194. Telegram From the Station in the Congo to the Central Intelligence Agency1
2224 (In 42515). 1. Following is effort sum up [former COS] and [COS] contacts over past week, to provide some comments on the current situation and to submit some op suggestions for HQS consideration during [COS] TDY. Comments concerning reasons behind [cryptonym not declassified] request for [former COS] presence follow by separate cable.2
2. [cryptonym not declassified] and other moderates greatly concerned by chaotic situation which prevails Congo. Beginning Nov 62 [cryptonym not declassified] began voicing fear [Identity 1] lack leadership qualities and tendency seek compromise in all political situations would lead to failure [cryptonym not declassified] effort establish moderate GOC. This situation apparently continued for long period and [Identity 2] April 64 PBPRIME trip represented effort by [cryptonym not [Page 275] declassified] to obtain ODYOKE guidance and help in finding alternate solution.
3. [Identity 2] effort win presidency RADECO, thus eliminating [Identity 1] control over party, appears represent uncoordinated step by [Identity 2] and [Identity 3] to avoid chaotic political situation and failure [cryptonym not declassified] objectives (which they believed would result from [Identity 1] election as party chief). It impossible determine exactly what happened after the RADECO conference but appears following resulted:
A. [Identity 4] suspicions that [Identity 1] seeking replace him were “confirmed” in his mind when [Identity 1] obtained RADECO presidency. These suspicions compounded by [Identity 1] earlier negotiations with Kimbanguists and [Identity 1] efforts obtain modification constitution. Thus, [Identity 4] allegedly again wrote [Identity 5] in early June in effort play off [Identity 5] against [Identity 1].
B. [Identity 4] also became suspicious other [cryptonym not declassified]. [Identity 3] and [Mobutu] claim they have set these suspicions to rest insofar as they personally concerned and have made peace with [Identity 4].
C. [Identity 1] on learning of CDA and [Identity 4] overtures to [Identity 5] decided beat others to punch and obtain personal credit for returning [Identity 5] to Congo. Although not confirmed, appears he expected obtain future political credit by this action. Also suspect [Identity 1] hoped obtain [Identity 5] political support, possibly in return for naming [Identity 5] premier. [Identity 1] confirmed this view at 3 Aug meeting. [Mobutu], however, has stated [Identity 1] had already decided give up premiership to [Identity 5] when latter recalled. Difficult determine exact role played by [Mobutu]. Latter insists his merely advisory role and carried out [Identity 1] instructions in arranging [Identity 5] return. However, suspect [Mobutu] role in convincing [Identity 1] turn govt over to [Identity 5] greater than [Mobutu] states, or perhaps greater than he realizes. [Identity 1] could have interpreted [Mobutu’s] advice as indication [Mobutu] withdrawing his support, support which [Identity 1] knew he must have to remain in office.
D. Basis info available, believe [Mobutu] only member of [cryptonym not declassified] who directly involved [Identity 5] return and negotiations leading thereto.
E. [Identity 2] apparently decided it useless oppose [Identity 5] and thus set out develop close working relationship. Believe this done to try establish foothold in [Identity 5] camp for [cryptonym not declassified], to permit [Identity 2] monitor [Identity 5] activities and to serve as holding action pending final evaluation situation. In short, believe [Identity 2] and other [cryptonym not declassified] had no long-term [Page 276] plan and thus decided they had no alternative but to go along with [Identity 5].
4. [cryptonym not declassified] remain without firm plans other than to hope ODYOKE will be able solve Congo security problem. Only political plans [cryptonym not declassified] able suggest were continued support RADECO, together with parallel effort establish voting block in next parliament based on ex-Orientale province, Ubangi and Cuvette Centrale. They hope such minority block would provide swing vote similar that of Abako in previous parliament. It also clear [cryptonym not declassified] convinced RADECO stands little or no chance under [Identity 1] leadership, as they believe he lacks political sex appeal and leadership qualities.
5. In addition to appearance of [Identity 5] and his entourage on the local scene, military successes of CNL (or perhaps it more exact to say military failures of ANC) have greatly complicated political situation. The [cryptonym not declassified] and probably [Identity 5] are desperately anxious head off the CNL advance. They believe they have little time to do this, for with every chance of the CNL its prestige goes up and the prestige of the govt and indirectly the [cryptonym not declassified] (particularly [Mobutu] goes down. This based on old African phenomena that nothing succeeds like success or fails like failure. Thus, [cryptonym not declassified] appear be making sincere effort support [Identity 5] in face CNL danger. Believe this support will continue so long as CNL poses actual danger. However, [cryptonym not declassified] would prefer find solution to CNL problem which would enhance their prestige, rather than that of [Identity 5]. It to this reason [Mobutu] raised question of obtaining ChiNat, Philippine or South Korean troops to shore up his forces. (Note: This earlier reported [U.S. Embassy] channels.)
6. Although situation too fluid reach positive conclusions on basis one week consultations, suggest following developments may well come to pass:
A. In absence other foreign support, suspect [Identity 5] will resort to use mercenaries in his efforts limit expansion CNL.
B. Use mercenaries, particularly South Africans or white Southern Rhodesians, will cause numerous political problems. Specifically this could well be exploited by CNL as “proof” [Identity 5] serving as front man for neo-colonialists. Also could result in some outside states collaborating overtly with or even recognizing CNL regime. However, use mercenaries might provide extra backbone needed by ANC to defeat revolutionary forces. As of now does not appear [Identity 5] will receive sufficient help from more acceptable outside forces and thus very possibly will turn to mercenaries for needed military assistance.[Page 277]
C. If [Identity 5] succeeds in solving security problems by using mercenaries, it probable he may take advantage this situation to eliminate [Mobutu]. He might relegate [Mobutu] to position minor importance and avoid requesting [Identity 4] agreement to latter’s removal. Should this develop would assume [Identity 5] also would try eliminate [Identity 2] thus insuring his control of army and [Identity 6].
D. Assume [Identity 5] and [Identity 4] eventually will clash in effort win presidency. All persons contacted expect this rivalry to result in power struggle. As of now there appears be little coordination between [Identity 4] and [Identity 5].
E. Although anything can happen and much will depend upon [cryptonym not declassified] estimate of political power factors, assume they will eventually lean toward [Identity 4] should latter enter open struggle for presidency.
F. Despite foregoing, [cryptonym not declassified] currently working with [Identity 5] view their fear that open [Identity 5/Identity 4] clash might lead to CNL takeover.
G. At present [cryptonym not declassified] at relatively low political ebb. However, they obviously seeking guidance and support and hope regain old position of political king-makers. However, they greatly worried and unsure what political future holds for them, as they recognize dangers of [Identity 5] and/or CNL regime.
7. It too early determine whether [Identity 5] represents passing political phase or whether latter has chance righting situation and confirming his position as key Congo figure. Much depends upon military, political and economic developments of next few months, but it normal in Congo for govt to lose popularity after several months in office. Thus, expect [Identity 5] do everything within his power achieve political and economic break-through ASAP.
[Omitted here is further discussion of the political situation.]
9. Current security situation extremely serious and could well result in CNL extremists winning control GOC. If Stan falls to CNL, as appears probable, Leop situation will become precarious; would expect snowballing situation to result if Stan falls. Should it appear GOC unable prevent CNL takeover Leop area, suspect [Identity 5] would endeavor return Katanga and establish redoubt there. Thus Congo could once again be split, as during time of Katanga secessionist movement. Difference might be that [Identity 5] would represent legal govt. Much will depend upon [Identity 4] actions and decisions. If CNL victorious and/or Congo again divided, believe KUBARK will be able make strong contribution to implementation ODYOKE policy. However, situation appears considerably different than summer 60. Doubt situation is one which KUBARK alone can change situation. Thus, much will depend upon ODYOKE actions in military and economic fields.[Page 278]
10. General line above message discussed verbally with [COS] prior his departure. Assume this message will be reviewed by him. Views contained herein submitted merely as discussion points and not intended as recommended solutions. Also, wish emphasize these recommendations are for short-term period. Situation so fluid that major operational changes may be required, if and when local political situation stabilizes.
11. Foregoing gone over in detail with [Godley] and his deputy who concur with report and recommendations. [Godley] requests Gov Harriman be informed his concurrence [former COS] assessment situation.