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Title:Just west of neutral: Canadian 'objectivity' and peacekeeping during the Congo crisis, 1960-61
Author:Spooner, Kevin A.ISNI
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic terms:Congo (Democratic Republic of)
Subjects:foreign policy
peacekeeping forces
international politics
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00083968.2010.9707574
Abstract:The Congo crisis began at a time of heightened Cold War tensions in 1960 and the UN was quick to encourage the Security Council to dispatch a peacekeeping force. This article assesses the significance of Canada's role in the Opération des Nations Unies au Congo (ONUC) and, more generally, Canada's foreign policy during the early months of the Congo crisis. It argues that Prime Minister John Diefenbaker's government pursued a policy that recognized the importance of achieving Western objectives in the Congo but also the growing importance of maintaining good relations with the rapidly increasing number of newly independent States. The Canadian government was forced to weigh the importance of sometimes conflicting foreign policy considerations when developing policy during the Congo crisis, and this ultimately led to an unwillingness to be seen to be pursuing a concerted NATO approach to the Congo's tribulations. This would suggest recent interpretations that portray Canada's participation in ONUC as an example of how Canada's peacekeeping policy primarily served Western, Cold War objectives might not be entirely correct. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. in English and French. [Journal abstract, edited]