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“Belgian mercenary shot plane UN boss in 1961 from the air’

The Belgian mercenary and pilot Jan Van Risseghem would, in 1961, the plane carrying the then secretary-general of the United Nations, dag Hammarskjöld, have been shot down.

That writes the Belgian newspaper De Morgen, after its own investigation, in cooperation with the Danish maker of a documentary about the incident, Mads Brüggen.

Hammarskjöld was the second secretary-general in the history of the United Nations. He died on 18 september 1961 killed when his DC-6 crashed near Ndola in Zambia (the former Northern Rhodesia).

The exact circumstances of the crash are never entirely become clear. It was said that it was an accident, but Van Risseghem was even before the wreck was found listed as suspicious. The pilot died in 2007.

Hammarskjöld was en route to the Eastern Congolese province of Katanga to a cease-fire to negotiate. The province is rich in a number of expensive raw materials, and separated themselves immediately after Congo became independent from Belgium in 1960.

Well-known pilot does story

According to the Belgian Pierre Coppens Van Risseghem said to him that he is the plane of Hammarskjöld has been shot down. Coppens learned the pilot in 1965 in a course in parachuting in Belgium.

Van Risseghem flew in the Second world War regularly across Germany to aerial photos. Then he joined as a mercenary to meet with the armies of South Africa and Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

Evidence may be falsified

Both papers of the Belgian government as well as the logs of the Katangese army indicate that he is not in the region was around 17 september 1961. The authenticity of these papers, however, is questioned.

A commander of the army in the sixties, the logs referred to and says that that is forged. Also, a other pilot Of Risseghem a day before Hammarskjöld crashed have seen.

Van Risseghem himself has said that he in August by the UN, was arrested and sent back to Belgium. The widow of the pilot, and wanted to The Morning is not to speak.

Political situation in Eastern Congo

In Katanga fought many European mercenaries, against a Congolese army that was supported by soldiers of the UN.

Among others, Belgium and Great Britain wanted that Katanga became independent, because the area is not under the control of Russia or China would fall, but in the European sphere of influence would remain.

The countries could not disclose, because they are against the UN would go.

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