253. Telegram From the Embassy in the Congo to the Department of State 0
Léopoldville, November 1, 1960, 2 p.m.
1078. Re Deptel 1246.1
- Mobutu, as previously reported, is impulsive, naive, but apparently honest and for the moment at least in place as leading figure in Army. Probability of friction between him, Kasavubu and future Prime Minister cannot be ruled out but in circumstances believe risk must be taken. See no unsurmountable difficulty in harmonizing our and SYG’s view.
- Do not consider Ileo best Prime Minister as he lacks necessary drive and flair. Believe Adoula,2 now in New York City, best possibility, though he lacks broad political support. Bolikongo also able but bears pro-Belgian tag and considered weak by many.
- Mobutu, despite his weaknesses, should be member inner council new government with primary responsibility for Army and stability. To accomplish this he will have to be persuaded to take less public role and agree to coordination on basic policy in which he will play part.
- Getting full Parliament assembled will depend on Tshombe and as I read Elisabethville’s telegrams he seems further away than ever. Believe it would require strong pressure from a number of sources, including Kasavubu to persuade him to participate. It will require great deal planning and should not be encouraged before end December unless a sure majority is on deck. (This also Mobutu’s own position.)
- Dayal is violently anti-Mobutu; has no respect for him. However, believe Dayal basically wants Parliament-supported government with which he can deal.
- Lumumba is central problem. He would have to be allowed to participate in session of Parliament as deputy. There is always danger that no matter how firm opposition lineup Lumumba oratory plus threats can turn it into victory for himself. (MNC and PSA goon squads remain active threat to all who disagree.)
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/11–160. Secret; Priority; Limit Distribution.↩
- Dated October 31, telegram 1246 stated that the Department’s current objective was to obtain a de facto government in the Congo with which the United Nations could cooperate, with Parliamentary approval as soon as possible, and it requested the Embassy’s comment on Hammarskjöld’s eight points reported in Document 251. (Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/10–3160)↩
- Cyrille Adoula, a member of the Congo Senate and a member of the delegation sent to the United Nations by Kasavubu’s government.↩