumba. Unhappy at Lumumba's persuasiveness among his fellow parliamentarians, Cordier actually opposed its meeting. Only in his 3 October letter did he reluctantly concede that "it appears that we must encourage the parliament to meet."(50)

Cordier noted on 15 September that he "knew full well that these decisions would have profound repercussions in all the capitals of the world and indeed this has been the case. "He must have found it all the more disconcerting that Lumumba's "talent and dynamism" continued to bedevil his opponents, as a CIA operative ruefully noted.(51) On 12 September, Lumumba managed to elude arrest and his MNC government went on to win a parliamentary vote of confidence. A frustrated Timberlake complained: "Kasavubu acts more like a vegetable everyday while Lumumba continues to display brilliant broken field running."(52)

Near the end of his three-week stay in early September, Cordier sought to "immobilize" the Congolese Army so that it could not be used by Lumumba. Drawing on the "brilliant assistance of General Kettani, a Moroccan General," Cordier authorized the United Nations to offer "food and pay to the Congolese Army which was a very important factor in the maintenance of their neutrality."(53) This action was far from neutral as it allowed Mobutu -- a one-time Lumumba aide who had been appointed chief-of-staff of the army by Kasavubu just days earlier -- to win credit for paying the soldiers their past-due salaries, to buy their loyalty for Kasavubu and himself and to pave the way for his coup attempt a few days later.(54) Although Cordier had noted that "regrettably Mobutu is anything but the strongman as described by American newspapers, but nevertheless, backed by the Belgians, took over political power," the combination of U.N. and U.S. support was pivotal for Mobutu's subsequent seizure of power.(55)

Efforts by the United States, the United Nations and Belgium to isolate Lumumba by co-opting Mobutu doomed democracy in the Congo, cementing the army's loyalty to Mobutu. On 14 September, Mobutu seized power, ostensibly to protect the Congo "from Communist colonialism and from Marxist-Leninist imperialism." Mobutu suspended the nation's first -- and last -- democratically elected parliament.(56) Throughout this tumultuous week, all accounts agree, Cordier cooperated closely with U.S. Ambassador Timberlake and avoided consulting with Hammarskjold, who was at U.N. headquarters in New York.(57) Mobutu, after ostensibly acting to neutralize both Kasavubu and Lumumba, gradually allowed President Kasavubu to resume most powers of his office, while imprisoning Lumumba.(58)

In the end, Cordier's actions served to fuel the Congolese civil war. They deepened the estrangement between Lumumba and Kasavubu, and so compromised the United Nations's professed neutrality that many Congolese -- and Third World U.N. members -- questioned its allegedly disinterested role in the Congo onwards. Cordier had to admit that Lumumba retained significant popular support:

... [T]ragically, if Lumumba came into power we could not work

with him and many governments would oppose him. If Kasa-Vubu

[sic] succeeded in getting the upper hand and established a

firm government, we could work with him but many governments,

including the Communists, Ghana, Guinea, India and

others would oppose him.(59)

After his dismissal by Kasavubu, Lumumba was placed under virtual house arrest, but even this failed to dampen his popular or legislative support. When, in January 1961, he was killed through the coordinated efforts of Mobutu, Kasavubu, Tshombe and the CIA, his stature continued to increase and bedevil his opponents.(60)

The explicit intent behind Cordier's actions remains hard to judge and his letters to Schwalm are circumspect, as one might expect, on this point. Dayal insists that -- at worst -- Cordier inadvertently abetted an anti-Lumumba plot conceived and directed by Western embassies.(61) O'Brien -- the conservative Irish diplomat and essayist who had represented the United Nations in Katanga in 1961 and his closely followed Congo politics for many years since then -- believes that Cordier deliberately helped Washington plot Lumumba's ouster, and may have done so with Hammarskjold's plausibly deniable approval.(62)


The United Nations performed many of the formal mechanics of mediation, especially as a facilitator of communication among parties, in the Congo. Over several years its officials shuttled between Katanga and Leopoldville with various proposals and counter-proposals. In July and August 1960, both Hammarskjold and Cordier tried to persuade Lumumba to be less adamant in his hostility to Tshombe and the Belgians, using meetings to convey aspects of their talks with both. They also tried to act as formulators of solutions, suggesting various strategies. Their imagination and capacity to innovate breakthroughs was limited, however, by their Cold War presumptions and priorities. They never succeeded in seeing the conflict from a Congolese point of view even though, in Hammarskjold's case, he at one point presumed to speak for the Congolese people.(63) Many Congolese rightly saw this as patronizing and a reflection of these diplomats' inherent contempt for the Congolese and Africans.

The predominant U.N. mediating style was as a manipulator: trying to move parties to adopt its favored solution, using U.N. troops and the supposed intolerability of a political stalemate as leverage. Intolerability, however, is in the eye of the beholder: the stalemate of continued Katangan secession, intolerable to the United Nations because it increased the risk of Soviet meddling, was tolerable to Lumumba if the only alternative was to accept the secession, which he regarded as little more than capitulation to continued Belgian colonial rule.

The Congo crisis illustrates the primary role of personalities such as Lumumba and Cordier in influencing the course of multilateral intervention. As mediators, Hammarskjold and Cordier obviously had many of the personal qualities often considered to be keys to success: intelligence, commitment, perseverance, persuasiveness and imagination. Hammarskjold was even noted for his charisma. But these qualities were more effectively utilized in the U.N. arena than in the Congo itself. In retrospect one is struck by how consistently Cordier and Hammarskjold both discounted Lumumba's legitimacy and sincerity and failed to distinguish him from his Soviet supporters. Very early in the crisis, Cordier screened out information that contradicted his pre-formed view of Lumumba.(64) This was facilitated by his extensive reliance on Western embassies and intelligence services. Sharing his Cold War preconceptions, their information on and views of Lumumba tended to be mutually reinforcing.

The Congo crisis moves one to question how effective mediation can be when the mediators lack detailed knowledge of the local situation, and sensitivity toward expressing their considerable qualities in culturally appropriate and hence persuasive ways. In fact, both Hammarskjold and Cordier failed to persuade Lumumba to modify his negotiating stance and make concessions to defuse the volatile situation. Indeed, his adamancy combined with their anti-communism to create de facto diplomatic gridlock.

In trying to ensure the success of the U.N. mission as they conceived it in the Congo, Cordier and other top U.N. leaders took steps which constituted defacto intervention in internal Congolese affairs. In effect, they played kingmaker, albeit within certain constraints of deniability. They threw their backing behind their preferred Congo leader in a manner that created long-term suspicions among many Congolese and Africans about U.N. motivations.


The Congo crisis has had profound implications for Africa, the first case of Cold War-driven superpower intervention in the sub-Saharan region. The long-term consequences of superpower intervention have been devastating, marked by Africa's limited democracy and arrested self-determination, extensive militarization, large refugee movements, declining food production and economies that have been shattered by the weight of civil wars fought with hardware supplied by East and West. It is both ironic and sobering that the United Nations and its officials -- in their efforts to prevent an East-West confrontation in the Congo -- contributed to making Africa one of the Cold War's most deadly killing fields.

Perhaps the ultimate irony is that the Congo crisis precipitated exactly what Cordier and Hammarskjold tried urgently to prevent: a sharpening of East-West conflict at a time when the risk of nuclear confrontation was high. Because of Hammarskjold and Cordier's actions to forestall the escalation of East-West rivalry in the Congo, Hammarskjold himself became so much the focus of controversy that the Security Council was effectively immobilized for six months while debating the issue. The Congo crisis ultimately became the United Nations' own: its capacity to confront other threats to international peace and security, such as in Laos, quickly eroded as the political fallout from its actions in the Congo spread to other issue areas.(65) The Congo's immediate crisis became a permanent crisis for the United Nations -- which stretched well into the following decades.

Cordier squarely blamed the Congo debacle on the Soviets and their supporters, absolving those Western actors -- and indeed himself -- who intervened in the Congo's first steps toward democracy. There is nothing to indicate that Cordier ever explicitly regretted or felt the need to further defend his decision to back Kasavubu and ultimately Mobutu. But Cordier did lament the sharpening of Cold War antagonisms that followed that decision. Several times he expressed growing despair at the course of events, most notably when he remarked, in a 3 October letter to Schwalm that "The world has clearly fallen into a profound crisis and I feel it necessary to guard myself against the odor of atomic and hydrogen bombs and of dying masses."(66)

The tragedy of the Congo crisis was that the U.N. leadership -- personified by Cordier and Hammarskjold -- was so preoccupied with global East-West concerns that it remained blind to the implications of its actions for the decolonization and democratization of Africa. O'Brien's "veiled logic" is the logic of global politics within an anti-communist framework that Cordier and Hammarskjold accepted without question. For Lumumba, on the other hand, the logic was a white man's logic that denied the Congo real sovereignty:

In the opposition between Hammarskjold and Lumumba, it is no

accident that the white man is the hero of Peace, the black man the

hero of Freedom.... Hammarskjold ... welcomed ... the accession of

new nations to freedom.... But Peace, not Freedom, was his primary

concern, and calculations about world peace had necessarily

to be mainly about the positions of those who could make world


From Hammarskjold's point of view this seemed a legitimate

subordination of the part to the whole, the subordination of the

demands of a particular set of people to the universal and overriding

requirement of world peace. From Lumumba's point of view

it was yet another example of the continued subordination of black

to white. The calculations of the political conjuncture were white

calculations and Peace -- if it were to be Peace without Freedom

-- was a white vested interest. Lumumba's summoning of Russian

aid is a defiant inversion of Hammarskjold's values; he is willing

to risk general war for the sake of his concept of Freedom, expressed

in the sovereignty of a black state. This is not allowed....(67)

Today Zaire is struggling to navigate the passage from over a quarter century of dictatorship under Mobutu to democratic rule. The outcome is far from certain. As in Yugoslavia and the rest of East Central Europe, past ethnic and political tensions are resurfacing in new forms, accelerated by the collapse of the economy, transport and communications infrastructure, and Mobutu's strategic marginalization in a post-cold War era. Many of the over 200 political parties that have participated since 1991 in Zaire's Sovereign National Conference resurrect or mirror the traditional political factions that developed at and following the Congo's independence in 1960.

From 1991 on, Mobutu -- like King Leopold before him -- has become increasingly isolated and discredited. Yet with the help of his stolen wealth, an abundance of printed banknotes and the bought loyalty of the presidential guard, he has clung to power. The Bush administration was reluctant to end decisively diplomatic support for this longtime friend of U.S. strategic interests. The Clinton administration has proved equally reluctant to back fully its rhetorical support for Zaire's democratization process by taking concrete steps to isolate politically and financially this last of the old-time dictators.(68)

But a decision to abandon Mobutu may not necessarily presage a wiser U.S. policy toward the Congo, or a wiser U.N. role in the future should it, as some Zairian politicians have urged, be asked to intervene in the current Mobutu-orchestrated spread of ethnic conflict. Will it again be the case where, as O'Brien commented on Western support for Tshombe: "the white political leader chooses to bypass the political leader of the blacks, in order to arrange matters with a black man who has been chosen by whites"?(69)

The Congo's past experience suggests that outside attempts to impose a political outcome on a people's transition to democracy, however sincere the motives, will likely endanger rather than enhance peace and security. Let us hope that the Zairian people will be spared the agony of again facing -- due to outside manipulation -- "the odor ... of dying mass"(70). (1.) An earlier version of this article appeared as "Fatally Flawed Mediation: Cordier and the Congo Crisis of 1960," Africa Today 39, no. 3 (3rd Quarter 1992) pp. 5-22. Parts of this paper draw on research conducted jointly with a colleague, Steve Askin, for a forthcoming book on Zaire. (2.) Conor Cruise O'Brien, Murderous Angels: A Political Tragedy and Comedy in Black and White (Boston, MA: Atlantic Monthly Press, 1968) pp. xix-xx. (3.) Both the Korean conflict and the 1991 Persian Gulf War involved more troops, but were essentially U.S.-initiated military coalitions that won U.N. Security Council approval. UNOC forces were drawn from such countries as Burma, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Liberia, Malaya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Sweden and Tunisia. The United States, the Soviet Union, Britain and Canada provided funding and air transport. The total cost of the four-year operation was $400 million. (4.) Some believe Hammarskjold's plane may have been shot down by white mercenaries fighting with Katanga secessionists. See "Ex-U.N. Officials Question Hammarskjold Crash," New York Times, 13 September 1992, p. 21, a letter by Conor Cruise O'Brien and George Ivan Smith alleging evidence of probable mercenary involvement in Hammarskjold's death. A subsequent report by the Swedish foreign ministry claims the crash was accidental (Bengt Rosio, "The Plane Crash at Ndola: A Re-examination," English translation from the Swedish Information Service, 4 March 1993, p. 26). (5.) My discussion of Cordier's role in the Congo crisis draws extensively on his correspondence with his close friend and college mentor, Dr. V.F. Schwalm, an emeritus professor at Manchester College in Indiana. These papers are in the A.W. Cordier Collection deposited with the Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Columbia University, New York, NY. I thank the library for its generous cooperation. Cordier is virtually the only key diplomatic player not to have published his memoirs about the Congo crisis. This correspondence forms a most remarkable and revealing, if informal, diary that Sheds much light on his perception of events and personalities in the Congo. (6.) For various accounts of the Congo crisis and Mobotu's rise to power, see in particular Madeleine G. Kalb, The Congo Cables: The Cold War in Africa -- From Eisenhower to Kennedy (New York: Macmillan, 1982); David Gibbs, "Private Interests and International Conflict: A Case Study of Intervention in the Congo," unpublished doctoral dissertation (Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1989); David Gibbs, The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Miptes, Money and U.S. Policy in the Congo Crisis (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1991); Stephen R. Weissman, American Foreign Policy in the Congo 1960-64 (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1974); Catherine Hoskyns, The Congo Since Independence (London: Oxford University Press, 1965); and Richard D. Mahoney, JFK: Ordeal in Africa (New Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 1983). (7.) Peter Duignan and L.H. Gann, The Rulers of Belgian Africa: 1884-1914 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1979) p. 96. (8.) Jean-Philippe Peemans argues there was "no real break between the Leopoldian state and the Belgian colonial regime." See his "Capital Accumulation in the Congo Under Colonialism: The Role of the State," in Peter Duignan and L.H. Gann, eds., Colonialism in Africa 1870-1960: The Economics of Colonialism, 4 (London: Cambridge University Press, 1975) p. 180. See also Crawford Young, Politics in the Congo: Decolonization and Independence (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1965) p. 219. (9.) For details of the colonial legacy, see: Rend Lemarchand, Political Awakening in the Belgian Congo (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1964) pp. 25-74-passim; and Young, Politics in the Congo, pp. 33-161 passim. (10.) Lemarchand, pp. 72-3; Young, Politics in the Congo, p. 296. (11.) Lemarchand, pp. 103-4,167-84. (12.) Young, Politics in the Congo, p. 298. (13.) Patrice Lumumba, Congo My Country (London: Pall Mall Press, 1962) p. 162. (14.) For a discussion of unitary and non-monolithic diplomatic actors, see Gilbert Winham, "Practitioner's View of International Negotiations," World Politics 32, 1 (October 1979) pp. 111-35; and Howard Raiffa, The Art and Science of Negotiation (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1982) pp. 11-19. (15.) For further discussion of the "justification of hostility," see Richard Ned Lebow, Between War and Peace: The Nature of International Crisis (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1981) pp. 29-40. (16.) Until independence, the Congo was a major source of revenue for Belgian corporations. In the 1950s, firms in Belgium averaged an 8 to 9 percent return on capital while those in the Congo averaged about 20 percent, according to Conor Cruise O'Brien in To Katanga and Back: A UN Case History (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1962) p. 173. As late as 1958, foreign -- mostly Belgian -- residents in the Congo, barely one percent of the colony's population, controlled 95 percent of its total assets, 88 percent of private savings, 47 percent of its cattle stocks and 35 percent of agricultural output. This huge economic stake motivated Brussels' post-independence efforts to retain its economic lock on the Congo's economy, despite competition from French and U.S. interests, and to help Belgian settlers retain their holdings in the vast, resource-rich land. See Peemans, "Capital Accumulation," in Duignan and Gann, eds., p. 181. (17.) Lebow, pp. 25, 41-6 passim. (18.) See I.B. Ekpebu, Zaire and the African Revolution (Ibadan, Nigeria: Ibadan University Press, 1989) pp. 31-8 passim. (19.) For a general discussion of mediators' defensive reasons for intervening, see Saadia Touval and I.W. Zartman, eds., International Mediation in Theory and Practice (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1985). (20.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 11 January 1961, p. 3. (21.) On the extent to which U.N. and U.S. policies towards the Congo coincided, despite occasional divergences, see especially: Rajeshwar Dayal, Mission for Hammarskjold: The Congo Crisis (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1976) pp. 34, 65-6; Gibbs, Private Interests, pp. 143-92 passim; Kalb, pp. 1-196 passim; Mahoney, pp. 34-88 passim; O'Brien, "Murderous Angels," pp. 40-67 passim; and Weissman pp. 60, 77, 86-90. (22.) To give one example, Kalb cites cables from the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, to the Department of State, indicating Cordier's agreement with Secretary of State Christian Herter on the need to prevent the routing of aid through the Soviet Union and Cordier's willingness to raise the issue with Lumumba. Kalb, pp. 42,74-5; Gibbs, Private Interests, p. 167; and Weissman, pp. 89-91. (23.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 18 August 1960, p. 8. (24.) See Dayal, pp. 34, 65-6; Kalb, pp. 93-6. Also, Dayal, Weissman, pp. 86-95 passim, and other sources indicate Mobutu received extensive funding from the CIA. (25.) Weissman, p. 77. See also pp. 86-90. (26.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 15 September 1960,p.5. (27.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 11 January 1961, p. 3. (28.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 18 August 1960, p. 1. (29.) ibid., p. 3. (30.) See Crawford Young, "The Zairian Crisis and American Foreign Policy," in Gerald Bender et al., eds., African Crisis Areas and U.S. Foreign Policy (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 1985) pp. 211-2; and Weissman, p. 60. For contrasting views of the U.N. role in the Congo, see the memoirs of three key participants: Major General Carl von Horn, Soldiering for Peace (New York: David MacKay Co., 1966); Dayal; and O'Brien, To Katanga and Back. General Von Horn, a fierce anti-communist commanded UNOC forces in 1960; Dayal, a neutralist, was the U.N. Congo representative from September 1960 to May 1961; and O'Brien was U.N. representative to Katanga in 1961. (31.) As O'Brien points out, Hammarskjold's three closest advisors during this period were American and "Washington paid most of the bills, was the heaviest contributor to the organization's budget and by far the heaviest contributor to the Congo operation, which would be brought to a standstill by a withdrawal of American support." (To Katanga and Back, p. 56.) See also Gibbs, Private Interests, pp. 166-7; and Gibbs, Political Economy, p. 93. (32.) For a good review of how Lumumba was viewed by various analysts and U.S. officials, see Mahoney, pp. 43-5. (33.) O'Brien, Murderous Angels, p. xxii. (34.) See Dayal, pp.296-7, 309-10. (35.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 18 August 1960, p. 1. (36.) ibid., p. 8. (37.) ibid., p. 4. (38.) ibid., p. 5. See also Cordier letter to Schwalm, 15 September 1960, p. 3. This charge is repeated by Ernest W. Lefever in Crisis in the Congo: A United Nations Force in Action (Washington, DC: The Brookings Institution, 1965). Mahoney notes, however, that "both his admirers and antagonists seemed to agree ... that Lumumba...unlike his Congolese contemporaries, cared for something more than his own remuneration." (Mahoney, p. 43). (39.) ibid., p. 7. (40.) See Ekpebu, pp. 31-8 passim. Ekpebu believes this was a real option and notes that Congolese efforts to bring the two sides together received no encouragement from the United Nations. (41.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 18 August 1960, p. 6. (42.) ibid., p. 4. (43.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 11 January 1961, p.3. (44.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 15 September 1960, p. 3. (45.) ibid., p. 1. (46.) Ibid., pp. 1-2. See also Mahoney, p. 47. (47.) Weissman, pp. 91-2; O'Brien, Murderous Angels, pp. 198-9; Cordier letter to Schwalm, 15 September 1960, p. 2. (48.) Mahoney, p. 47. (49.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 15 September 1960, p. 3. (50.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 3 October 1960, p. 4. (51.) See Kalb, p. 87. (52.) Ibid., pp. 85-7. (53.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 15 September 1990, p. 4. (54.) Dayal, pp. 34, 65; and Kalb, p. 96. Dayal believes the timing of the U.N. payment to Mobutu was an innocent coincidence, but notes that large additional sums of money flowed to Mobutu from the CIA and other Western sources. (55.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 11 January 1961, p. 3. Cordier initially viewed Mobutu as politically weak, especially after Mobutu and the Belgians made the political mistake, in December 1960, of landing their troops -- while vainly attempting to seize control of the Congolese province of Kivu from Lumumbist forces -- in Burundi, then a U.N. Trust Territory (Cordier letter to Schwalm, 11 January 1961, p. 4). (56.) P. Alan Merriam, Congo: Background of Conflict (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 1961) p. 267; Jonathan Kwitny Endless Enemies: The Making of an Unfriendly World (New York: Congdon & Weed, 1984) pp. 65-6. On Cordier's role, see also O'Brien, Murderous Angels, pp. 93-6. (57.) See Dayal, p. 33-5; Kalb, p. 74-5; O'Brien, Murderous Angels, p. 934; Weissman, p. 91. (58.) Kasavubu resumed formal control of the government in February 1961. See Kalb, p. 224. (59.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 21 October 1960, p. 4. (60.) On the CIA role in the assassination of Lumumba see the "Church Commission Report," named for the chair of the U.S. Senate investigative committee, Senator Frank Church. (Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Interim Report: Alleged Assassination Plots Involving Foreign Leaders, 94th Cong., 1st sess., 20 November 1975.) Also Kalb, pp. 53-5, 63-6, 101-3, 128-33, 149-52, 158-9, offers an excellent detailed account. See also Gibbs, Private Interests, pp. 168-74; Mahoney, pp. 52-3,57-67passim, 69-74; and Weissman, pp. 88-90. (61.) Dayal, p. 65. (62.) O'Brien, Murderous Angels, p. 198-201. (63.) See Ekpebu concerning Hammarskjold's remarkable statement, in a 13 July 1960 report, that "I am the one who is closest to speaking for the Government of the Congo at this table." (Ekpebu, p. 51). (64.) U.S. policy makers made the same mistake in the waning days of the Eisenhower administration (Mahoney, pp. 43-5). For a discussion of cognitive dissonance and how negotiators tend to filter out information that contradicts their early preconceptions, see Lebow, pp. 101-19. (65.) Cordier to Schwalm, 29 April 1961, p. 3. (66.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 3 October 1960, p. 3. (67.) O'brien, Murderous Angels, p. xxii-xxvi passim. (68.) For current U.S. policy towards Zaire, see Secretary of State Warren Christopher's address to the African-American Institute at their May 1993 annual meeting, and Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs George Moose's testimony before the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on African Affairs on 9 June 1993. (69.) O'Brien 1968, p. xxviii. (70.) Cordier letter to Schwalm, 3 October 1960, p. 3.
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Title Annotation:Power of the Media in the Global System; UN diplomat Andrew Wellington Cordier
Author:Collins, Carole J.L.
Publication:Journal of International Affairs
Date:Jun 22, 1993
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