Alanna O’Malley
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Fighting over Katanga
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The six months between September 1960 and February 1961 fully transformed the Congo crisis from a regional Cold War conflict into a lightning rod for wider anti-colonial critiques. On 27 July 1961, while the diplomatic manoeuvres between America and Britain were ongoing at the UN over the reorganisation of the Secretariat, in the Congo, relations between Katanga and the Central Government had reached deadlock. In response to the implementation of the February Resolution, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics had revised its position on the Congo, backing down from its earlier calls for the removal of the UN and replacing Dag Hammarskjöld with a troika power structure. Operation Morthor revealed that the extent of British opposition to the use of force to end the secession was a willingness to break with the US and the UN on the question. The relative success of Operation Rumpunch was overshadowed by Operation Morthor.

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The diplomacy of decolonisation

America, Britain and the United Nations during the Congo crisis 1960– 1964


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