The Congo’s independence in 1960 was followed by unrest, intervention by Belgian troops, and the secession of the Katanga province. The United Nations Security Council authorized Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld to send a peacekeeping force to support the Congolese government, but with the proviso not to interfere in domestic politics. This contradiction created a mission impossible. Conflicting interpretations of the mandate were complicated by the member states’ geostrategic interests at the height of the Cold War. The mandate that Hammarskjöld had boldly secured was contested and led both the Soviet Union and the Western alliances of states to distrust the role of the secretary-general.