tional community on behalf of the endangered new state of the Congo, 'attacked' by the Belgian forces that had been flown in to reestablish order (and defend Belgian interests) when the Congolese Force Publique had mutinied immediately upon independence. There is no doubt that the Soviet Union and its allies and some of the Afro-Asian countries saw the situation in this light. The West, how- ever, saw it differently and the peacekeeping (rather than fighting) mandate was also the one upheld initially by the UN Secretariat and Secretary-General Hammarskjöld. The difficult situation in the Congo, however, with Katangese secession and the beginnings of a civil war gradually led to a new conception of the UN role. The UN 'peace-keeping' force ultimately became engaged in a war for the preservation of the territorial and political unity of the former colony. The operation combined military aspects with those of aid for development. Hammarskjöld himself stated that "The United Nations is engaged in a major effort to give life and substance to the independence of the Republic of the Congo". 14
Other UN peace-keeping operations have had more modest ambitions: to keep the peace, maintain an armistice, interpose a buffer between quarrelling parties, and to make a peaceful solution and negotiated settlements possible. Or - put differently - the efforts of the international community 'in arms' have been of basically the same nature as the caretaking functions fulfilled by the metropoli- tan armed forces in colonial territories. For this development there is no specific basis, no foreseen procedure outlined, in the UN Charter. In international politics this represents a measure of innovation but in the decolonization process it is a part of the overall pattern of a predominantly peaceful and organized transition from colonial rule to self-government and independence.
The role of the armed forces in the post-colonial development in the new states
Today politics in the former colonies is to a great extent dominated by the armed forces. There has been a spectacular proliferation of military coups and 'revolutions' in the new states since then Colonel Mobutu set the pattern in the Congo in 1960. Parallels have been suggested between the developments in Afro-Asia and in Latin America. Another parallel points to the political situation in Central and Eastern Europe after the termination of World War One and the collapse of the German, Austro-Hungarian, and Russian empires. A number of 'new' states emerged and "in the absence of strongly cohesive international forces, structural, economic, and social change led to a personalization of politi- cal power and to the subsequent emergence of military dictatorship as a way out of international difficulties". 15
Others have pointed to what appears to be a de facto continuity between colonial rule - supposedly militaristic and autocratic in nature - and the present variety of military regimes in the former colonies. 16