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A New UN Inquiry Into The 1961 Secretary General Plane Crash Is Likely

December 15, 2014 - The United Nations has come under public pressure to look into the death of former UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold. On September 18, 1961, the plane UN Secretary General Hammarskjold and his staff were flying in crashed near Ndola Airport, Zambia (at the time called Northern Rhodesia, a British territory).

Hammarskjöld was enroute to the Congo to negotiate a cease-fire between Katangese troops of Moise Tshombe (the French) and UN forces in a Douglas DC-6B, c/n 43559/251, registered in Sweden as SE-BDY, when it crashed.

The circumstances around the DC-6B plane crash and the deaths of 15 others onboard were never clear. The initial reports offered no information on the cause of the crash. However, there were conflicting reports that the plane crashed due to pilot error, the Secretary General's body guards were shot onboard, and that the plane was shot down.

In 2011, a Swedish aid worker, Goran Bjorkdahl wrote that the DC-6B was shot down because privately owned mining companies such as Union Miniere, a Belgian mining company benefited from the war and that cease-fire would result in those companies becoming state owned.

These companies mined copper, cobalt, tin, uranium and zinc. Union Miniere was providing 75% of world's production at the time. The uranium that was used for the atomic bomb ("Little Boy") by the United States was bought from Union Miniere.



At the time, both Belgium and the United Kingdom had a vested interest in the continued control over mining in the Congo, and any attempt for independence was an attack on their wealth. This was viewed as a motive to remove Hammarskjöld. Today, Sweden is expected to present a resolution to the assembly calling for the creation of an independent panel to look at the downing of UN Secretary General, Dag Hammarskjold Douglas DC-6B.
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