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United Nations - Paper

  • Date Submitted: 07/31/2012 07:10 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 53.5 
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The United Nations’ role in the Congo crisis between 1960 and 1964 saw its largest deployment of men and some of its most controversial actions. Until 1960, the Congo had been a colony of Belgian but in 1960, Belgian announced that it was giving the Congo its independence. Belgian gave the Congo just five months to get itself ready for independence despite the fact that it was clearly unprepared for such a task.

The independent Congo Republic was declared on June 30th, 1960. Its Prime Minister was Patrice Lumumba and its president was Joseph Kasavubu. In the first week of July, the army mutinied against the remaining white officers that lead the Congolese army and numerous attacks took place against Europeans in general.

The mutiny immediately took away any authority the civilian government had. It also created a state of near panic within the Congo as 100,000 Belgians lived there primarily in or near the capital Leopoldville. In response to the crisis, the Belgian government sent Belgian paratroopers to protect Belgian citizens in the Congo. This was an illegal act as the Congo was an independent nation and free from Belgian rule. The government of the Congo had not invited the troops in.

Such problems were made worse when the mineral-rich area of Katanga in southern Congo was declared independent by Moise Tshombe who lead the people in Katanga.

Katanga produced copper, 60% of the world’s uranium and 80% of the world’s industrial diamonds. Tshombe was backed by the European companies that worked in Katanga as they hoped to take a cut from the considerable profits that could be made from mining such resources. Katanga had the potential to make Congo one of the more wealthy African states. Without it, the new nation would remain poor.

With such chaos ensuing, Lumumba appealed to the United Nations for help. The Security Council created an army to restore law and order to the Congo. It numbered nearly 10,000 troops. It was given four tasks:...

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