246. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts1

411. Congo Guidance for AF Posts. All OAU states have indicated they will be represented Sept 5 ministerial council Addis Ababa. Dept instructed certain African posts approach host govts on behalf wholehearted consideration by council of Monrovia initiative. (Presidents Liberia, Guinea, Ivory Coast, and Prime Minister Sierra Leone, meeting at Monrovia, appealed to OAU states to authorize OAU to appoint commission to determine facts and propose joint action by African states re Congo in interests peace.) Posts making presentation are to emphasize that US believes this proposal is good basis for African action but that we not trying to interfere this matter.

We believe US interests would be served by achievement at Addis of: OAU acceptance legitimacy of Congo Govt; OAU commitment undertake constructive inquiry at invitation and under aegis of GOC; OAU engagement in material, political and moral aid to GOC; and prevention formal condemnation US policy and action in Congo. We consider terms of reference and makeup of commission most important, and think it essential moderate Africans exclude if possible radical states—Ghana, Algeria, Mali, UAR—from commission membership.

Belgians in Accord US Approach. Emb Brussels briefed Davignon, Spaak’s Chef de Cabinet, re US approach African states on OAU meeting and he indicated agreement. Said Belgian Ambs to African posts being briefed Sept 4 Brussels to assure all will speak as one in various African capitals. Agreed GOC should take initiative in proposing in OAU some kind of commission of inquiry on Congo be established, but suggested calling it “good offices committee” preferable as carrying implication committee designed to assist Tshombe Govt overcome its difficulties rather than to investigate it.

Re possibility OAU might try insist US and Belgian military aid to Congo be channeled through OAU, Emb Brussels pointed out nearly all African states have bilateral aid agreements with non-African countries [Page 359] and indicated strong US belief Congolese Govt should not accept any infringement its sovereign rights in making similar bilateral arrangements. Davignon concurred.

Tshombe confirmed to Emb Leopoldville Aug 28 that he going Addis. Said he sending Foreign Minister Bomboko as advance guard. Agreed necessity high powered GOC delegation. Concurred he must be first speaker and that non-vituperative approach essential. Agreed on statement re Congolese unity. Said question of mercenaries difficult point, but could solemnly promise get rid of them as soon as situation stabilized and this had always been his intention. Agreed necessity obtaining support local African diplomatic colony, and indicated would see all African Ambs in order lay groundwork for Addis meeting, which he has since done.

According Mammo, Ethiopian Emperor’s personal representative to GOC on OAU Congo meeting, Mammo urged Kasavubu to lead GOC delegation but Kasavubu noncommittal.

Albertville Retaken. ANC recapture Albertville August 29–30 confirmed. Europeans safe.

Stanleyville Still in Rebel Hands. Emb Leopoldville reported Sept 1 Stanleyville tower has contacted Leopoldville tower and announced Stanleyville airport now open for Air Congo planes.

In response routine welfare inquiry, British Ambassador Bujumbura received message from rebel General Olenga stating all British citizens Stanleyville safe. Emb Leopoldville has asked Embassies Brazzaville, Bangui, Bujumbura send commercial messages inquiring re welfare Americans in Stanleyville.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 3 OAU. Secret. Drafted by F. Virginia Montague in AF/AFI; cleared by Schaufele, Deputy Assistant Secretary for EUR Robert C. Creel, and Palmer; and approved by Fredericks. Sent to Abidjan, Accra, Addis Ababa, Algiers, Baida, Bonn, Brazzaville, Brussels, Cairo, CINCMEAFSA for Ramsey, Conakry, Dakar, Dar es Salaam, Freetown, Kampala, Khartoum, Lagos, Leopoldville, Lisbon, London, Lusaka, Monrovia, Nairobi, Paris, Pretoria, Rabat, Rome, Tananarive, Tunis, and USUN. Sent by pouch to Bamako, Bangui, Blantyre, Bujumbura, Cotonou, Fort Lamy, Kigali, Libreville, Lome, Mogadiscio, Nouakchott, Ouagadougou, Niamey, Tripoli, and Yaounde.