Dr Mohamed ibn Chambas, a former Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for West Africa, has expressed concern over the increasing armed group activities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
“Congo is still in turmoil. As in the 1960s, Congo, today, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is a key item on the agenda of the UN Security Council,” Dr Chambas stated in Accra at the launch of memoirs of the late Mr Alexander Quaison-Sackey, Ghana’s former Foreign Minister and the first African to serve as President of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
“This is the same crisis that caused the life of the indefatigable and much-admired UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld.”
The launch of the 429 paged book dubbed “The Making of a Diplomatist: The Memoirs of Alexander Quaison-Sackey”, was organised by the Council on Foreign Relations Ghana in collaboration with the Family of the late Mr Quaison-Sackey.
Madam Awo Aferba Quaison-Sackey, daughter of the late Mr Quaison-Sackey completed and edited the book.
Dr Chambas said over the years, a number of UN Peacekeepers together with several Congolese civilians had lost their lives with several injured in attacks on the UN mission in Congo (MUNUSCO).
He said the tremendous natural resources of DRC remained a curse to the country as a conspiracy of foreign interest and domestic shortcomings combined to prevent it from realising its full potential.
“(Mr) Patrice Lumumba, greatly admired by Alex Quaison-Sackey was hosted by him at his residence in New Rochelle, New York. Lumumba was cut down brutally by agents who have never faced justice,” Dr Chambas said.
“His vision for his country was extinguished and events there have since turned out to be a continuing nightmare for Congo and the African continent.”
Dr Chambas said only last week the UN spokesperson to MUNUSCO was declared persona non grata.
Concerning the late Mr Quaison-Sackey, Dr Chambas said he was a distinguished Foreign Minister of Ghana, and the first African to serve as President of the UN General Assembly, making him a Ghanian trailblazer in international diplomacy for many of us to follow in later years.
“He was a pioneer who projected the African personality on the international scene and demonstrated that if given equal opportunity, Africans could perform creditably just as well as others.”
Dr Chambas said during his early years of schooling at Mafntsipim, the late Quaison-Sackey was at the height of his diplomatic career as Foreign Minister of Ghana.
“He was a household name in Ghana because of his highly successful career at the UN in New York, and a huge source of pride and inspiration to the students of my generation,” Dr Chambas said.
Touching on decolonisation, Dr Chambas said Ghana used the platform provided by the UN to push for the decolonisation of the rest of Africa.
“Alex Quaison-Sackey and his colleagues were in the vanguard in mobilising the Afro-Asian and Latin -America delegations at the UN to support the passage of for instance, the declaration on the granting of independence to colonial Countries and people,” he said.
“This set the tone for the fight for independence, the Liberation struggle and the anti-apartheid struggles on the African Continent”.