170. Paper Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1


  • Covert Action in the Congo2

1. Summary: On 22 November 1961, the Special Group authorized [dollar amount not declassified] for covert actions in the Congo in support of Prime Minister Cyrille Adoula’s moderate government. On 23 April 1963, the Special Group authorized [dollar amount not declassified] for the continuation of this program. To date covert support of Adoula’s government has cost a total of [dollar amount not declassified].

2. Problems and Progress: Timely application of covert funds has been instrumental in maintaining in power the Adoula government for the past three years. Efforts to organize a moderate national party, however, have been somewhat less successful, and no such party has materialized to date.

The Congolese National Army, currently a potential force for stability in the Congo, will assume even broader significance with the withdrawal of UN forces from the Congo on 30 June 1964. Accordingly, it is planned to increase covert aid to CNA Commander-in-Chief Mobutu. Such aid in the past has helped to retain the loyalty of CNA officers to the Adoula government and to discourage opposition efforts to penetrate the army.

The public relations mechanism established in November 1961 has been providing public relations guidance to Prime Minister Adoula and has been successful both domestically and outside the Congo (L).

3. Coordination: All major steps in the covert action program for the Congo have been closely coordinated with the Department of State and [Page 243] the U.S. Ambassador to the Congo. The Ambassador to the Congo, G.M. Godley, favors continuation of this program.

4. Conclusions: The organization of a national political party has failed to materialize, and a review of the party program and possible alternatives currently is in progress. A generally agreed upon alternative is the creation of a united-front coalition of regional political groups and leaders, rather than the originally-envisioned single, national party.

The moderate, pro-Western Congo regime will continue to require major covert political support for the foreseeable future. The anticipated commitment is estimated at [dollar amount not declassified]. Should the postponed national elections be held in FY 1965, an additional [dollar amount not declassified] would be required for an election campaign.3

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 82–00450R, DDO/AF, AF/DIV Historical Files, 40 Committee, Congo (K), 1960–1964. Secret; Eyes Only. A handwritten note reads: “18 May 1964.” No drafting information appears on the paper.
  2. This paper is a precis of an attached May 18 memorandum presenting a progress and status report to the Special Group entitled “Covert Action in the Congo.”
  3. The minutes of the May 21 Special Group meeting recorded that the Group noted the paper, and that “Mr. Hughes indicated that Governor Harriman maintained serious concern over the situation in the Congo with particular emphasis on Prime Minister Adoula’s failure to establish any real political organization and General Mobutu’s equal lack of success in molding a military force of any reliability. Mr. Fields indicated that no new action other than that already approved was being initiated at this time until the effects of the UN222 withdrawal, the adoption of a constitution, and probable national elections are discernible. Mr. McCone indicated that he and Mr. Fields would see Governor Harriman on the Congo problem in the near future.” (National Security Council, Intelligence Files, 303 Committee Files, Minutes—1964)