23. Editorial Note

For purposes of briefing the National Security Council for its meeting on September 21, 1960, the Central Intelligence Agency prepared a summary in outline form, excerpted below, of telegram 0963 from the Station in Leopoldville, September 18:

“I. Chief of Station states crash operation needed to bolster Colonel Mobutu and opposition to Lumumba.

“A. Mobutu needs financial assistance to pay certain troops and officers, provide gas for troop movements.

“B. Mobutu needs French-speaking economic, political and security advisers.

“C. Mobutu desires security team to work against Lumumba and Communists.

“II. Assassination plot against Mobutu on 18 September almost successful.

“A. Plan was to sound general alarm Camp Leopold II and turn out all troops. Mobutu would be shot when he arrived on the scene.

“B. Mobutu, learning of plot, locked central alarm and called in former friend, a major, who was behind plot.

“C. Major tried to draw pistol but Mobutu grappled with him until guards arrived.

“D. He then ordered arrest of all Communist-influenced ministers in Lumumba government.

“III. Mobutu plans to cooperate with IleoKasavubu group.”

A. On urging of Chief of Station, “he agreed to name Bomboko chief Congolese UN delegate with Kanza as his deputy.

“B. Promised to turn over government to Ileo group by end of October but meanwhile must save face by living up to promise which he made to army of neutralizing political factions.

“C. Stated that until end October, the technical council would take orders from Kasavubu. (Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 79R00890A, Box 12, Folder 9, NSC Briefings, September 1960)

For a record of discussion of the Congo at the NSC meeting on September 21, see Foreign Relations, 1958–1960, volume XIV, Africa, Document 223.