Congo: Please Don't Go

The seven-story Leopoldville building that serves as U.N. headquarters in the Congo once buzzed with daily crises; today its corridors are quiet and staffers greet one another with: "What are your plans?" At a U.N. airstrip, Swedish jet pilots kill time by strafing a damaged aircraft on the ground. "Using up ammunition," an officer explains. "We won't take it home."

Three chaotic years after intervening in the Congo, the U.N. military forces last week were packing up to leave. Under orders from Secretary General U Thant, the remaining 5,077 combat troops (already pared sharply from a peak of...

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