107. Telegram From the Station in the Congo to the Central Intelligence Agency1

3003 (In 16905).

1. [Identity 1], called at [COS] home shortly before midnight 22 Jan.2 After discussing Gizenga problem he said that although political pendulum currently swinging in favor of the moderates, the great number of unemployed and hungry people throughout the Congo pose a serious problem for the GOC. He suggested it would take little to spark a revolt by these people which could result in [Identity 2] ouster and Gizenga or some other extremist coming to power. Said he had discussed this problem with [Identity 2] and that the latter planned to advise chief ODYOKE of his need for immediate and substantial economic assistance. According to [Identity 1], [Identity 2] said ODYOKE must revise its tactics and stop providing economic aid by “eye dropper” methods. [Identity 1] insisted immediate major economic aid from ODYOKE is essential if the Congo is not to fall under control of extremists and anti-Western political leaders.

2. Although [COS] did not have detailed statistics available, he pointed out ODYOKE has provided large amounts of economic aid and that additional funds are in the pipeline. [Identity 1] seemed to know nothing of this and assumed [COS] was referring to funds budgeted for UNOC use. He commented that according to Bantu custom when one sees a friend in distress he immediately offers aid and does not wait to be asked for help. He said if the situation became more difficult the USSR might take advantage and offer to provide the Congo with large sums of economic aid. He added that Soviet Chargé Podgornov recently told [Identity 2] funds which the USSR normally would have contributed to the UN to pay its share of UNOC are now held in Moscow and that the USSR is prepared to turn these funds over to the GOC.3 [Identity 1] noted that, if made public, it would be difficult for [Identity 2] to refuse such an offer in view of economic suffering in the Congo.

3. [COS] again insisted upon the magnitude of ODYOKE economic aid to the Congo and to UNOC. He reminded [Identity 1] that, should [Page 147] the Congo try play off the USSR and PBPRIME, it could easily kill the golden egg laying goose. He further reminded [Identity 1] that, if ODYOKE ever withdrew its aid from the Congo and/or, UNOC, the GOC would find itself dependent upon and thus under the control of the USSR.

4. In discussing ODYOKE aid to the Congo [COS] reminded [Identity 1] that considerable funds already are on hand and that it is up to the GOC and UNOC to develop and implement plans to launch effective public works projects. [Identity 1] by his reply indicated his lack of confidence in effective action by UNOC and asked why ODYOKE refuses to provide aid directly to the GOC. [COS] offered the usual explanation and expressed the belief that [Identity 2] would not wish to receive aid which did not pass through UN channels. [Identity 1] disagreed, stating he believes [Identity 2] would prefer direct aid in matters relating to the internal economy of the Congo. He concluded the meeting by making an impassioned plea for ODYOKE aid to permit the GOC to resolve its grave economic and unemployment problems.

5. [COS] again saw [Identity 1] late 23 Jan. He provided [Identity 1] with a detailed statement concerning ODYOKE aid which ODYOKE has given or will provide during FY 62. [Identity 1] was surprised by the sums involved and stated he would write memo to [Identity 2] on the subject.

6. [COS] again questioned [Identity 1] relative to the latter’s belief that [Identity 2] wants direct ODYOKE aid, rather than aid through UNOC channels. [Identity 1] admitted [Identity 2] had never actually made such a statement but said he had interpreted [Identity 2] comments in this light. [Identity 1] expressed the view that, if all aid must be passed through UNOC channels, the Congo has lost its sovereign status and should be considered a UNOC protectorate. Referring to the original UN mandate to preserve peace and order, [Identity 1] said he understands all efforts in this direction must be channelled through UNOC. However as a sovereign state, he believes Congo should be able to deal with any nation on matters relating directly to its economy or other internal problems. (Note: This view is shared by [Mobutu] who is disenchanted with UNOC because of among other things, UNOC’s failure to take positive steps to reorganize the CNA. [Mobutu] has become extremely bitter and is convinced the Congo must look elsewhere for aid and guidance if the army is ever to be brought in hand.) Referring to UNOC’s failure to develop and implement an adequate public works program and its failure to do any thing to resolve the problem of the CNA, the problem which first brought UNOC to the Congo, [Identity 1] urged [COS] to bring immediately to the attention of ODYOKE the dire need of the Congo for financial aid, as well as guidance in other fields. He concluded by expressing the view that [Page 148] UNOC efforts and actions are often in direct contradiction to ODYOKE policy and to the best interests of the Congolese people. He further stated that if ODYOKE continued to place all its Congo bets on UNOC it might well wake up to find this policy had undermined GOC elements favorable to the West and resulted in failure, insofar as ODYOKE objectives are concerned.

7. [COS] showed above message in memo form to [Ambassador Gullion] 24 Jan. Latter was annoyed by content and took position he wished use memo to rub noses [cryptonym not declassified] and [cryptonym not declassified] reps in fact that ODYOKE aid not receiving adequate publicity.

8. Although recognize ODYOKE can never satisfactorily resolve Congo problem Leop interpretation [Identity 1] statements quite different than that of [Gullion]. Believe as previously reported Leop 2501 (In 28695)4 that UNOC failure launch adequate public works program to at least partially resolve disasterous unemployment situation involves great hazards for ODYOKE Congo policy. In short, Leop does not believe UNOC is doing adequate job on either military or economic front. With Linner, General Maceoin and other senior UNOC officers scheduled leave Congo near future, UNOC High Command appears be taking even more relaxed attitude than usual. While may be in Cassandra-like mood, cannot help being concerned by ODYOKE failure take all possible steps avoid failure in Congo. Thus Station taking liberty forwarding above message on eyes only basis for [Bissell] and [Tweedy] in hope that concern expressed by [Identity 1] may be brought to the attention of appropriate ODYOKE authorities. For obvious reasons Leop not advising [Gullion] it transmitting this message.5

End of message.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 9, [cryptonym not declassified] Operations. Secret; Rybat; [cryptonym not declassified]; Routine. Eyes only Bissell and Tweedy from COS. Received at 2054Z.
  2. A handwritten notation on the original reads: “[Identity 1] certainly now deeply involved Congo politics involving USA thanks to tie with [COS].”
  3. A handwritten notation on the original reads: “Cynical typical USSR line.”
  4. Document 101.
  5. In CIA telegram 38458 to Leopoldville, January 30, Tweedy advised the Chief of Station that assessment of the request needed to be ironed out locally if at all possible with Ambassador Gullion, since this involved a policy decision in which the Agency could play only a minor role. Whether U.S. aid should be greatly increased would presumably be the product of the Ambassador’s recommendation, to which Devlin could contribute, and a U.S. Government policy decision. (Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 9, [cryptonym not declassified] Operations)