214. Editorial Note

On August 11, 1964, Ambassador Godley reported that the Embassy had received a commercial telegram in French from Consul Michael Hoyt in Stanleyville stating that Lieutenant General Nicholas Olenga, Commander-in-Chief of the Popular Liberation Army, had told him that because they had seen U.S. troops in action against the Popular Army, the Consulate had to be evacuated. Despite Hoyt’s denial that any U.S. troops were engaged in operations against Olenga’s army, the General ordered that all the personnel of the Consulate be evacuated by the first available plane. Hoyt asked for instructions. The Ambassador sent a reply asking Hoyt to inform Olenga that he had been misinformed, but nonetheless authorizing Hoyt and other U.S. personnel to depart on the first available aircraft. Godley asked Hoyt to tell Olenga that U.N. Representative Osorio-Tafall was willing to send aircraft carrying WHO doctors and medicine, which could evacuate the Consulate personnel to Leopoldville, but he must have the General’s assurance that its landing and subsequent departure would be permitted and that the safety of the doctors and crew would be assured. (Telegram 458 from Leopoldville; National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO)

On August 12, Godley informed Washington that the Embassy had received a message in French from Olenga via public telex, warning that if military or technical aid were furnished to the Tshombe government, he would consider himself obliged, with the greatest regret, to reconsider his position in relation to the nationals of those countries providing aid. (Telegram 471 from Leopoldville; ibid.) The Ambassador reported that he responded to the Olenga’s message via public telex, warning the General that the U.S. Government would hold him personally responsible for the security of every American in the Stanleyville region. (Telegram 480 from Leopoldville, August 12; ibid.)