245. Telegram From the Embassy in the Congo to the Department of State 0
1006. Trend in Congo is far from reassuring while recent Deptels and USUN reports show increasing pressures and trends in UN which I find disturbing. Furthermore UNOC policies and thinking run along similar or more neutralist lines.
It is evident that Ghana, Guinea, Morocco and UAR have kept up drumfire of support for Lumumba both here and in UN. Considerable quantities money also given him especially by UAR. Extent involvement those countries in strictly internal affairs is as visible as the UN and published documents (never agreed to my knowledge) clinch the point.
The argument that Lumumba is “dynamic force” (Deptel 1082)1 is quite correct but direction he has taken and would again take is destructive, not constructive. UN would face real dilemma if he were restored, of letting him retuck civil war under their noses or assuming much greater authority over CNA and internal affairs than they have [Page 535] so far been prepared assume. Latter would certainly provoke even shriller screams from the pro-Lumumba governments. Lumumba would immediately open the door to return Soviet and Czech Embassies which would become bases for renewed penetration.
I am still satisfied provincial leaders would resist to greatest possible degree any cooperation with any government in which Lumumba has any position and that task of such government would be immeasurably frustrated. If there is to be any peaceful and constructive reunification in the Congo, Lumumba must, in our opinion, be isolated and certainly not supported. I have expressed such personal opinion to Dayal on at least two occasions pointing out that UN task already difficult but would become major headache should Lumumba return as those of us here in early days know full well.
In view UN position on arrest Lumumba and sorry experience over other arrests of Gizenga, et al, I have little faith in such method unless competent court can be established to consider case promptly. Furthermore, I would prefer see question parliamentary immunity resolved by Parliament itself lifting his immunity. That involves reconvening Parliament which raises even more important problem of who [how?] it would vote on government confidence measure. While some of Commissioners and Ileo Government think they have lined up enough votes to defeat Lumumba and/or approve new government, I am, out of experience with their wishful thinking, inclined to doubt such claims at this point. Votes are cheap and intimidation goes on daily as attack on Ndele and other opponents of Lumumba are perpetrated with impunity so far. As matter fact, CNA is almost certainly training goon squads in camp near Leopoldville for such action.
Men in street, particularly opponents of Lumumba, are simply not convinced UN is impartial. They see Lumumba protected in Prime Ministry residence and office and government of Commissioners prevented from serving warrant on rest. They know Kettani took Gizenga and Mpolo away from CNA at airport after arrest when government was in process sending them to Katanga jail. They have seen documents never disavowed, purporting know Lumumba incited to attack and violence Stanleyville as well as traffic with Soviet bloc and Ghana, Guinea on matters clearly involving them in Congo internal affairs. They also know Nussbaumer and Kandolo were badly beaten under noses UN troops at Lumumba’s house while UN troops refused calls for help. Last attack on Ndele was carried out in presence Ghana soldier who did not intervene until situation saved by civilian bystanders. Question now being asked is “who is the UN neutral against?”
Government of Commissioners is admittedly temporary but has made some real if small effort toward constructive administration. It has been rebuffed by Dayal who considers members unimportant school boys and its prestige has suffered from events noted preceding [Page 536] paragraph. Army, at least Mobutu’s troops is angry and restive for same reasons. While I am unhappy over poor prospects for early Parliamentary solution, I think we should make effort support Commissioners so long as they are actually in place and are at least trying to do good job for Congo. I certainly feel every effort must be made to knock down Ghana, Guinea, UAR intervention which continues apace. In particular, Welbeck is still strutting about Leopoldville in spite of fact Kasavubu and Bomboko declared him persona non grata. Believe they will endeavor put him physically on plane for Accra soon, if he continues refuse go voluntarily and hope UN will not prevent such action. Furthermore, problem isolating Lumumba at residence complicated since Ghana, Guinea and UAR have access to him and are suspected carrying money and messages to and from Lumumba under UN cover.
Would still consider removal Lumumba to private house psychological shot in arm for Commissioners and anti-Lumumba forces. In Prime Ministry residence he is still symbol of government which has been deposed. Fact few Congolese pass house is no argument; every one in Leopoldville and country would know almost immediately he had been removed just as they know he is there. I still feel UN is wrong in this case, any way you view it, unless its policy is to consider Lumumba Government is still legally in power.
Agree with Department that good offices committee (USUN telegram 136 to Leopoldville)2 envisaged would be disastrous. Chances are it would give even more stimulus to “conciliation” pressures already being exerted. As explained already, whether knowing or unknowing, UN attitude and recent actions are more and more being interpreted by anti-Lumumba and more neutralist forces as playing into Lumumba’s hands if not directly supporting him. I am first to agree that UN is in position where it has been and will be accused at times by both sides for partiality to opponents. However, it is also true that plain inaction or simple interposition can and often does have direct bearing on outcome. It is in such position today.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/10–1960. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution. Repeated to Paris, London, Brussels, and USUN.↩
- Telegram 1082 to Léopoldville, October 13, summarized the conversation the day before with Moroccan Crown Prince Moulay Hassan, who told Penfield he considered Lumumba a “dynamic force” and Kasavubu a “brake.” (Ibid., 771.11/10–1360)↩
- Telegram 1004 from USUN, repeated to Léopoldville as telegram 136, October 14, reported Cordier’s belief that if a Good Offices Committee went to Léopoldville it would be with the intention of restoring Lumumba to power. Wadsworth suggested that if the anti-Lumumba forces in the Congo were firm in rejecting conciliation with Lumumba and made that clear to the Congo Advisory Committee it might help change attitudes around the United Nations. (Ibid., 770G.00/10–1460)↩