DEATH IN THE CONGO:
DAG HAMMARSKJOLD AND PATRICE LUMUMBA
Patrice Lumumba (right), the first prime minister of the Republic of the Congo, helped lead his country to independence in 1960. However, his dream of a free and prosperous Congo soon came to a bloody end. Foreign powers and local politicians vied for control of the country and its mineral resources. After seeking Soviet aid, Lumumba was targeted for elimination by the United States and Belgium, the former colonial power. Aged just 35, Lumumba was deposed, imprisoned, tortured and killed.
The United Nations, under the leadership of Dag Hammarskjold (left), attempted to find a solution to what became known as the Congo Crisis. In September 1961, Hammarskjold died in a plane crash while on his way to talks aimed at reaching a peace agreement. His death, with fifteen other people on the flight, was highly controversial at the time. Fifty-seven years later, the plane crash is once again the subject of a UN investigation that is looking into the possibility that Hammarskjold was assassinated and that his murder was covered up by powerful forces.