225. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Congo1

334. For Williams and Ambassador from Secretary and Harriman. Ref Embtel 540.2 Shocked at naivete of Tshombe that we would send under any circumstances American forces to attack Congolese. You should make this doubly plain and point out that we have since June been attempting to get Mobutu and Congolese Government to ask other friendly African countries for forces to protect key areas. Action on this must be undertaken at once, preferably in name of Kasavubu. Consideration should be given promptly to special missions by Adoula and Bomboko to selected African capitals both to support troop request and to improve image and understanding of GOC by other Africans.

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Congolese must understand that attacks to regain territory must be by Congolese forces. Quick implementation of Van der Walle plan with full Congolese support, particularly Mobutu, gives greatest promise to retrieve lost areas.

GOC must use what they have to hold out until African troops arrive. What has happened to consideration movement Katanga gendarmes perhaps from Angola to stiffen Leopoldville and threatened areas?

Feel that your presence should be used to knock some sense into Kasavubu, Tshombe, Mobutu. They have bucked every suggestion that we have made so far and we cannot help them if their failure to cooperate continues. You can quote this directly to Tshombe coming from Harriman if you feel useful.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Top Secret; Flash. Drafted by O’Sullivan and approved by Harriman. Repeated to Brussels and CINCSTRIKE for POLAD.
  2. Telegram 540 from Leopoldville, August 15, reported that Tshombe asked Williams for the immediate dispatch of three U.S. parachute battalions in order to help retake Stanleyville. (Ibid.)