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

5067 (In 46957). Ref Leop 4942 (In 35772).2

1. [cryptonym not declassified] have made considerable headway over the past 6 months in extending and strengthening their influence. The political control of MNC/L extremists has been broken in Orientale (the last of the extremist office holders of the Gizenga regime is under house arrest), the Kalonji Autonomous Regime of the South Kasai has been smashed and extremist and separatist movements in other parts of the Kasai and Kivu have been weakened if not fully eliminated. Despite these plus factors, the Congo is again heading into a serious political crisis, a crisis which stems largely from the failure of the UN to implement its much publicized reconciliation plan. It has been nearly 8 weeks since Tshombe accepted the plan (with qualifications) but it has yet to be implemented. Opposition elements within parliament are exploiting this apparent failure of UN plan and blaming [cryptonym not declassified] for failure take decisive action resolve Katanga problem.

2. [cryptonym not declassified] running scared and fear opposition will be able muster sufficient votes in the chamber to bring govt down or prevent it from implementing its program. [Identity 1], [Mobutu], [Identity 2], and [Identity 3], recently contacted [COS] and presented following views: pointing out serious danger to [cryptonym not declassified] if Katanga crisis not resolved soonest, they expressed surprise that ODYOKE has failed act more decisively to support group which friendly to PBPRIME interests and opposed by group composed persons which either under Bloc influence or in opposition for opportunistic reasons. They insisted ODYOKE should provide positive support now, rather than risk govt fall and replacement by unfriendly elements. Comparing Congo to Cuba, they noted that help now could avoid much greater problem in future, insisting any replacement govt would be far to left current govt and almost certainly unfriendly to ODYOKE.

3. Specifically they urged ODYOKE provide GOC with at least five jet fighters (together with mercenary pilots), several transport aircraft, [Page 175] trucks and other equipment recommended Greene plan3 and large sums for political propaganda and action. [Identity 1] suggested that if [Identity 4] could give the president of each (or most) of the new provinces [monetary amount not declassified] this would go far to build support for GOC, as provincial leaders would get funds only if parliamentarians from their area agreed cooperate with GOC. Also asked for funds bribe parliamentary leaders, provide gifts for disaffected army leaders ([name not declassified] and [name not declassified]), traditional chiefs, etc.

4. Although basis July confidence vote, [cryptonym not declassified] might be able squeak through this political crisis, this by no means sure. Final outcome will depend upon extent parliamentary disaffection as result failure resolve Katanga crisis, funds available to opposition for bribery, military developments if any in north Katanga, degree to which Congolese accept or reject Soviet propaganda efforts (offers planes, arms and funds) and many other imponderables. Per ref, Station regards immediate political problem which will arise with opening parliament on 5 Nov as critical. Even if [cryptonym not declassified] squeak through at that time, continued failure settle Katanga bound have unfavorable effect. Thus, Leop considers that ODYOKE nearing end line on its present Congo policy and favors strong and immediate action to try reverse present unfavorable current. Leop not prepared take risk that [cryptonym not declassified] will muddle through without our aid and assumes HQS not willing take such risk. Submit that cost providing planes, arms and political action funds now could be small compared to costs if we wait until GOC falls into unfriendly hands. [Omitted here is further discussion of the proposal.]

5. Above message read in clear text draft and approved by [cryptonym not declassified].

End of message.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 12, [cryptonym not declassified] Operations. Secret; Rybat; [cryptonym not declassified]; Priority. Received at 1921Z.
  2. Not found.
  3. A Special Military Advisory Team headed by Colonel M.J.L. Greene of the Department of Defense’s Office of International Security Affairs visited the Congo June 7–July 12, 1962. On July 23, the team submitted a report recommending a broad program for modernization and training of the Congolese armed forces under a U.N. umbrella. See footnote 5 to Document 268 and footnotes 2 and 3 to Document 318, in Foreign Relations, 1961–1963, volume XX, Congo Crisis.