|Issue Date: October 07, 1959
Algerian rebel efforts to force France to grant Algerian independence through the use of "combat, violence and terror" were denounced September 30 by French Foreign Minister Maurice Couve de Murville in the first major French policy statement before the new UN General Assembly. He said France would grant Algeria self-determination only within the framework of President de Gaulle's recent declaration on Algeria.
Couve de Murville said Algeria could not be compared with other former French territories granted independence because (1) Algeria contained a large non-Moslem French population, (2) it was not viable without substantial French aid and (3) Algeria's Moslems had not yet had a chance "to declare themselves in peace and freedom."
(The French statement also made clear that France would proceed with its plans to conduct a nuclear test in the Sahara. It pledged radiation safeguards to "eliminate all risks" to nearby areas.)
The French delegation walked out of the Assembly briefly October 2 when Guinean Representative-to-UN Diallo Telli called for UN action to "put an end to this atrocious and pitiless war against a people whose only crime is to wish to live in freedom..."
In Assembly seeches October 1, Sudanese Foreign Minister Ahmed Kheir and Libyan Representative-to-UN Mohieddine Fekini urged France to accept rebel offers to negotiate terms for a cease-fire and application of Algerian self-determination. [See 1959 Algeria: Rebels Offer Talks; Other Developments; 1959 Algeria: De Gaulle Offers Choice; Other Developments]
President Habib Bourguiba of Tunisia called on French and rebel leaders October 1 to negotiate a settlement of the rebellion as a prelude to Algerian self-determination along lines of the de Gaulle plan. Bourguiba lauded de Gaulle for taking a "formidable step forward" in his declaration on Algeria. He said Tunisia and Morocco were prepared to bring the French and rebels together to negotiate. Any French-rebel talks, he said, should concentrate on "guarantees of complete freedom of expression for the Algerian people" rather than any secondary political demands.
(The Tunisian Government charged September 26 that one civilian had been killed and 2 soldiers wounded when French artillery in Algeria bombarded the Tunisian border post of Ain Karma and French troops attacked a Tunisian patrol near Tajerouine. French Army Headquarters in Algiers reported October 1 that several Tunisians had been wounded in a clash between Algerian rebels and Tunisian troops in Haidra, Tunisia.)
(French Army Headquarters in Algiers October 5 made public captured rebel documents purporting to show that 483 rebels had been executed by Major Si Salah, commander of the rebel 4th Wilaya [military zone], for favoring acceptance of French cease-fire proposals.) [See 1958 Algeria: News in Brief]
Nehru Demands China Withdraw
Indian Prime Minister Nehru called on Communist China September 26 to withdraw its troops from Indian territory as a condition for talks on Chinese claims to nearly 40,000 square miles of land along India's frontiers.
Nehru's note to Communist Chinese Premier Chou En-lai, delivered October 3 and made public the next day, warned: "No discussions can be fruitful unless the posts on the Indian side of the traditional frontier now held by Chinese forces are first evacuated by them and further threats...cease." Nehru made it clear that India was willing to discuss minor revisions of its borders with Chinese-controlled Tibet but would uphold the "customary" MacMahon line. "No government," he said, "could possibly discuss the future of such large areas which are an integral part of their territory."
The Indian note demanded the immediate withdrawal of Communist Chinese troops from: Bara Hoti in Uttar Pradesh; Aksai Chin in north-east Ladakh; Khurnak Fort, Mandal and Spangur on the Ladakh border; Khinzemane and Longju in the North East Frontier Agency; Spiti in East Punjab; Shipki Pass in Himachal Pradesh; Nilang near the border between India and western Tibet; Sangcha, Lapthal and the Dichu Valley on India's Himalayan frontier.
Nehru said Indian troops briefly had occupied Tamadem, north of the North East Frontier Agency border, but had been withdrawn when Communist China proved the area to be north of the MacMahon line.
(Nehru told a Chandigarh meeting of the All-India Congress [Party] Com. September 28 that India would be forced to fight "if any aggression takes place from the Chinese side.")
(New York Times dispatches from Pauri, India September 27 said Chinese troops had massed on the Tibetan frontier facing Uttar Pradesh and were harassing Indian traders and controlling the Indian-Tibetan border.)
(Mme. Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit, sister of Nehru and Indian high commissioner to Britain, urged October 5 the admission of Communist China to the UN despite the Indian-Chinese rift. In a New York address, she said UN membership did not "imply acceptance of the internal political system of any nation.") [See 1959 Asia: USSR Asks Laos Conference; Other Developments]
UN Tibet Debate Asked
The 9 Soviet-bloc UN delegations walked out of the UN General Assembly September 29 as National Chinese Representative-to-UN Tingfu F. Tsiang began a denunciation of "Communist atrocities in Tibet" and urged adoption of Malayan and Irish requests for Assembly debate on Tibet. A joint letter from the Malayan and Irish delegations to UN Secretary General Hammarskjold the previous day had charged the Assembly with the "duty to call for the restoration of the religious and civil liberties of the people of Tibet." [See 1959 Asia: USSR Asks Laos Conference; Other Developments]
(AP reported from Darjeeling, India September 23 that supporters of the Dalai Lama had claimed a new wave of anti-Communist rebellion was sweeping Tibet. More than 50,000 Tibetans were said to have joined guerrilla operations against the Chinese.)
(The Panchen Lama, head of the Chinese-dominated Tibetan Local Government, arrived in Peiping September 25 for celebrations of Communist China's 10th anniversary.) [See 1959 Tibet: News in Brief]
Laos Accuses Communists
Laotian Foreign Minister Kamphan Panya charged Communist North Viet Nam before the UN General Assembly September 30 with planning and arming a revolt for "the communization of Laos."
Kamphan appealed for UN protection for Laos against the Communist revolt. He gave this account of recent events in Laos: some Pathet Lao rebel forces, intending to form the nucleus of an eventual rebellion, refused integration in the Laotian Army under terms of the 1958 Laotian Government-Pathet Lao peace agreement; the 2d Pathet Lao Battalion rejected a May 11 ultimatum to integrate or surrender and moved to the Laotian-North Viet Namese border, where it received arms and logistic support to begin the revolt; "for the attack against the posts of Muong Het and Xieng Kho on August 30... North Viet Nam was not satisfied with furnishing assistance...[but] participated...in broad daylight."
(The UN Security Council Subcom. on Laos returned to Vientiane October 3 after a 3-day tour of the Laos front to visit outposts and question rebel prisoners. It was to have visited Muong Het and Xieng Kho, but rebels recaptured the 2 posts October 2. The Laotian Government said October 5 that it would rest its charges of North Viet Namese aggression on evidence presented by captured rebels and their materiel but that it would not produce North Viet Namese prisoners for the UN group.)
(Admiral Arleigh A. Burke, in a letter to Representative Samuel S. Stratton [D., New York], said October 1 that the U.S. was prepared to give Laos the same support it had given Lebanon and Nationalist China.) [See 1959 Laos: U.S. to Aid vs. Communists; Other Developments]
USSR vs. Cambodia Move
A Soviet note to Britain protested October 3 against what it termed "crude" British efforts to break the 1954 Indo-China armistice by disbanding the International Control Comm. for Cambodia. The USSR rejected any action to halt work of the Cambodian commission and charged that the Laotian unrest could be attributed to suspension of the Laotian commission. (The British Foreign Office said October 4 that it had suggested that the Cambodian commission, currently inactive, be adjourned subject to recall if necessary.) [See 1959 Asia: USSR Asks Laos Conference; Other Developments]