UNITED NATIONS, March 27 (Xinhua) -- UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday called on nations to scour their archives for possible evidence regarding the death of former Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold in 1961.
"The secretary-general calls on member states that may hold information relevant to the Dag Hammarskjold investigation to appoint an independent and high-ranking official to conduct a dedicated internal review of their intelligence, security and defense archives to determine whether relevant information exists," said a spokesman for Guterres, Farhan Haq.
Hammarskjold, the second secretary-general of the United Nations, was on his way to a cease-fire in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Along with 15 other individuals, Hammarskjold was carried by the 6C-6 aircraft when suddenly the aircraft crashed in September 1961 in Central Africa.
It was first called an accident. However, information since released showed there was another plane in the region at the time, indicating the possibility of an aerial attack or other interference as a possible cause of the crash.
Mohamed Chande Othman, former chief justice of Tanzania, was reappointed by Gurerres to lead the inquiry, which followed a 72nd General Assembly resolution.
Othman's report to the General Assembly in September concluded that "it remained plausible that an external attack or threat may have been a cause of the crash," Haq said.
"The secretary-general ... firmly believes that he owes it to his illustrious and distinguished predecessor, Dag Hammarskjold, and to
the other members of the party accompanying him and to their families, to pursue the full truth of this matter," Haq said.
Britain was known to have monitored communications at the time along with Rhodesian authorities, and the United States was believed to
have electronic surveillance in the region, according to Othman's previous report.
Therefore, this would indicate either London or Washington, or possibly both, might have evidence to the cause of the crash nearly 57 years ago.