Organization of African Unity (OAU)

Léopold Senghor

Patrice Lumumba

Moïse Tshombe

The UN and African Decolonization
History 300 / October 1, 2013

I. The theory (not reality!) of decolonization
            A. Training post-colonial elites
            B. Eliminating threats to stability
            C. Creating the economic basis for independence
            D. Persistent links betw former colonies & metropole
II. Congo, a bloody exception
            A. Belgium’s sudden departure
            B. The first UN mission: restoring order
            C. The death of Patrice Lumumba
            D. The problem of secession
                        1. Katanga, an economic prize
                        2. The UN's war on Tshombe
III. After decolonization: a world transformed
            A. Problems of internal cohesion in the decolonized states
                        1. Ethnic rivalries, artificial boundaries, weak national identity
                        2. Dictatorships and violent coups
            B. The values and priorities of the new states
                        1. Sovereignty – the mantra of the OAU
                        2. Decolonization as a perpetual ideology
            C. The Nigerian Civil War (1967-70) as a litmus test
                        1. "Biafra" declares independence
                        2. Transnational/NGO sympathy for the Igbo rebels
                        3. International support for the Nigerian central government
            D. A new axis of global politics: "North" vs. "South"
IV. The campaign against South African apartheid
            A. What was apartheid?
            B. Dimensions of isolation via the UN system
                        1. Declaratory condemnations
                        2. Coordinated monitoring; anti-apartheid publicity
            C. Implementing anti-apartheid measures
            D. Enforcing the anti-apartheid regime
            E. The industrial world and the end of apartheid
                        1. Resistance to pressure, 1960-1985           
                        2. Submitting to economic logic

Congo in 1960

South Africa ethnic concentrations (1970s)

UN Membership, 1945-1990

Further reading
[that revisionist account...]