juli 1960: UM geeft 1,250 miljard BEF aan Tshombe (Katanga)

ID: 196007127721

Datum is benaderend.

De Witte L., 1996: 79

Bevestigd in Verslag Lumumbacommissie, Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers, 20011116, blz. 521

zie ook 23/12/1960

UMHK = Union Minière du Haut-Katanga

Bron: De Witte, 1996: 79 ("prompt na de afkondiging van de secessie")

zie ook: GIBBS D. (1991), The Political Economy of Third World Intervention: Mines, Money and U.S. Policy in the Congo Crisis. By David N. Gibbs. Chicago: Chicago University Press. 322 pp., $???.

The United States and the Congo Crisis

Gibbs' story revolves around the competition between Belgium and American business interests over access to the Congo's rich copper resources. Although Belgium reluctantly granted independence to the Congo in 1960, Belgian investors, led by the mining company Union Miniere du Haut Katanga (UMHK), sought to preserve their profitable political and economic influence in the former colony. These interests were opposed not only by Congolese nationalists, but also by competing U.S. firms, who hoped to displace Belgian investors and win mining rights in the Congo. Over time, these American investors secured increasing support from the U.S. government. Eventually, U.S. business interests succeeded in reducing Belgian influence and gaining a dominant position in the Congo's mining industry.

Gibbsí account moves through four phases. Shortly after the Congo achieved independence, the new government was confronted with a successionist movement centered in the copper-rich Katanga province. The Katangan successionists were supported by UMHK, which supplied the Katangan government with eighty percent of its revenues and organized a mercenary force to help Katanga in its confrontation with the central government. UMHK sought to insure its interests against possible interference by the Congo's nationalist president, Patrice Lumumba.

The Eisenhower Administration supported the Katanga succession. The U.S. backed the intervention of U.N. forces which, initially, leaned in favor of the Katangan separatists. The CIA assisted in a successful coup by Congolese military officers to overthrow Lumumba's government. Gibbs attributes the Eisenhower Administration's attitude to ties between a number of key U.S. officials and Belgian business interests.

U.S. policy shifted sharply during the Kennedy years. After some vacillation, the U.S. weighed in on the side of the central government and encouraged the U.N. to turn its forces against the Katangan separatists. The rebellion was finally crushed in 1963. The Kennedy period witnessed considerable conflict among U.S. business interests. A pro-Katangan bloc with ties to UMHK managed to win support in the congress and made some inroads into the executive branch. Yet a larger bloc of anti-Katangan business interests with more extensive ties to many of Kennedy's top advisers ultimately came to exert decisive influence on U.S. policy.

During the third phase, the Congo's weak central government was plagued by multiple leftist insurgencies. Faced with the prospect of radical forces gaining power, Western governments and business interests united around a policy of military and covert intervention to stamp out leftist rebellion in the period from 1963 to 1965.

Friction arose again in 1965, however, when U.S.-supported General Joseph Mobutu took power in another coup de etat. Mobutu, in close consultation with U.S. business interests, moved to nationalize UMHK's copper mining operations. UMHK retaliated by blocking the overseas sale of Congolese copper and sponsoring a series of mercenary rebellions against the Mobutu government. The U.S., sympathetic with Mobutu's challenge to UMHK, provided military aid to help Mobutu put down these rebellions. Although Mobutu was ultimately forced to reach a compromise with UMHK, U.S. officials intervened to insure that U.S. rather than Belgian investors were granted a lucrative mining concession to exploit untapped copper deposits in the Tenke Fungurume region. U.S. economic influence in the Congo came to surpass that of Belgium.

Gibbs succeeds in showing that contending business interests were engaged by the Congo crisis, that these interest insinuated themselves into the policy-making process and that this intervention influenced U.S. policy at various points. Still, his argument is vulnerable to at least two important criticisms.

To his credit, Gibbs compares and tests his business conflict model against six alternative approaches to explaining U.S. foreign policy. Unfortunately, however, only one of these six generates a clear prediction regarding the substance of U.S. policy in the Congo case. The other five fail to tell us whether to expect U.S. intervention in the Congo and, if so, on which side. As a result, Gibbsí theoretical comparisons are largely limited to process variables, i.e., which groups or interests should be expected to participate in policy-making. This provides a weaker basis for judging the relative merits of each model. We are left without a baseline against which to measure the contribution of a business conflict approach to explaining U.S. policy. What sort of policy should we have expected toward the Congo in the absence of business intervention? Lacking an answer to this question, it is difficult to tell what difference business pressures made to U.S. behavior.

Gibbsí argument focuses heavily on the personal ties between U.S. officials and various business interests. This helps to explain the policy preferences of individual decision-makers in several important instances. Yet some policy-makers had no ties or only weak ones to any of the contending factions. Others possessed ties to multiple firms on different sides of the contest. A few who had ties to a specific business faction adopted policy preferences contrary to the interests of that group. This leads to a messy picture. In general, Gibbsí approach confronts difficulties in moving from the explanation of individual policy preferences to those of the state as a whole.

SPAAK 1969: 241 over de secessie: "Dans quelle mesure ont-elles (les grandes sociétés, LT) été les inspiratrices des événements? Je n'ose me prononcer, mais je crois qu'elles n'ont pas été tout à fait innocentes. Elles ont, pendant plusieurs années, suivi une politique qui n'était pas celle du gouvernement. Je devais en faire l'expérience."

Land: COD