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

1685. Deptel 1765.2Spent hour with Kasavubu and Bomboko together this afternoon to present position outlined reference telegram and to obtain their reactions. As presaged in their public statements of past few days, they indicated strong opposition to any extension UNOC mandate in area public order and control of ANC. Apparent from their arguments they had three points uppermost in mind:

GOC has lost faith in UN and is unwilling see UNOC obtain additional powers which they feel would be used to disadvantage Léopoldville Government. Kasavubu and Bomboko continue to blame UNOC under Dayal for deterioration Congo situation and reiterate [Page 56] their view that new man rather than new mandate is prime requisite for effective GOC–UN cooperation;
GOC would view extension UN mandate to include full responsibility for maintenance law and order as infringement on Congolese sovereignty and prelude to UN trusteeship. They consider such restriction intolerable and re-stress their belief that need is for more effective UN assistance to enable Congolese to discharge responsibilities themselves;
On more immediate political plane, Kasavubu and Bomboko feel that they are gaining upper hand and any development which would undermine their direct control over ANC would prevent them from seizing what they believe to be imminent victory in Orientale and Kivu. Bomboko in fact stated that he would deliver either Gizenga or Kashamura as prisoner in Léopoldville within ten days, and supported contention with claim that Fifth Battalion at Stanleyville plus majority of troops at Rumangabu and Goma in Kivu have sent messages expressing loyalty to Léopoldville authorities. In this situation, Kasavubu and Bomboko are convinced that UN, given broader powers, would prevent them from effecting arrest Gizenga and Kashamura which they feel is essential step in consolidating their control. They cited in this connection fear that these demagogues would stir popular uprisings if left free to pursue political activities under shield of UN protection. (Bomboko delivered ten minute lecture on dangers of Communism pointing out that historically those who compromised with it were eventually devoured.)

Only point in reference telegram which brought favorable comment was reiteration US view on desirability immediate installation Ileo government. Kasavubu said negotiations actually under way looking toward prompt formation at least “provisional” government which could be installed immediately. Kasavubu said he favored retention most capable Commissioners General either as Ministers or in most cases as Secretaries of State, but their future position not yet decided. Bomboko commented that installation such government would probably complicate situation rather than clarify it since most Ministers would be incapable effectively discharging their duties, but nevertheless accepted US view (also urged by France and UK) favoring such a step.

Comment: Kasavubu and Bomboko were both relatively moderate in presenting their views but were unshakeable in their arguments against broadening UN mandate. Seems clear Kasavubu will be unwilling consent to any such program so long as he feels time is on his side in political and military developments and so long as he totally lacks confidence in UN ability to maintain neutral posture. Since it is difficult to envisage attempt to implement program outlined reference telegram [Page 57] with Kasavubu opposed, it may first be necessary to win his confidence through medium of new UNOC leadership before effective steps can be taken toward expanded UN role in Congo. If such climate of confidence created, it may in fact be possible to achieve much of desired effect through more vigorous UN action under present resolutions (as suggested Deptel 1764)3 without need for new mandate.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/2–661. Secret; Niact. Received at 1:32 p.m. and repeated to Brussels, Paris, USUN, and London.
  2. See footnote 1, Document 19. It was delayed in transmission; telegram 1681 from Léopoldville, February 4, reported that the Embassy had only that day begun to receive a series of telegrams on the new Congo approach and had not yet received instructions to see Kasavubu. (Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/2–461)
  3. Sent to Brussels as telegram 1440; see footnote 1, Document 19. It stated that in case of a Soviet veto of the projected U.N. resolution, one possibility would be to seek a consensus that would enable Hammarskj old to interpret the existing resolutions in such a way as to permit a more vigorous U.N. operation. (Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/ 2–261)