LITTLE HOPE FOR THE CONGO NOW
By ROBERT NOWELL
THE death of M. Patrice Emery Luntumba, the former Prime Minister of the Congo who was stated on Monday to have been "massacred" while escaping from a Katanga jail, has very probably destroyed whatever slim hopes still remained of a peaceful solution to the Congo crisis.
With Mr. Lumuraba alive, there was still a chance that, provided the United Nations first disarmed the different armies fighting it out in various parts of the country. the Congolese leaders. despite the wide divergence of their views, could have reached a compromise at a round-table conference.
This idea of negotiation once the outside military 'pressures had been removed was advocated as the only hope for a peaceful solution" by Professor A. A. J. van Bilsen, the Belgian who was the first to propose Congolese independence and who is political adviser to President Kasavubu, when i met him in London last week, the day before M. Lumumba's alleged escape was announced by the Katanga Government.
With M. Lumumba dead, it is certain that his former lieutenants MM. Gizenga and Kasharnura, who control Orientale and Kivu provinces as well as part of northern Katanga, will be even less likely to compromise and will swing even further towards the Communism which already has such strong attractions for them.
It should he remembered that M. Lumumba's Communist leanings were due more to his mistake in surrounding himself with Communist and pro-Communist advisers than to his actual convictions, which were strongly influenced by the example of Dr. Kwame Nkruham in Ghana. His error here was to suppose that methods which worked in a small, compact African State like Ghana would work equally well in the Congo.
The chances of any compromise now being reached between L6opoldville. Stanleyville, Elisahethville are, for practical purposes. non-existent. In the eyes of MM.
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