Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche, American Negro scholar and international peacemaker, died today (Thursday) in a?
Dr. Ralph Johnson Bunche, American Negro scholar and international peacemaker, died today (Thursday) in a New York hospital. He was 67. During his career he had fought fiercely for two major objectives, racial equality and a strong United Nations as a guardian of world peace.
He won the Nobel peace prize in 1950 after arranging an armistice between Arab and Israeli forces in the fighting which followed the emergency of Israel in 1948.
In 1960, Dr. Bunche mediated in the civil war which followed the independence of the former Belgian Congo -- now the Republic of Zaire.
The leading American in the United Nations Secretariat, Dr. Bunche made a decisive impact as principal adviser to three Secretaries-General, Trygve Lie, Dag Hammarskjoeld and U Thant. Today U Thant said he was "an international institution in his own right, transcending both nationality and race in a way that is achieved by very few".
SYNOPSIS: Dr Ralph Bunche, American Negro scholar and international peacemaker, died early on Wednesday in a New York hospital. He was 67. Dr. Bunche was the mediator between Israel and the Arab countries in the fighting which followed the formation of the State of Israel in 1948.
His success in arranging a Middle East armistice was given international recognition in 1950, when he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace. He travelled to Norway to receive the prize from King Haakon.
Ten years later, and for Dr. Bunche another peace mission to the Middle East. As personal assistant to Dag Hammarskjoeld, Dr. Bunche flew to Cairo with the U.N. Secretary-General for talks with President Nasser and other Egyptian leaders. The talks followed Egypt's ban on Israeli cargoes passing through the Suez Canal.
Within months a new crisis called Dr. Bunche into the heart of Africa, whose people he had studied as a sociologist. Civil war had broken out in the new Congo Republic, following independence from Belgium. Again, the top American in the United Nations secretariat was entrusted with the delicate task of finding understanding between warring factions.
From Leopoldville, Dr. Bunche visited Elisabethville, capital of the breakaway Katanga, to discuss the intervention of Untied Nations troops. Oil drums were scattered on the runway as the aircraft arrived to fly him back -- due to fears that troops were aboard. They were not, but U.N. soldiers were needed to restore order in the Congo. Dr. Bunche went on to serve under his third Secretary-General, U Thant. On Thursday, U Thant said Dr. Bunche's death was a grave loss to the UN and the world. He was an "international institution in his own right, transcending both nationality and race in a way that is achieved by very few".