Congo - UN Peacekeepers

Congo - UN Peacekeepers - Stuck in the middle of mayhem.

Congo Settlement – Another Trip To Cuba – Differences Of Opinion – January 11, 1963

Congo - UN Peacekeepers
Congo – UN Peacekeepers – Stuck in the middle of mayhem.

January 11, 1963 – ABC Radio News on The Hour – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –

The Congo – A word and a place not many Americans knew about until 1960. But from 1960 on, The Congo was all everyone talked about. Former Belgian colony, The Congo was one of the many former colonies adjusting to the new status of Independent nation. Shortly after the handover in July 1960, rebellion broke out and a virtual civil war raged for some three years.

On this day, Moise Tshombe, leader of the breakaway province of Katanga, agreed to surrender his last stronghold of Kalwesi to United Nations forces. Tshombe promised to personally lead the UN peacekeepers into Kalwesi to allow complete UN occupation by the coming Monday. Most everyone was pleased that this may signal the end of the years-long struggle in the Congo, except The Soviet Union, who lashed out at Tshombe, calling him one of the “chief murderers” of Patrice Lumumba, who had headed the government prior to this civil war and was considered by many in the West of being warm to Moscow. The mystery surrounding the murder of Lumumba would go on for many years with fingers pointing at the CIA. But the Congo had a new leader and it was considered the start of a new era. At least for now.

From the Congo over to Cuba where another cargo ship, the SS Shirley Lykes was set to leave Port Everglades Floria, carrying what was called “ransom” for the bungled invasion and the Bay of Pigs fiasco. The ransom consisted primarily of 800 tons of Medicine and food. What was largely speculated was that the return cargo would consist of prisoners and Cuban refugees, part of the exchange program agreed to between Washington and Havana, but there was no indication it was going to happen.

And former Supreme Allied Commander in Europe, formally retired to private life by accepting an executive position with the Owens-Corning Fiberglass Corporation. But the General, now Mr. Norstad, gave a speech earlier this evening in New York where he came out in direct opposition to President Kennedy’s American policy, saying that all member nations of the UN and not just the United States, should have word on the use of nuclear weapons. Norstad firmly believed NATO would make further contributions to world peace.

Along with The Congo. that’s just a sample of what went on, January 11th 1963 as reported by ABC Radio’s News On the Hour.

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