223. Paper Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1



  • [cryptonym not declassified]

A. Identification:

This is a covert action project designed to reduce the insurgency and restore some semblance of order and stability to the Congo (Leopoldville).

B. Objectives:

The objective of this project is to help stem the tide of the rebel advance by two basic covert actions:

A. To assist in reinforcing and re-establishing tribal allegiances in critical areas, by judicious contributions of covert funds, and

B. To assist in financing mercenaries in cases where hard currency is not otherwise available.

Tribal allegiances are of critical importance in stabilizing the Congo under present disrupted conditions. This project will attempt to obtain assurances from local chiefs that they will resist encroachment by CNL agitators as well as attacks by armed bands. Acting through political leaders with known tribal bases, certain monetary contributions to achieve this end will be made. Advice will be provided for reinforcing the will of tribes to resist the spread of insurgency, and efforts made to insure that covert funds are effectively spent. In providing support of this nature to tribal leaders other than Moise Tshombe, the Prime Minister, action may generally but not necessarily be coordinated with him.

In assisting in the financing of mercenaries, where hard currencies are otherwise not available, it is the basic intent of the project to keep to a minimum the number of South African or Rhodesian mercenaries assisted through this mechanism; it is also accepted that some funds might be used for assisting the Belgian technicians directly concerned with the re-establishment of order in the Congo.

[Page 326]

The origin of this project followed from the agreement concluded between Under Secretary of State Governor Averill Harriman and Belgian Foreign Minister Paul Henry Spaak on 7 August 1964 which called for the development as rapidly as possible of a gendarme force led by military technicians.2 The 303 Committee considered the matter of covert support for the restoration of order in the Congo on August 13, and authorized [dollar amount not declassified] for these purposes.3 This authorization was confirmed by a CIA cable to the Leopoldville Station on August 14.4

C. Background:

The so-called rebel forces of the CNL in the Congo have extended their control in a very brief period from Uvira on the Burundi border, and in Kwilu to a large part of the eastern Congo, including Stanleyville. They have done this through the relatively simple tactic of exploiting whatever discontent there may be in each area by the use of advance agitation agents followed by a relatively small but active armed force. Rebel successes have been loudly broadcast by Stanleyville Radio and their invincibility is becoming accepted by both Congolese and Europeans alike. A general attitude of defeatism has set in not only in the towns in their path but even in Leopoldville. As of this date the key city of Bukavu on Lake Kivu in the east is seriously threatened but so far has stood off concerted attacks. In viewing the extraordinary progress made by the dissident forces it is apparent that they are receiving both monetary and advisory support from Chinese Communist, Ghanaian, Burundi and, tacitly, from Congolese (Brazzaville) sources.

[Omitted here is further discussion of the project.]

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–02502R, Box 1, [cryptonym not declassified]/Development & Plans, [text not declassified], Aug. ‘64–Jan. 1967. Secret. There is no drafting information on the original.
  2. See Document 204.
  3. See Document 218.
  4. Funds for Project [text not declassified] were obligated through June 30, 1965. On July 23, 1965, Karamessines approved an interim extension of the project through October 31, 1965. (Memorandum from Fields to Karamessines, July 16, 1965; Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–02502R, Box 1, [cryptonym not declassified]/Development & Plans, [text not declassified], Aug.’64 thru Jan. 1967)