251. Telegram From the Mission at the United Nations to the Department of State 0
1188. Re: Congo, Deptels 7641 and 772.2 Barco called on SYG afternoon 28 October per reftels. Barco outlined our continued concern re developing trends in Leo and effect of UN actions there and stressed how seriously situation is considered in Washington. SYG remarked he believed UN and US were following different philosophies and pointedly remarked he considered no outside influences should be permitted in Congo. Situation could not be solved that way.
We replied we believed basic philosophies were not different and that we shared same goals, but we were concerned that UN actions in Leo, either by commission or omission, were not operating in direction of our mutual goals but were working to benefit of Lumumba.
SYG denied this contention. He reiterated previous position that UN acting on “principles” even though they “appeared” to be helping one party or another at any particular point. He said he felt Lumumba had sufficient backing in Congo that solution without him seemed impossible.[Page 557]
He also expressed serious concern about CNA which he described as most dangerous element presently in picture because of its undisciplined strength. SYG said Mobutu, Kasavubu and Bomboko readily agreed return CNA troops to barracks as soon as they were told UN forces would actively resist any attempt breach mutual agreement keep CNA troops in Thysville from entering Leo and leave security responsibility in Leo in hands of UN forces. This indicated to SYG that, like many similar actions in Congo, they had been acting on impulse and lacked any clear plan of action. As matters stood, CNA forces would now remain outside Leo near UN airport, as well as in Thysville, by agreement between UN and Kasavubu. SYG commented strong CNA forces in Thysville, equipped with armored cars, could have seriously jeopardized UN security in Leo while at same time, because of that city’s isolation from rest of Congo, could not have brought about solution or creation of stable government which would be respected beyond city. SYG said UN position on CNA now based on agreement with Kasavubu, and that whenever there had been [was?] an agreement such as this reached, UN would enforce it.
Turning to SYG’s comment on outside forces in Congo, we reiterated we had strong evidence of outside interference in Leo by Ghana, Guinea, UAR and recently Morocco designed support return to power of Lumumba. SYG said Ghana was ringleader and said he well aware of harmful activities by Welbeck. Barco said Cairo was heavily involved. SYG reiterated he thought UAR was all right and Ghana was in lead. As example he cited fact UAR troops had been moved by barges down river to Leopoldville without UN knowledge. This had been discovered by UN personnel when UAR units asked for too many rations. SYG said he took this up with Fawzi3 who said they would straighten it out immediately. Instructions were sent through Cairo and UAR troops were withdrawn and replaced under UN orders.
In contrast, as part of normal re-deployment of its forces, UN had decided some time ago to move Ghanaian troops to Kasai. SYG said he had had long and difficult correspondence about this with Nkrumah, who was seeking to maintain his own national control over Ghanaian troops, something SYG could not allow to happen. Agreement had finally been reached with Nkrumah on transfer of Ghana troops from Leo to Kasai Province, which Cordier remarked would start next week. SYG said they would be replaced by Tunisian troops, as result of which he looked for improvement in Leo.[Page 558]
SYG then called our attention to reappearance of Ileo who was present and was introduced as “PriMin” when Dayal talked several days ago with Kasavubu. SYG expressed himself strongly in favor of building government which would be based on Kasavubu, as uncontested Chief of State, and would enjoy at least some prospect of parliamentary approval. He thought Ileo was person to start with as PM of such government. But there must be move toward “constitutionality”, with reconvening of Parliament to approve government as stated goal.
He thought even Africans were now coming to realize that continued absence of any effective government was playing into Belgian hands. He cited examples of Belgian judges volunteering to set up court system without any prospect of payment from either UN or Congo; a move which to him clearly indicated Belgian Government was providing financial guarantees in order reestablish their influence throughout Congo. He stressed that there were two anchors of UN relations in Congo—Kasavubu as Chief of State, and Parliament. A new government should be presented to Parliament, but both he and Dayal have insisted parliamentary approval of any government must (a) be by full Parliament, with all six provinces represented, and (b) be obtained absolutely free of duress, under UN protection. (He said UN forces would patrol area of Parliament and assure protection to all concerned.)
Difficulty in convening Parliament until now had been Katanga but he thought this situation had improved. This was evidenced by recent lengthy note he reed from Tshombe4 in response to SYG’s letter5 in which Tshombe sounded cooperative and willing participate in Parliament and govt so long as Lumumba not in control. SYG said purpose behind his recent strong notes to Tshombe and Belgians had been convince Tshombe he cannot rely on Belgians for long-term protection. SYG thought tone of Tshombe’s response was evidence of success of this maneuver. He said its timing had been governed by fact Dayal had obtained agreement of African states in Leopoldville at that point to a parliamentary solution.
We picked up SYG’s remarks re new government and said that US was prepared to encourage Kasavubu to appoint new caretaker government which he would say he would soon submit to parliamentary approval and which we hoped could bring some order out of present chaotic legal and practical situation.
SYG immediately responded that this would be most helpful particularly if we could put some “fire” into Kasavubu, so long as we could do it “delicately” and not “visibly” and so long as we “put nothing in his pocket”. SYG said again he thought Ileo, now that he [Page 559] had reappeared on the scene, was best bet as PM. He believes Ileo and Bomboko are both intelligent but latter lacks stability. He felt Mobutu might remain as Army Chief-of-Staff under Ileo. He said it would be highly desirable that he be promptly informed of our approach to Kasavubu if we decide to make it but he did not pick up our suggestion that he then give Dayal appropriate instructions to cooperate. Barco came back to issue several times in order to make sure situation was clear. Result was (1) SYG agrees that US should approach Kasavubu as long as we “keep our skirts from showing”; (2) he feels step to be taken is to refurbish Ileo government, bring it into active governmental activity; (3) he “apparently” had no objections to Mobutu being in government, although he wants Gen Kettani (Morocco) to assume de facto control of Congolese army; (4) steps must be taken toward “constitutionality” of new government, especially plans present it to Parliament must be announced; (5) meeting of Parliament must be “full” and under UN protection; (6) UN will cooperate with new active government (without commitment as to quite how); (7) he wants us to keep him informed of what we are doing; (8) he did not say Lumumba had to be in government (although he earlier expressed opinion solution could not be found without taking him into account). In addition main conversation on Congo with SYG, following issues arose:
- SYG informed us that Guinea, India and others have submitted new draft res on effort seat rep of central government. What interested him most was that new res calls on SYG to use his best efforts to bring about speedy and secure meeting of full Parliament.6 He expected Sovs would not be pleased by his role under this res and he also was cheered by apparent realization reflected in res that two above conditions for Parliament meeting set down by UN must be met. He said Caba Sory7 (Guinea) had previously strongly opposed meeting of Parliament as a trap.
- SYG reported 15 member ASAF conciliation group was now in formation8 which, because majority of Africans do not favor Lumumba, was preferable to smaller advisory comite in which majority favored Lumumba. He thought he had forestalled group’s departure to Congo by suggesting they obtain clear instructions on terms of reference from their governments on which they could all agree before [Page 560] they departed. He doubted group could ever agree on anything. He noted helpful presence in group of Nigeria and Senegal and agreed with us it would be helpful have others included such as Togo which is not now member.
- SYG informed us he had requested Dayal submit status report by 1 November and stated his intention to discuss this report privately with certain members including USSR and US.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/10–2960. Secret; Niact; Limited Distribution. Repeated niact to Léopoldville.↩
- Document 250.↩
- Dated October 27, telegram 772 advised against expressing an opinion to the Secretary-General on the legality of the College of Commissioners and reiterated the Department’s support for a caretaker government under Bomboko or someone else who could restore order. (Department of State, Central Files, 325.70G/10–2660)↩
- UAR Foreign Minister Mahmoud Fawzi was heading the UAR Delegation to the General Assembly.↩
- Dated October 27; for text, see U.N. doc. S/4557, Part B.↩
- See footnote 6, Document 244.↩
- The joint draft resolution submitted on October 28 (U.N. doc. A/L.319/Rev.2) was a revision of a Guinean draft resolution of October 10 (U.N. doc. A/L.319). Both called for the immediate seating of representatives of the Lumumba government, pending the report of the General Assembly Credentials Committee.↩
- Guinea’s Representative at the United Nations.↩
- On November 5, the U.N. Advisory Committee on the Congo established a 15-member Conciliation Commission for the Congo, which was to study the situation and make efforts, without interfering in the Congo’s internal affairs, toward Congolese attainment of solutions to maintain and strengthen the country’s unity, territorial integrity, and political independence, and especially to promote the speedy restoration of parliamentary institutions. The Advisory Committee’s report of November 24 is U.N. doc. A/4592.↩