British RAF veteran ‘admitted’ neocolonialist murder of Hammarskjöld


Dag Hammarskjöld

From weekly The Observer in Britain, 12 January 2018:

RAF veteran ‘admitted 1961 killing of UN secretary general’

Exclusive: Cold case documentary casts new light on mystery of Dag Hammarskjöld’s plane crash

‘Sometimes you have to do things you don’t want to…’

An earlier post on this blog said:

‘United Nations boss Hammarskjöld murdered’, for hindering neocolonialism in Congo?

From daily The Guardian in Britain:

Plane crash that killed UN boss ‘may have been caused by aircraft attack’

Exclusive: US and UK intercepts could hold answer to 1961 accident in Africa that killed Dag Hammarskjöld and 15 others

According to the new information in this article, the secret services and armed forces of Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and the USA may have participated in this bloody murder.

On 18 September 1961, Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish Secretary-General of the United Nations, died in what was then the British colony Northern Rhodesia (now: Zambia). His plane crashed, killing all people on board either immediately, or a few hours, or a few days later.

An accident? Murder? Views on this differ sharply. Wikipedia notes that official investigations and search and rescue in Northern Rhodesia after the plane crashed were iffy.

Who might have had a motive for killing the United Nations Secretary-General; and, if so, what motive? Dag Hammarskjöld at the time of his death was trying to find a solution for the war in Congo. In 1960, Congo became officially independent from Belgium. However, Belgian big business, establishment politicians and “intelligence” services wanted to basically carry on ruling Congo, now from behind the scenes: from colonialism to neo-colonialism. The democratically elected prime minister of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, opposed that. This led to war in Congo. In 1961, Lumumba was murdered; with complicity of the Belgian secret service and the CIA, later research says.

After the news of Hammarskjöld’s death, a press release issued by the Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo stated that, “… in order to pay a tribute to this great man, now vanished from the scene, and to his colleagues, all of whom have fallen victim to the shameless intrigues of the great financial Powers of the West… the Government has decided to proclaim Tuesday, 19 September 1961, a day of national mourning.”

So, the government of Congo suspected murder by Western spying … sorry, I am supposed to use euphemisms … intelligence services.

Wikipedia says:

His [Hammarskjöld’s] efforts towards the decolonisation of Africa were considered insufficient by the Soviet Union …

However, hardline pro-colonialists in Belgium, Britain and other NATO countries rather thought Hammarskjöld did too much for decolonisation.

Belgian pilot admits murder of Hammarskjöld: here.

Trump sends more United States soldiers to Africa


This March 2018 video from the USA says about itself:

10 Years of AFRICOM: Africa Command

CORRECTION: At the 1:24 mark it should be that Liberia expressed interest in hosting the AFRICOM headquarters, not Libya.

AFRICOM was established by the Pentagon on October 1, 2008. Its been nearly 10 years of this regional command structure so we must ask, what has it achieved?

This 10 year timeline was brought to you by the Black Alliance for Peace.

By Eddie Haywood in the USA:

7 January 2019

In the wake of a hotly contested poll December 30 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Trump administration has deployed a contingent of troops to nearby Gabon, for the purpose of “protecting US assets from possible violent demonstrations” following the election to determine a successor to longtime leader Joseph Kabila. Election results which had been expected to be released Sunday by election officials have been delayed indefinitely due to a delay counting all ballots.

Trump sent a letter to US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Friday informing Congress that he had ordered the indefinite deployment of around 80 troops to Gabon to protect US citizens and embassy officials in the DRC. Trump’s letter noted that the first soldiers arrived in the country on Wednesday with the “appropriate combat equipment and supported by military aircraft.” The letter also stated that more troops could be deployed to Gabon, the Republic of Congo and the DRC “as needed.”

By deploying troops to the region, Washington is making it clear that it intends to install a pliant government in Kinshasa that will ensure that America’s economic interests in the country are secured. Trump’s proclamations of “America First” in foreign policy does not mean a retreat from the intervention in the affairs of other nations or the flowering of peace; rather it means the naked pursuit of American imperialist geopolitics by economic and military means against adversaries and allies alike.

The military operation must also be understood within the framework of America’s imperialist aims in Africa of reasserting America’s geopolitical dominance despite its economic decline relative to its global rivals. To this end, Washington has escalated its military operations in nearly every corner of Africa with the key aim of neutralizing Beijing’s vast economic influence on the continent.

Washington’s latest military maneuver puts into practice the strategy laid out in a speech delivered last month by Trump’s National Security Adviser John Bolton in which he identified the entire African continent as a field of “great power” competition between the United States and its two main competitors, China and Russia, which have been increasing their investments in many Africa countries. Bolton denounced Beijing and Moscow for “predatory practices” that “threaten the financial independence of African nations; inhibit opportunities for US investment; interfere with US military operations; and pose a significant threat to US national security interests.”

In recent years, Kabila has run afoul of the US and Europe by developing closer economic ties to Beijing, hammering out several economic investment agreements worth billions of dollars, something which the imperialist strategists in Washington regard as intolerable.

Also fueling the western imperialists’ lack of confidence has been the inability of the government to secure the Eastern provinces, long wracked by paramilitary skirmishes, home to the greatest concentration of the country’s immense mineral wealth. According to recent estimates, the DRC has $24 trillion in untapped raw resources, including cobalt and coltan, two metals that are critical to the growing smartphone and electric vehicle industries. …

Kabila, who came to power in 2001, has backed his ruling party’s candidate, Emmanuel Ramazani Shadary to be his successor. Washington in contrast has favored Shadary’s opponent, wealthy businessman Martin Fayulu, a former oil executive educated in the United States and France. …

Fayulu was employed by American oil giant Exxon-Mobil from 1984 to 2003, first as an auditor, then promoted to director-general, from which he oversaw the company’s operations across the African continent. After resigning from Exxon-Mobil, Fayulu returned to Kinshasa and won a parliament seat in 2006. …

Tensions with Washington and Europe reached a crescendo on December 29 when Kabila, facing immense pressures from Western governments to step aside peacefully, defiantly booted the European Union ambassador from the country.

For its part, the EU, under an initiative begun by Washington during the Obama administration, has imposed sanctions and travel bans on several key figures in the Kabila government, including Kabila himself, along with freezing the assets in European banks held by several Kabila officials.

The extreme breakdown and deterioration of relations between Washington and Europe and the Kabila government was made clear when during a media interview in the days before the poll, Kabila was asked what advice he would impart to his successor, to which he answered, “The biggest recommendation is that he listen to the voice of the Congolese and not follow that of the United States, Europe or elsewhere.”

Giraffe saved from dangerous metal wire


This video says about itself:

Watch a Harrowing Giraffe Rescue | National Geographic

5 February 2018

After a giraffe was discovered with metal wire dangerously wrapped around its neck in Mikembo Sanctuary, Democratic Republic of the Congo, a team of rescuers banded together to tranquillize and capture the large animal, and remove the wire.

‘United Nations boss Hammarskjöld murdered’, for hindering neocolonialism in Congo?


Dag Hammarskjöld

From daily The Guardian in Britain today:

Plane crash that killed UN boss ‘may have been caused by aircraft attack’

Exclusive: US and UK intercepts could hold answer to 1961 accident in Africa that killed Dag Hammarskjöld and 15 others

According to the new information in this article, the secret services and armed forces of Belgium, France, the United Kingdom and the USA may have participated in this bloody murder.

On 18 September 1961, Dag Hammarskjöld, Swedish Secretary-General of the United Nations, died in what was then the British colony Northern Rhodesia (now: Zambia). His plane crashed, killing all people on board either immediately, or a few hours, or a few days later.

An accident? Murder? Views on this differ sharply. Wikipedia notes that official investigations and search and rescue in Northern Rhodesia after the plane crashed were iffy.

Who might have had a motive for killing the United Nations Secretary-General; and, if so, what motive? Dag Hammarskjöld at the time of his death was trying to find a solution for the war in Congo. In 1960, Congo became officially independent from Belgium. However, Belgian big business, establishment politicians and “intelligence” services wanted to basically carry on ruling Congo, now from behind the scenes: from colonialism to neo-colonialism. The democratically elected prime minister of Congo, Patrice Lumumba, opposed that. This led to war in Congo. In 1961, Lumumba was murdered; with complicity of the Belgian secret service and the CIA, later research says.

After the news of Hammarskjöld’s death, a press release issued by the Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo stated that, “… in order to pay a tribute to this great man, now vanished from the scene, and to his colleagues, all of whom have fallen victim to the shameless intrigues of the great financial Powers of the West… the Government has decided to proclaim Tuesday, 19 September 1961, a day of national mourning.”

So, the government of Congo suspected murder by Western spying … sorry, I am supposed to use euphemisms … intelligence services.

Wikipedia says:

His [Hammarskjöld’s] efforts towards the decolonisation of Africa were considered insufficient by the Soviet Union …

However, hardline pro-colonialists in Belgium, Britain and other NATO countries rather thought Hammarskjöld did too much for decolonisation.

United States President John F. Kennedy called Hammarskjöld “the greatest statesman of our century”. Not everyone in the United States government may have agreed with that view.

On 19 August 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 of Hammarskjöld’s plane.

See also here.

Three chameleon species discovered in Africa


This video says about itself:

21 April 2018

Follow the team as they find and film the amazing West Usambara blade-horned chameleon (Kinyongia multituberculata) in Tanzania © Guy Tansley 2018.

From the University of Texas at El Paso in the USA:

Three chameleon species discovered

June 19, 2017

University of Texas at El Paso doctoral candidate Daniel Hughes liked to catch lizards when he was little, but never imagined he would be catching and discovering new species of chameleons. The Ph.D. candidate in UTEP’s Ecology and Evolutionary Biology program has discovered three new species of chameleons. The reptile trio, historically thought to be a single species, was found in different parts of the Albertine Rift in Central Africa.

The findings recently were published in Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society.

“We are hopeful that the formal descriptions of these three endemic chameleon species will be used to increase conservation awareness and galvanize transboundary protection efforts across these irreplaceable regions,” Hughes said.

The specimens were collected in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 2009 and 2014, mainly by Hughes’ mentor Eli Greenbaum, Ph.D., associate professor of biological sciences. The location is rich with biodiversity, but because of political unrest, researchers have been reluctant to go there. Greenbaum has been traveling and conducting research in the area for about 10 years.

“We had this really nice dataset with samples collected all throughout the range of a particular species which meant we could really figure out its true diversity,” Hughes said. “We took to the next step and ultimately described three new species.”

Hughes joined Greenbaum three years ago in the field, and specifically came to UTEP to study under Greenbaum in 2013. The new scientist was able to describe the three new chameleon species after carefully analyzing geographical, morphological, and DNA data; a process that was followed by nearly two years of external confirmation.

Two of the new chameleons, Rugege Highlands Forest Chameleon (Kinyongia rugegensis), and Itombwe Forest Chameleon (Kinyongia itombwensis), are named after the mountain ranges in which they’re found. The third chameleon, Tolley’s Forest Chameleon (Kinyongia tolleyae), is named after herpetologist Krystal Tolley. Tolley, principal scientist at the South African National Biodiversity Institute in Cape Town, South Africa, has contributed significantly to chameleon research and first taught Hughes how to catch chameleons in Uganda.

“I think I went into shock when I found out, but also really happy,” Tolley said. “I have been working on chameleons for many years, and they really are my main topic of research. So to have a species named after me, for a group of animals where I’ve invested most of my research career is such a privilege. I’ve also been lucky enough to actually see this species in Uganda, together with both Danny and Eli. It’s a sassy little thing, which really makes it a good fit.”

Hughes said the Albertine Rift (AR) is not only geologically unique, it also harbors more endemic vertebrate species than any other area of similar size on continental Africa.

“In these remote regions that are sometimes thousands of miles away from many people, it can be hard to relate,” Hughes said. “So, hopefully with our work we can start to bridge that gap to broaden our awareness that everyone’s actions have implications for these species from threatened regions they may never see. If conservation efforts in the various countries of the Albertine Rift cannot rapidly improve, many rare and potentially other new species will be lost.”

There are 206 described species of chameleons on the planet and Hughes hopes to continue finding many more.

“A recent modeling study demonstrated that many habitats in the Albertine Rift, including those where the new species of chameleons are endemic, will likely be destroyed in the coming decades,” Greenbaum said. “As chronicled in my forthcoming book “Emerald Labyrinth: A Scientist’s Adventures in the Jungles of the Congo,” the coming years will almost certainly be the last opportunity to discover new species in the rapidly declining forests of Central Africa.”

Belgian King Leopold II’s crimes in Congo, statue in Ostend


This 26 September 2018 video says about itself:

Leopold II of Belgium: The Biggest Coverup In European History

Translated from Dutch NOS TV:

More explanation at controversial statue of King Leopold II

Today, 07:58

Ostend [city in Belgium] has provided a controversial statue of King Leopold II with a plaque with more information about the monarch. The new text now also focuses on his bloody colonization of Congo.

Leopold at the end of the 19th century on his own initiative ordered to colonize an area in Africa, 75 times larger than Belgium. He ran the Congo Free State as a private colony with brute force: the local population was exploited, tortured and maimed.

In Ostend Leopold, however, was honoured with an equestrian statue in 1931, flanked by statues of Belgian fishermen who thanked him for his support of the city and Congolese who honoured him “for the liberation from slavery by the Arabs.”

Raids by Arab slave traders were only in the extreme east of Congo. Similar to today’s ‘humanitarian’ pretexts for inhuman imperialist wars, King Leopold II abused these slave raids in the extreme east of Congo, for a bloody war to conquer the whole country; making the people in all of Congo technically not ‘slaves’, but forced labourers.

A group of residents of Ostend has been conducting action against the statue. Thus, in 2004 they sawed off the hand of a Congolese in the group of statues, a reference to the brutal punishment that was often applied to the indigenous population [under King Leopold II]. Also they repeatedly removed an explanatory plaque.

African's hand cut off, as a protest against King Leopold II's atrocities in Congo

Controversy

“The colonial policy until today still causes big controversy” the new information board says, which two Congo experts have co-written. The severed hand of the statue is explicitly mentioned, though there is no further explanation of its meaning. However, it is noted that many of the investments at that time in Brussels and Ostend were paid by the profits from the colony.

The Councillor of Culture hopes that the activists will now leave the statue alone. “I especially hope that the plaque this time will stay. That always costs us time and money. We do have bigger problems in our city,” he told VRT TV.

Whether this will actually happen is the question: “I heard that they think the text is not sharp enough, they are only moderately enthusiastic”.

J.P. Coen

The affair is similar to the vicissitudes of the statue of J.P. Coen in Hoorn [town in the Netherlands]. While he was Governor General of the Dutch East Indies he increased his grip on the country with bloody campaigns against the local population.

After protests, the text on the pedestal of the statue was adapted in 2012. Now Coen’s crimes in the East are also mentioned.

This video says about itself:

[Belgium, documentary short film ] Sikitiko, The King’s Hand

26 July 2010

In 2004 a mysterious group abducts the hand of a statue, part of a monument for King Leopold II. This as an act of political activism. They would catalyse a surreal chain of events, in the best Belgian tradition. A little girl reconstructs the story…

Selected for Interfilm KUKI International filmfestival 2011, BCCN Barcelona 2011, FestivalAdiovisual Barranquilla 2011, FestivalAdiovisual Medellin 2011

‘Sikitiko’ is a short by Pieter De Vos, licensed under creative commons.

August 2017: Red paint on King Leopold II’s Ostend statue: here.

Dwarf crocodile saved in Congo


This BBC video from Britain says about itself:

Baby Dwarf Crocodile Hatches in Maddie’s hands! – Earth Unplugged

31 December 2013

Maddie witnesses the birth of two beautiful West African Dwarf Crocodiles and helps them out of their egg shells.

From the Wildlife Conservation Society:

Jaws of Life

February 9, 2016

This dwarf crocodile was rescued from the back of a motorbike by a team of eco-guards at a checkpoint outside Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo. It had been bound and stuffed in an empty flour sack.

Dwarf crocodiles are partially protected under Congolese law, meaning special permits are required to hunt them, and hunting is restricted to certain areas and times.

The fisherman who caught this crocodile didn’t have a permit, so the crocodile was rescued.

The guards looked after it for several days until the next patrol was headed north. Then they carried the little crocodile upstream, deeper into the dense forest, and released it well beyond the fishing zone.

In general, crocodile meat is highly sought-after in this part of the world. As road networks expand in the north of the country, logging towns are springing up further into the forest. Their residents are increasingly reliant on bushmeat as a source of food.

Currently, two of the three local species of crocodile, the Nile crocodile and the slender snouted crocodile, are completely protected in the Congo. Little is known about the impact hunting is having on the other—the dwarf crocodile. Given its prevalence on the bushmeat market, its numbers may be falling.

To help, several checkpoints have been set up on logging roads surrounding the national park to deal with the expanding threats to wildlife.