On September 18, 1961 UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold perished in a air crash in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). New inquiry report cites persuasive evidences that the aircraft was subject of some form of attack by some west power.

Dag  Hammarskjöld, a Sweden who hold UN Secretary General from 1953 to 1961, on September 18, 1961 was travelling to Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) on board of a DC-6 to meet Congolese rebel Moise Tshombe who was fighting for the independence of mineral-rich province of Katanga. The DC-6 airliner SE-BDY crashed few km from the runway of Ndola Hammarskjöld and fifteen others perished in the crash.

Following the death of Hammarskjöld, there were three inquiries into the circumstances that led to the crash:the Rhodesian Board of Investigation, the Rhodesian Commission of Inquiry, and the United Nations Commission of Investigation. The three official inquiries failed to determine conclusively the cause of the crash that led to the death of Hammarskjöld.

After 52 years from the incident an inquiry conducted by an independent commission comprising four international jurists headed by the British jurist Sir Stephen Sedley, has reveled persuasive evidences that the aircraft was subject to some form of hostile action.

The possibility that the plane was subject to some form of attack is supported by sufficient evidences to merit the reopening of UN inquiry on Dag Hammarskjöld dead”, conclude the report.

The commission after examines several theories concerning the cause of the crash has discarded human error or technical malfunction causes, reaching the conclusion that the airplane was shoot down by another airplane and Hammarskjöld killed by gunfire after the crash. Collected evidences seem to point to the conclusion that UN Secretary General was killed by terrorist attack perpetuate by some West Power.

These evidences were available long time ago, since the first UN inquired but they were voluntarily ignored for political motivations. On September 20, 1961 US President Trumann told to The New York Times: “Dan Hammarskjöld was on the point of getting something done when they killed him. Notice: that I said when they killed him”.

President Trumann information sources may came from US National Security Agency (NSA) included the witness of Sergeant Harold Julien, the sole survivor found alive by rescue team. He remained alive for six days before die of burns. His witness has never released. Speculations report that he spoke about a series of explosions preceding the crash. UN official inquiry statements that the witnesses who talked with Julien before he died were inconsistent.

It is highly likely that the entirely of local and regional Ndola radio traffic on the night between September 17-18, 1961 was tracked and recorded by NSA and even CIA”, a member of independent commission write in the 61-pages report.

On  August 19, 1998, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, chairman of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), stated that recently uncovered letters had implicated the British MI5, the American CIA, and then South African intelligence services in the crash. The British Foreign Office suggested that these letters may have been created as Soviet misinformation

On 29 July 2005, Norwegian Major General Bjørn Egge gave an interview to the newspaper Aftenposten on the events surrounding Hammarskjöld’s death. According to General Egge, who had been the first UN officer to see the body, Hammarskjöld had a hole in his forehead, and this hole was subsequently airbrushed from photos taken of the body.

British Academic Susan Williams, author of the 2011 book: “Who killed Hammarskjöld? said on an interview for BBC: “There is no smoke without burn. There are mass evidences that point in the direction that the plane was shoot down by a second plane. This is more convincing and supported explanation than any others”.

Who may have wanted to killed UN Secretary General and why?

Dag Hammarskjöld was a man with a vision of UN as dynamic instrument organizing the world community and protect small Nations. Just the opposite of UN on 2013, victim and indirect  instrument for power countries and international economical interests, mainly cause of UN several failures to bring permanent peace and protect civilian population as testified in DRCongo, Central Africa Republic and South Sudan.

Hammarskjöld vision was against the interests of white Rhodesians, Belgian and British mining companies in Katanga (former Zaire). West countries had a sense to be at war against UN and African nationalism. White minority regimes of the Rhodesian Federation (Zambia and Zimbabwe) and South Africa had thousand of reasons to fear Hammarskjöld policy that may favorite balk mass uprising for freedom and democracy and the end of their racist regimes.

At the time of his dead, Hammarskjöld was trying to negotiate a peace between Mobutu’s Government and Katanga province that had broken away under Moise Tshombe leadership and the Belgian, British and US support. Katanga has still now the world richest uranium deposits and source of four-fifty of world cobalt supply.

Nine months before Hammarskjöld’s dead, Congo President Patrice Lumumba was kidnapped by coup leader Joseph Mobutu, allegedly with convenience of Belgian, British and US intelligences. Lumumba was taken to Katanga, tortured and brutally killed in January 1961.

The new master of Congo has not only changed the country name into Zaire but build an international alliances and conveniences network assured west country to be the “Good Guy” defending west interest in the region against Communism.

After these assurances and evidence of mutual interests, Tshombe rebellion was quickly crash down by his same international supporters. Ironically 35 years later Mobutu Sese Seko, became the “Bad Guy”, has stepped down by one of his master: US utilizing Laurent Désiré Kabila rebellion support by Rwanda and Uganda. The objective was bring stability and peace in the region. Two regional wars, and east Banyarwanda rebellions by CNDD and M23 shows that something went terribly wrong.

 New evidence reveled by the independent commission justify the reopening of Hammarskjöld UN inquiry to assure justice to his family and Congolese people.

Unlucky request for NSA record, made in accordance with the US Freedom and Information Act, has been rejected for national security reasons. Now the independent commission want appeal to this decision. Till when truth and justice will not prevail in DRC the show can go on.

Fulvio Beltrami

Kampala Uganda 



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