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

3705 (In 23506). Ref A Leop 3690 (In 22606);2 B Leop 3687 (In 22493).3

1. Per Refs A and B believe current political situation requires contingency planning. Although do not consider it probable govt will fall or army revolt, this remains real possibility. Much depends upon how [Identity 1] handles himself on his return Leop.

2. Leop and [Embassy] encouraging GOC take line that events of 18 April were misunderstanding.4 Suggesting [Identity 1] state GOC not informed in time of Tshombe (T) departure and that govt leaders Leop misunderstood his instructions. Suggesting he say he did not mean keep T Leop by force but merely do everything possible encourage him remain in order continue talks as soon as possible. Also recommending GOC blame UNOC for failure properly advise GOC of T plans depart. This to be done in such way as not bring great discredit on UNOC. UN also supporting this and has sent GOC message regretting UNOC failure properly coordinate departure with GOC. ([Gullion] fears Gardiner may try upset this ploy.) Finally recommending [Identity 1] take position he regrets incidents and state he looking forward return T and continuation talks.

3. GOC leaders questioned by parliament 20 April on T departure. [Identity 2] and [cryptonym not declassified] said 20 April that unpopular GOC members, particularly Bolikango, appeared be taking rap and only limited criticism levelled at [Identity 1]. [Identity 2] had sold approach [Page 157] outlined para 2 above to GOC members who used it in parliament. However, full reaction to T departure has not yet set in and [Identity 1] still not completely out of woods.

4. During morning session 20 April, censure motion voted against Finance Minister Arthur Pinzi. Justice Minister Remy Mwamba appears be next on list. [cryptonym not declassified] said he believes [Identity 2] probably will face censure motion and may well fall. However, [Identity 2] says he not aware such possibility. (See [less than 1 line not declassified] and [less than 1 line not declassified]5 for reports predicting parliamentary efforts oust specific ministers. Although [Identity 2] name not previously on list ministers to go, he has many enemies as result fact he long in office and has stepped on many political toes. Also per Leop 3644 (In 20526)6 possibility [Identity 1] may wish get rid of [Identity 2] cannot be discounted despite fact [Identity 2] claims he did not sign tech assistance pact with GOB.) View foregoing, appears parliament has bit in mouth and possibility attempt overthrow govt cannot be eliminated.

5. Leop would appreciate HQS guidance re line to take if one of combination of following possible developments occur:

A. Possibility [Identity 1] may have to put down parliamentary rebellion. (This could involve payments to parliamentarians, revision of govt, concessions of all sorts to opposition leaders, etc.)

B. Possibility opposition may submit censure vote against [Identity 1]. (In such case [cryptonym not declassified] would require large financial support in order buy sufficient votes try guarantee majority support for [Identity 1].)

C. Possibility govt may fall and relative moderate (portion garbled-being serviced) man who not known be member Leop or Stan groups will emerge as candidate for premiership.

D. [Identity 1] fall and extremist such as [cryptonym not declassified] or one of their followers selected form new govt.

E. Possibility [Identity 1] may require CNA support remain in office. (For example, [Identity 1] might be forced establish military regime, sending parliament home or making it a rubber stamp.)

F. Possibility CNA revolt.

6. Neither Station nor [Embassy] happy with [Identity 1]. He started well but has bungled badly lately. Also Leop has for some time toyed with view outlined para 3, Dir 04749 (Out 73718)7 or variations [Page 158] thereof. (Additional comments this subject being forwarded separate cable.) [Identity 1] was never Station’s favorite candidate but view alternatives we were forced back him. Unfortunately, this continues be the case. Few if any moderates could obtain sufficient votes replace him. Thus, alternatives probably would be selection of extremist with consequent danger of CNA coup per para 11 or parliament would not be able select successor. This would create power vacuum and open way to “adventures.”

7. [Gullion] concurs in foregoing but cites Embtel 26218 and Deptel 18019 which examine [Identity 1] motives, the reasons for which he may go sour, and to what extent sterility ODYOKE and UN policy as he sees it may be responsible. [Gullion] believes station must be prepared provide [Identity 1] with additional financial aid, [less than 1 line not declassified].

[Omitted here is further discussion of contingency planning.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 10, [cryptonym not declassified] Operations. Secret; Rybat; [cryptonym not declassified]; Operational Immediate. Tweedy from COS. Received at 1708Z. Gullion requested that this message or a summary thereof be sent to Assistant Secretary Williams so he would get the flavor of the local situation before arriving in Leopoldville.
  2. Reported on political unrest in the Congo. [Footnote in the original.] Telegram 3690 from Leopoldville to CIA, April 19, reported that the political situation in the Congo following Tshombe’s departure remained highly unstable, and that the Station considered that there was a very real possibility that the government might fall. (Ibid.)
  3. Political crisis resulting from Tshombe departure extremely grave. [Footnote in the original.] In telegram 3687 from Leopoldville to CIA, April 19, Devlin asked Tweedy for policy guidance in the event that Adoula seemed about to fall. (Ibid.)
  4. On April 18, Congolese forces at the airport prevented the departure of a U.N. plane bound for Elizabethville with Tshombe aboard. Ambassador Gullion and U.N. officials attempted to persuade Congolese officials to adhere to previous Congolese assurances that there would be no interference with Tshombe’s freedom of movement if he came to Leopoldville for talks. Late that evening, Tshombe was permitted to fly to Elizabethville.
  5. Neither found.
  6. See footnote 2 to Document 113.
  7. Possible that Adoula sees some merit in Soviet argumentation. [Footnote in the original.] This telegram is printed as Document 113.
  8. Not found.
  9. Document 220 in Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, volume XX, Congo Crisis, pp. 421–423.