The Congo: Tea & Harmony

It was almost as wacky as the Mad Hatter's outdoor tea party in Wonderland. Smack in the middle of a mud-fouled road at Pumpi, 40 miles from Secessionist Moise Tshombe's last-ditch headquarters at Kolwezi, United Nations Brigadier Reginald Noronha set up four folding tables and laid out tea, peanut-butter sandwiches, coffee and Simba beer. At 9 a.m.. right on schedule, four Katanga province officials and three representatives of the Union Miniere mining outfit roared up in two autos. ''We have come to meet you as friends," declared one, and the party was on.

Despite the apparent absurdity of it. the...

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