Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Murder Mystery Has UN in Teeters

Dag Hammarskjold, the Swedish career diplomat widely recognized as the United Nation's most exemplary Secretary General, died in 1961 when his plane crashed in the former state of Rhodesia killing all 15 onboard.  

Hammarskjold was the second head of the then-young UN and was en route to the Congo to broker a cease-fire between rebels and government forces in what had till recently been a colony of Belgium, gaining autonomy the year prior. 

Conspiracy theories have been abundant in what some have called the planned assassination of the former Secretary General, with some even claiming that Hammarskjold was assassinated following the crash.

Swedish aid worker Göran Björkdahl wrote in 2011 his belief that Hammarskjold's plane was brought down as his intervention worked against Belgian mining interests in the area. His position on what may have happened, the orchestrated murder of Hammarskjold, is based on interviews with eye witnesses whose testimonies conflict with the supposed circumstances of the UN head's plane crashing such as either a technical fault with the DC6 or the crew's supposed fatigue. 

Many who saw what actually happened before the crash claim that the plane carrying Hammarskjold's and his team was one of two in the air. They also claim it was on fire before hitting the ground furthering speculation that the plane was shot down by a fighter jet. Since the Congo, newly independent, did not have the capacity for this kind of a maneuver, it must then have then been another nation. One with the military capacity and the interest to have the plane shot down. Belgium itself. 

Even President Truman contended that the supposed crash was more than an unfortunate mishap. In an interview with the New York Times he remarked, "Dag Hammarskjöld was on the point of getting something done when they killed him. Notice that I said, 'When they killed him'". 

It seems even the powerfully worded remarks by the President Truman weren't enough to prompt further or meaningful investigation on an international level.

The decades-long silence over the matter ended on the 29th of December, 2014 when the United Nations General Assembly passed resolution 69/246 formally appealing Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to assemble a panel to lead an independent United Nations inquiry into what happened. 

And the panel's recent findings stated that there was "significant new information that it assessed as having sufficient probative value to further pursue aerial attack or other interference as a hypothesis of the possible cause of the crash", Ban Ki-Moon communicated to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.

Moreover, the panel's requests for classified information regarding the crash from Belgium, France, Germany, South Africa, the United States and Britain supposedly weren't conferred to the satisfactory level. Why these documents are classified is a matter in itself that warrants a thorough investigation by the United Nations. 

Amid these findings, many dare now say that what has until recently been viewed as a tragedy is part of a coverup by several member states of the United Nations, who are effectively obstructing the full investigation into the circumstances surrounding Hammarskjold's death. 

While their involvement is yet to be proven, if that occurs it would be a revelation that serves to undermine the very fundamentals of the United Nations in more ways than conceivable, for it is an organization dependent upon the synergy of member states and an organization that works towards peace and cooperation, not coverups and assassinations.

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