235. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Ethiopia1

182. Addis’s 227 to Dept.2 In further conversations with HIM, Katema and others on OAU aspect of Congo problem believe it important you stress following points in way you think most appropriate:

1. US fully supports initiative designed take current Congo problem to OAU forum in context of supporting authority legitimate Govt.

2. We believe however OAU nations will wish give most serious consideration procedures and objectives in considering this problem.

3. Congo problem is essentially question of assisting a legitimate constitutional government to maintain security and integrity of nation [Page 342] in face of externally assisted insurrection. Whatever may be African views of Tshombe fact remains he is Prime Minister appointed by recognized head of state, President Kasavubu.

4. At center of problem therefore is sovereign government diplomatically recognized by all Africans, established under a constitution approved by national referendum and seeking maintain order in anticipation future national elections. Any effort put present Congo government “in dock” before OAU would establish dangerous precedent of passing external judgment on legally constituted government. (In this connection Dept endorses approach made Ketema in paragraph 5 of reftel.)3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Newsom, cleared by Williams and Harriman, and approved by Grant. Repeated to Leopoldville, Lagos, and POLAD CINCMEAFSA Tampa.
  2. Telegram 227 from Addis Ababa, August 21, reported that the Ethiopian Government had convinced the Emperor that his proposal for a personal initiative regarding the Congo had been a mistake and that nothing should be done outside the OAU. (Ibid.)
  3. Ambassador Korry told Foreign Minister Ketema that the matter boiled down to whether the Ethiopian Government was willing to take action in defense of a principle that it had supported in the past: territorial integrity and deterrence of outside subversive forces meddling in internal affairs. (Ibid.)