Monday, January 01, 2018

Solution To The Congo Problems--Speech by President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana
 Accra, September 8, 1960

I have come to the microphone this evening to share with you my thoughts on the present situation in the Congo. What happens in the Congo today is an indication of what may happen in other parts of Africa tomorrow. It is therefore the duty — say, the moral obligation of the leaders of Africa — to take all steps which are open to them to find a realistic solution to the present difficulties which the Congo is facing.

It is of prime importance that in dealing with the affairs, in the Congo, we should all preserve a sense of balance and restraint. The Congo is by no means the first country whose independence has been marked by political difficulties and by sporadic violence of all kinds. It often happens that my country, when it becomes independent, will have to face and deal with the most severe internal strains, and it is very often necessary for a newly independent country to make a series of political, administrative and economic readjustments which in themselves produce further strain and are often misunderstood and misinterpreted outside. I have complete confidence provided improper foreign interference is prevented, the Congo Republic will be able to achieve political stability and prosperity and to take its rightful place in the comity of nations.

There is, however, a real danger that the Congo Republic will not be allowed to settle its own affairs but may become a pawn in a world-wide, political struggle for power between the great states of the world. In my view, therefore, it is the task of the Independent Africa States and other neutral nations to safeguard the Congo from improper interference from outside the African continent. I believe that this can be done through the United Nations, but the United Nations is only as strong as the collective will of its members.

Unless the United States play their full part in advising and counselling the United Nations, there is always a danger that even within the framework of the United Nations, pressure from one or other of the groupings of great powers will make itself felt. It is right that I should warn all countries outside the African continent that they will be committing a very great error, if they think that they can turn to their own advantage the present difficulties which the Congo Republic is now experiencing.

The policy of my Government is to keep the cold war out of Africa, to condemn and resist the re-introduction of colonialism in any form and to see that the Congo Republic maintains its territorial. The whole effort of my Government in this respect is and will be devoted to these ends our objects, however, may be frustrated by those powers who have a positive interest in the division and balkanization of Africa. In fact, war can only be kept out of Africa, if the United Nations and the African States in particular play an active and positive role. Law and order can only be restored, if the legitimate government of the Congo Republic, which invited the United Nations to enter the Congo and which was formed in accordance with the Constitution and with the support of the Congolese parliament, is actively supported by the United Nations.

The United Nations will become discredited, if it allows itself to be used as a cover for those who would spread confusion in the Congo Republic in order to strangle its independence.

If ever a situation arose when it was clear that colonialism was being re-introduced into the Congo by outside interests, either in the guise of balkanization or in some other fashion, in my view, Ghana and the other independent African States would have to consider how they themselves could go to the aid of the Congo with such other disinterested outside help as might be available.

I am certain that if the independent African States exercise a wise initiative, the present difficulties can be easily resolved. These difficulties are no greater than those which have been triumphantly resolved by other states which in their first years of independence displayed to the world every symptom of discord and political instability. The time has come however for cool action and above all restraint from any precipitous step which might worsen the situation.

Once again, I strongly appeal to the leaders, government and people of the Congo Republic to exercise restraint and to refrain from doing anything which may jeopardise their independence and sovereignty. In this hour of difficulty for the Congo Republic, the Government and people of Ghana stand shoulder to shoulder with the other independent African States so as to aid our new sister state in her endeavours to consolidate her independence.

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