The UK and US are being blamed for impeding the investigation into the death of the UN leader in 1961.

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University researchers have accused the US and UK of impeding a United Nations investigation into the fatal 1961 plane crash of UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld.

The UN’s assistant secretary general for legal affairs, Stephen Mathias, provided an update on the investigation during a conference in London. The inquiry aims to obtain archived documents from member states.

The individuals stated that the United States and United Kingdom delayed in providing potentially crucial information.

Hammarskjöld, a Swede, died on 18 September 1961 on the way to negotiate a ceasefire between UN peacekeepers in the Congo and separatists from the breakaway Congolese region of Katanga.

The Douglas DC-6 plane, carrying Hammarskjöld and 15 other passengers, crashed in Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (currently Zambia), resulting in their deaths. The initial investigation conducted by Rhodesian officials attributed the crash to pilot mistake, but this determination was met with controversy.

Individuals on the Earth observed the presence of an additional aircraft and bursts of light in the atmosphere. There were reports of Belgian mercenaries in the vicinity, alongside French and British intelligence personnel. American intelligence agents were keeping track of transmissions from Cyprus and reported communication that appeared to be related to the UN aircraft being targeted.

In 2017, the UN re-examined the case with the involvement of Tanzanian judge Mohamed Chande Othman. Othman suggested that impartial experts be assigned to supervise the review of archives in countries that may hold pertinent information.

The organizers of the conference, the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London and the Westminster United Nations Association, noted that Belgium, Sweden, and Zimbabwe made significant efforts, while the responses of the US and UK were inadequate and displayed disregard for the UN investigation.

According to Susan Williams, an author whose book Who Killed Hammarskjöld in 2011 played a role in the UN investigation being reopened, the US and UK are considered “global outliers”.

According to Williams, the latest resolution from the general assembly to continue the investigation was supported by 142 out of 193 member states of the UN. However, the United States and United Kingdom did not co-sponsor it.

Both the United States and United Kingdom stated that they were offering complete assistance in the Othman investigation.

A representative from the US State Department stated, “The United States takes Judge Othman’s inquiries very seriously and has previously given him access to declassified documents.”

“The UK government has cooperated with the investigation into the death of Dag Hammarskjöld and will continue to do so. We have shared all relevant information in our possession.”

Paul Boateng, the former UK high commissioner to South Africa, said: “The work must continue because it is part of a wider struggle to support democracy, the international rule of law, and the UN, all under increasing threat.

Every possible effort must be made to uncover the truth. The alleged killing of a United Nations leader is a serious offense that cannot be erased by the passage of time.


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