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

(No Night Action)

2394 (In 49309). Ref: Dir 41328.2 [Fields] from [former COS] and [name not declassified].

1. [former COS] remaining Leop. Will try send [Identity 1] Coquilhatville alone, as believe it important hold that city if at all possible. Per previous cable 11 Aug, [former COS] saw [name not declassified] 11 Aug and seeing him again 12 Aug. Regret not able obtain intel on plans for military encadrement. Belgians appear be trying play this one close to vest. Suspect this may stem from Belgian belief they should try reach agreement with rebels as they believe, in short sighted way, that this way protect business interests. However, will push as hard as possible 12 Aug meeting.

2. In brief meeting 11 Aug [name not declassified] made following points:

A. Doubts Congo can be preserved as one national entity. With few competent troops could retake any point now held by rebels. But what is the use if Congo does not have qualified cadre to move in behind army and establish civil administration.

[Page 314]

B. View above only solution is to create a Congo based on limited number loosely federated provinces or independent states, perhaps along lines previous provinces in Belgian Congo. Perhaps, and only perhaps, Congolese qualified administer such units. In reality, good administration not possible without European cadre. If such cadre not available and area liberated, Congolese troops will merely start looting, stealing, etc once again and situation which we know now will start all over again.

C. Katgens no better than ANC, unless led by European officers, except for fact they have not been exposed to anarchy of Leop.

D. [name not declassified] returning [less than 1 line not declassified], 14 Aug. Will return only if he believes there chance for viable solution. Regrets ODYOKE did not go along with Katanga experiment. On leaving [former COS], he pointed to area of Katanga, saying it was once a fine area, but “it is finished now.”

4. Heartily concur we need numerous contacts in [Identity 2] camp, but this strongly opposed by [Godley] and his deputy. (FYI only: They reluctant have Leop move in direction [Identity 2]. Basically, they do not like or trust him, and prefer not make move in his direction unless this solicited by him. Secondly, believe they hope keep KUBARK tied to [cryptonym not declassified] group and insure that ODACID takes over all contacts in “new regime”.)

5. [former COS] has not seen [Identity 2] again because [Godley] did not want additional KUBARK contacts: Leop does not concur, but had been going along with this. Thus, basis ref, will begin 12 Aug trying build up such contacts. Believe this can be done in most cases without arousing ire [US. Embassy]. Only cases which would cause too much trouble would be [Identity 2] and minister who is over [Identity 3].

[Omitted here is further discussion of the political situation.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, [text not declassified], Fiche 38, Row 5, Frames 2–4, Tshombe. Secret; Rybat; Priority. Received at 1100Z.
  2. In CIA telegram 41328 to Leopoldville, August 11, Fields requested that Devlin remain in Leopoldville, and stated that the most urgent matter at hand was that he have a clear conversation with [text not declassified] in order to determine the present status of the military technician program and what they could do to strengthen it. (Ibid., Fiche 38, Row 4, Frame 12, Tshombe)