189. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Congo1

1270. Embtel 1817.2 Various possibilities regarding future of Gizenga, and political repercussions in Congo and abroad of GOC action and attitudes toward him have been given high level consideration last few days. [1-1/2 lines of source text not declassified]

In separate message instructions are being sent with a view encouraging Tshombe show a little forward motion at this time toward reintegration of Katanga.3

Dept urgently requires your assessment of what are most likely developments in this very fluid situation. [2 lines of source text not declassified] Possibility exists he [Gizenga] may remain in Stanleyville with much reduced influence. This would be hard to explain abroad as impression [Page 361] exists he now in Adoula’s grasp. Lundula might frighten him into leaving or take action drag him to Léopoldville.

Dept concerned about possibility that, regardless of conditions under which he returns, anti-Gizenga fire may quickly die down and in glow of reconciliation he be accepted back in the fold. Another possibility is that Gizenga may flee, perhaps to Cairo, thus putting an end to his political influence in the Congo. Please comment.4

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/1–1562. Secret; Niact; [distribution indicator not declassified]. Drafted by Whitehouse and Carlucci, cleared by Williams and by Deputy Director for Coordination in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research Joseph W. Scott and in substance by Wallner, and approved by Rusk.
  2. Telegram 1817 from Léopoldville, January 15, reported that Gizenga was under guard by U.N. forces and that Adoula had informed the Embassy that an order for his arrest would be issued that day. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 513 to Elisabethville, January 16, instructed Hoffacker that if Gullion concurred, he should approach Tshombe and point out that he could improve his political position by coming forward with proposals for meaningful steps toward Katanga’s economic integration. (Ibid., 770G.00/1–1662) Telegram 1869 from Léopoldville, January 19, recommended delay because Tshombe had disappeared from Elisabethville. (Ibid., 770G.00/1–1962) Telegram 1046 from Elisabethville, January 24, reported that Hoffacker had called on Tshombe that day, discussed his recent trip to Léopoldville, and suggested a conciliatory gesture. (Ibid., 770G.00/1–2462)
  4. Gullion commented in telegram 1848, January 18, that he did not believe Gizenga would be “brought back into fold” or that there would be any reconciliation between him and Adoula. He noted that the charge of armed rebellion could now be brought against Gizenga, and he commented that Gizenga’s disgrace seemed to have weakened the Lumumbists more than he had anticipated. (Ibid., 770G.00/1–1862) On January 15, Gizenga was censured by Parliament by an overwhelming vote and placed under arrest in Stanleyville.