30. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Congo1
1845. Although main focus U.S. diplomatic activity re Congo remains centered on UN, Department believes certain objectives must be sought in Léopoldville if there is any chance avoiding major crisis in wake Lumumba’s death. While Department fully realizes following steps which GOC might take will be repugnant to them, you should make effort impress upon them their responsibility make some effort alleviate present situation. Steps we have in mind which Kasavubu and Ileo should take immediately are:
- Regret death Lumumba and to extent they properly can disavow his murder. We realize this may be extremely difficult since Lumumba was turned over to Tshombe by central authorities. If this cannot be done, GOC should at least not let itself be put in position of supporting or even condoning political assassination.
- Mend their fences with ONUC. This, too, will not be easy, given long bill of complaints against Dayal. But Dayal will not be there forever and future prospects Congo seem to require putting aside past differences and working as closely as possible with UN.
- Broadly-based government. Ileo cabinet consists almost entirely representatives Equateur and Léopoldville provinces. It is extremely difficult for US to take position in UN or elsewhere that such a government represents Congolese people as a whole. Prior death Lumumba we were taking position this was welcome first step but present situation seems to require more.
We gather from your messages that Points 2 and 3 are in fact under way but it might be useful if you could tell GOC you have specific instructions on these particular matters. In making approach you should stress our conviction Congolese leaders must face up to fact situation has reached point where personal, tribal and regional allegiances must be put aside if there is to be any hope for future.
- Source: Department of State, Central Files, 770G.00/2–1561. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Ferguson, cleared by Wallner, and approved by Penfield. Repeated to USUN, Brussels, and Elisabethville.↩