Deciding the Fate of the Congo

Helen Savgu
Nov 21, 2019

At this year’s BERMUN conference, the Historical Security Council (HSC) will meet to simulate a situation of great international importance. 

After achieving independence in 1960, Congo was mired in civil war. Aided by Belgian troops, the mineral-rich south attempted to secede. Following an appeal by Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba, the UN called on Belgium to withdraw and sent a peacekeeping force. Despite these efforts, Congo was unable to secure its independence and the security of its people.

Lumumba then appealed to the Soviet Union for assistance, a move that drew Congo into the Cold War. On January 12, 1961, Lumumba was assassinated, sparking further escalation. 

Congo called on the UN to issue a second resolution, which was debated on February 20, 1961. At stake were a number of urgent questions: What was the role of Congo within the Cold War? What were the legitimate interests of the two superpowers? What role should Belgium have played in resolving the dispute?

As HSC Assistant President Louisbrian Drake Bennett says, “...our prime objective is to agree to a resolution that spares the Congo from the real fate it has experienced - decades of proxy wars, terrorism and suffering.”

The BERMUN HSC is looking forward to debating this historic resolution.

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