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

0950 (In 13374). Ref: Leop 0944 (In 12931).2

1. [COS] tried without success all day 15 September contact Mobutu. Station was flooded with reports re outcome Mobutu coup.3 Some said Lumumba arrested, others Mobutu arrested. [less than 1 line not declassified] generally reliable Station contacts had no idea what was happening. Finally learned Lumumba surrounded by angry troops at Camp Leopold 2. Some wanted shoot him, others to take him prisoner. But per phone call from Kasavubu residence, UN troops had interfered prevent CNA troops from “arresting” Lumumba in accordance with legal warrant issued against him.

2. Still difficult determine whether Mobutu has sufficient control army to enforce decisions announced night 14 September. Station advised [Identity 1] and [Identity 2] try work with Mobutu in effort eliminate Lumumba. Fear UN protection will give Lumumba opportunity organize counter attack. Only solution is remove him from scene soonest.4

End of message.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 3, [cryptonym not declassified] Ops. Secret; Rybat; [cryptonym not declassified]; Operational Immediate. Received at 0155Z.
  2. Devlin would establish contact with Mobutu and try to give direction to the latter’s efforts. [Footnote in the original.] In telegram 944 from Leopoldville to CIA, September 15, the Station reported that once the Chief of Station was sure Mobutu was firmly in power, he would establish contact with him and try to give direction to his efforts. (Ibid.)
  3. On September 14, Mobutu announced that the army had decide to “neutralize” the Chief of State, the two rival governments, and the Congolese legislature until December 31. Until that date, he proposed that the Congo be governed by a commission of students and technicians (later the College of Commissioners). Mobutu also announced a policy of cooperation with the U.N., asked that all Soviet and Czech technicians leave the country within 48 hours, and demanded that the embassies of Communist countries be placed under guard. (New York Times, September 17, 1960, p.1)
  4. This sentence is quoted in Interim Report, p. 17.