Left Menu
Development News Edition

US, UK, South Africa withholding information in UN crash probe: lawyer

PTI | United Nations | Updated: 08-10-2019 08:35 IST | Created: 08-10-2019 08:31 IST
US, UK, South Africa withholding information in UN crash probe: lawyer
Representative image Image Credit: ANI

A lawyer appointed by the United Nations to probe the mysterious 1961 plane crash death of secretary-general Dag Hammarskjold has said that the United States, Britain, and South Africa were withholding information. Tanzanian lawyer Mohamed Chande Othman said in a report released by current Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that he would need more time to finish his review of the crash in present-day Zambia because those countries weren't responding to his questions.

"Information of the type requested is the missing link that makes the present picture incomplete, and its conspicuous absence from the record means that conclusions about the cause of the crash cannot yet be reached," Othman wrote on Monday. "South Africa, the United Kingdom, and the United States must be almost certain to hold important undisclosed information." Hammarskjold had been traveling in an Albertina DC6 near the city of Ndola in what was then known as Northern Rhodesia when the crash occurred. Fifteen other people died in the disaster.

At the time, the Swedish diplomat was seeking to unite Congo and stop the mineral-rich Katanga province from seceding. Two investigations concluded the crash was caused by pilot error. But since 2014, new probes have focused on a possible plot.

Othman received his most recent mandate to investigate the case in early 2018, and it is due to expire soon. He notes that several countries including France, Belgium, Sweden and Zimbabwe had responded to his questions, but the US, Britain and South Africa had not, even though they had designated an "independent appointee" to handle his requests.

Justifying his request for an extension, Othman mentioned the likelihood that UN member states intercepted communications related to the crash, as well as the existence of Katangan air assets that could have attacked the secretary-general's plane. He also cited the presence of foreign forces, including pilots and intelligence agents, on the ground at the time of the crash.

Guterres has backed Othman's request for more time, and in a letter accompanying Othman's report said the secrecy has been lifted at the UN regarding thousands of cases related to Congo. It is now up to the UN General Assembly to decide whether or not to extend the investigation, and if Othman or another person should lead it.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Rwanda’s COVID-19 response commendable but health information system needs improvement

Rwanda is consistently working to improve its health information system from many years. However, it is primarily dependent on the collection and reporting of health data on a monthly basis. Besides, evaluation studies on Rwandas HIS publis...

Videos

Latest News

2020 U.S. ELECTION: What you need to know right now

Will your mail ballot count That depends on where youre voting, even within the same state. Unequal treatment of ballots by local election workers tasked with enforcing mail-in rules is a growing worry ahead of the Nov. 3 election, a Reuter...

Terror probe opened after 2 wounded in Paris knife attack

French terrorism authorities are investigating a knife attack that wounded at least two people Friday near the former offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris, authorities said. A suspect has been arrested. The area in east...

Israel tightens second-wave lockdown as Netanyahu, critics argue over protest curbs

Israel tightened COVID-19 lockdown measures on Friday as critics accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of trying to curb protests against his handling of the health and economic crises.Netanyahus government decided on Thursday to tighte...

IOC, Tokyo 2020 agree on measures to deliver Games fit for post-corona world

The International Olympic Committees IOC Coordination Commission and the Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee on Friday agreed on a series of measures to make the Olympic Games 2020 fit for a post-corona world. Developed in response to the postp...

Give Feedback