104. Telegram From the Embassy in the Congo to the Department of State1

577. Asked to see Linner again today and he came to Embassy at his request for 45 minute conversation. Alluded to statements to Yost by SYG (USUN 639 to Department repeated Léopoldville 63)2 on decisive importance of coming week for Katanga situation. Said I hoped therefore maintain closest contact with Linner. He then reviewed relatively short report he had from SYG relating to conversations not only with Yost but also British, Tunisian and other representatives New York during which SYG set forth four alternative courses of action re Katanga.

Tshombe on his own adopts conciliatory attitude overcome Munongo opposition and enters into substantive discussions with Adoula for Katanga’s incorporation in Congo Government on some basis which would be established during negotiation of national constitution.
Drastic UN measures continuing pressure on Tshombe including possibly arrest Munongo and other extremists. This contrary general UN preferences and peaceful intentions and only being considered due unacceptable alternatives three and four below.
Central Governments bows to nationalists here and undertakes military operations against Katanga.
Conservative elements Léopoldville when faced with alternative three back down and country continues in its present divided state but with Katangese separatism reinforced by its successful resistance against UN pressure.

Foregoing further complicated by fact Linner has hard evidence that ANC preparing military invasion of Katanga from north and has set date for initiation operations within week or ten days hence. Linner not aware details but believes Stanleyville troops might be involved and that once undertaken could conceivably be prelude to increased military stature of Gizengists. (Embassy and Attaches have no evidence of any concrete ANC preparation or movements; ARMA however reports Bobozo, Commandant Thysville, advocating “invasion”, [less than 1 line of source text not declassified] also reports Mobutu cryptically alluded to “orders” received to plan for action. (Embassy unaware how logistic and geographical obstacles would be surmounted.)

In preparation for alternative two [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified] Indian Battalion now Léopoldville will be moved Stanleyville [Elisabethville] next few days.

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Execution second alternative which would include again seizing radio station depends on clear indication position of GOC and SYG’s approval once GOC position given UN here.

Khiari departing Brussels tonight.3 May touch upon foregoing with Spaak but Linner was vague on degree to which Khiari would take Spaak into UN confidence.

Since my arrival here have been groping for possible action we might take in effort assist solution Katangese problem. My thoughts had included inspecting Consulate Elisabethville and possibility frank talk with Tshombe which would probably require UN notification and clearance Adoula. After some discussion with Linner, I have for now discarded idea lest some people endeavor tie in trip with eventual drastic UN action. Any US association with severe measures Katanga would be most unfortunate and could seriously jeopardize chance of success. Also mentioned to Linner possibility Adoula sending through Congolese channels fraternal message to Tshombe and invitation him come Léopoldville. Linner admitted this had considerable appeal and would mention it to Adoula. Repeated to Linner Yost’s arguments re conserving assets solution including Tshombe might have. [sic] Linner in general agreement this approach and we believe shaping policies accordingly.

Linner who seems worthy of very considerable trust and respect fully appreciates dangers involved in drastic action but appears resolved to proceed for he is obviously concerned re possibility of civil war and chaos if some solution Katangese problem not arrived at.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/9–861. Top Secret; Eyes Only.
  2. Document 103.
  3. Gullion reported in telegram 578, September 8, that Linner, instead of Khiari, was going to Brussels. (Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/9–861)