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

0905 (In 49679). Ref: Leop 09042 [less than 1 line not declassified].

1. [1 line not declassified] Latter reported following:

A. Ileo missing. Has not returned his home since just after Kasavubu speech night 5 September. [1 line not declassified] asking if knew whereabouts Ileo. In reply query, said he doubts Ileo in hands Lumumba.

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B. [3 lines not declassified] Mobutu showed him written order from Lumumba ordering him have army ready carry out any Lumumba order. Mobutu said he refused obey and told Lumumba army would not become involved political problems. Said it up Lumumba and opposition settle problem politically, that army would not intervene. (Note: U.N. says troops Camp Leopoldville Two disarmed, all arms and ammo under lock. However [COS] has seen 50 to 100 armed troops Leop. Many roadblocks since youth demonstration.

C. Expects Tshombe publicly support Kasavubu move.

D. Firmly convinced Kasavubu legal right replace Lumumba government without submitting decision to confidence vote parliament.

E. Concerned by premature move Kasavubu [3 lines not declassified].

F. [less than 1 line not declassified] said nine ministers Lumumba government resigned 5 and 6 September. Did not give names as left hurriedly when convoy armed police passed meeting place.

2. Suggested [Identity 1] do following:

A. [less than 1 line not declassified] try get operation back on tracks.

B. [less than 1 line not declassified] telegrams all African states and members Security Council justifying Lumumba ouster. [less than 1 line not declassified] press conference to try get support world opinion.

C. Get [less than 1 line not declassified] leaders on radio soonest to present opposition to people. As Congo Radio now off air, suggested try get statements out Radio Braz.

D. Get old government out of office. [Identity 1] said will be done soon as Ileo government installed office by President. [less than 1 line not declassified] To COS comment that Lumumba in opposition is almost as dangerous as in office, [Identity 1] indicated understood and implied might physically eliminate Lumumba.

E. Be prepared influence votes parliament.

F. COS offered assist [Identity 1] in preparation new government program.3 Also said he sure ODYOKE prepared help with technicians as needed.

3. [4 lines not declassified] If opposition fails its efforts, believe ODYOKE and U.N. position Congo undetermined and Lumumba will [Page 28] have dictatorial power. Also bloc would strongly influence control such government. Ambassador shares this view. Thus Station going all out this crisis. Forced take calculated risks would not normally take in effort pull hat out of fire.4

End of message.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, [cryptonym not declassified]; Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 3, [cryptonym not declassified] Ops. Secret; Rybat; [cryptonym not declassified]; Priority. Received at 2231Z.
  2. According to Foreign Minister Bomboko, Kasavubu planned to arrest Lumumba on 6 or 7 September. [Footnote in the original.] This CIA telegram has not been found.
  3. In a 1967 Agency debriefing, the Chief of Station in September 1960 recalled [text not declassified] that he had drawn up a “three-page plan, step-by-step-by-step, as to what should be done and when, right from the time of buying the first senator, etc.” All the propaganda was prepared as well as guards to be placed around the radio station and airport. The Chief of Station said he believed he had thought of everything, but Kasavubu had moved the schedule up by two days and just fired Lumumba without waiting for the vote. (16 August 1967 and 20 September 1967 Debriefing: Chief of Station, Leopoldville, 1960–1963; Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 82–00450R, Box 7, Folder 1, DDO/AF, AF/DIV Historical Files)
  4. In CIA telegram 49672 the CIA also said that it agreed with the conclusions of this paragraph and particularly with the Station’s attitude as indicated in the last two sentences.