What Was the Reason of Dag Hammarskjöld’s Tragic Death?

Portrait of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. UN Photo/JO (file)
Portrait of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld. UN Photo/JO (file)

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres sent Wednesday a report of the Eminent Person about the conditions and circumstances resulting in the tragic death of the former UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and the members of the party accompanying him.

The Eminent Person concluded in his report that it is almost certain that Dag Hammarskjöld and the members of the party accompanying him were not assassinated after landing and that all passengers died from injuries sustained during the plane crash, either instantaneously, or soon after.

As to the cause of the crash, the Eminent Person considered it plausible that an external attack or threat may have been the cause. The Eminent Person also noted that it remains possible that the crash was an accident caused by pilot error without external interference, and that it was plausible that human factors including fatigue played a role in the crash.

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Based on the Eminent Person’s findings, a UN statement said the Secretary-General is of the view that the information made available to the United Nations to date has been insufficient to come to conclusions about the cause or causes of the crash.

“The Secretary-General considers that it seems likely that important additional information exists,” said Farhan Haq, Deputy Spokesman for the Secretary-General.

Further, the Secretary-General called on the General Assembly to remain seized of the matter, and to endorse the report of the Eminent Person and his recommendations.

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In particular, the Secretary-General called on Member States to make available information and endorses the Eminent Person’s recommendation that Member States appoint an independent and high-ranking official to conduct a dedicated and internal review of their archives, in particular, their intelligence, security and defense archives, with a view to ensuring comprehensive access to relevant information and establishing what happened on that fateful night.

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Rakesh Raman