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

2273 (In 44709). 1. [Identity 1] and [former COS] had long meeting with [Identity 2] afternoon 5 Aug and exchanged views on current situation. Intel and ops info obtained cabled earlier messages.2

2. Later in evening [Identity 2] phoned requesting immediate meeting. As [Identity 1] occupied other duties, [former COS] covered meeting. In addition [Identity 2], [Identity 3] also present. Both men [Page 290] greatly worried by developments, particularly by fall Stan. They believe rebel capture this city, combined with rapid rebel progress in Kivu, Kasai and Katanga, will give rebel movement great psychological lift. Both expressed view that disorders will break out in Leop within one week. They believe bandwagon psychology will encourage rebel supporters already in native city Leop to try all the harder arouse popular disorders and that rebels may not even have to attack city. Comment: Difficult judge whether they being too pessimistic, but view fact it normal Congolese practice for people jump on bandwagon and view general dissatisfaction masses over unemployment, high cost living, lack political maturity people, etc, they may well be correct. If trouble does not come quite as soon as they expect, Station would nonetheless expect disorders within few weeks unless ANC successful in arresting progress of rebels.

3. Both men appeared believe ODYOKE has some secret plan to resolve Congo rebellion. They commented they could not believe ODYOKE which has expended great sums and wagered its prestige on support moderates would sit back and permit men who would be hostile ODYOKE and probably under Commie influence to take over. [Identity 3] who obviously trying plant idea, then suggested following might be ODYOKE policy:

A. Make secret deal with [Identity 4] whereby latter would agree oust [Identity 5] in return for ODYOKE military intervention. [Identity 3] noted that, as [Identity 5] reconciliation policy has failed, [Identity 4] would have good reason to dump [Identity 5]. [Identity 3] suggested [Identity 4] should then be encouraged to appoint member [cryptonym not declassified] group as temporary Prime Minister, specifically mentioning [Identity 2] as best possible candidate.

B. Once steps outlined sub-para 3A accomplished, [Identity 3] suggested new govt would immediately arrest [Identity 5] to insure he could not return to home province to launch new secessionist movement.

C. ODYOKE military intervention would take place concurrently with nomination [Identity 5] replacement. Thus new govt would have opportunity crack down on all extremists (right or left) while PBPRIME troops settling rebellion.

4. [Identity 2] and [Identity 3] obviously suggested para 3 plan because they desperately grasping at straws and in typical Congolese fashion seeking place burden responsibility on shoulders of others. [former COS] scoffed at idea, noting he aware [Identity 3] effort plant idea. [former COS] pointed out following weaknesses para 3 plan:

A. ODYOKE does not look with favor on idea intervening militarily in Congo rebellion.

B. Such intervention would be most obvious to entire world.

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C. Dumping [Identity 5] might result in yet additional political infighting that would only serve assist rebels.

D. [former COS] not at all sure new govt would be able prevent escape [Identity 5] or other key leaders from his home area.

E. Such coup d’etat could be used as pretext by many persons to withdraw support from central govt.

F. Suggestion no more than outright coup d’etat with local trappings, and would alienate many countries. Such action would particularly upset Belgians and thus might preclude Belgian intervention. [former COS] added that, after African solution, direct Belgian intervention appeared offer good alternative. Took advantage this statement to again run over ODACID policy guidances as [Godley] had requested be done.

5. [Identity 2] and [Identity 3] appeared accept this advice. Both recognized problems involved ODYOKE direct intervention. They also recognized advantages African involvement but flatly stated would much prefer Belgian troops. However, they came around to idea African troops might be used police non-combat areas.

6. [Identity 2] and [Identity 3] volunteered view that CNA with exception first paracommando battalion should be disarmed, if Belgian troops intervened in Congo. Thus they recognized need get rid of current rabble and replace with newly-trained and hopefully disciplined army. This does not mean they favor removing [Mobutu] from his army job.

7. [former COS] and [Identity 1] decided it advisable not pass above report to [Godley]. FYI only: [cryptonym not declassified] down on him and Leop fears [Godley] might in some way reveal his knowledge [Identity 2] and [Identity 3] had toyed with ideas reported para 3 above. In any case, believe they have put this idea aside, at least for immediate future. [former COS] and [Identity 1] will endeavor regularly monitor their feelings this subject. Believe we will obtain advance warning if they return to para 3 ideas.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 2, Folder 11, [cryptonym not declassified] Operations. Secret; Rybat; [cryptonym not declassified]; Priority. Received at 1620Z.
  2. Not further identified.