253. Paper Prepared in the Central Intelligence Agency1
- Additional Background Information Concerning Certain Significant Political and Military Developments within the Congo Since the Time Project [cryptonym not declassified] was Drafted2
Moise Tshombe, former President of the secessionist state of Katanga, returned to the Congo during the latter part of June 1964, and at the invitation of Joseph Kasavubu, President of the Congo, (and ostensibly with the agreement of General Mobutu and Victor Nendaka, Chief of the Sûreté Nationale) accepted the task of forming a Government of National Reconciliation as a necessary preliminary step to a general pacification of the Congo. (This took place just before the formal resignation of Prime Minister Adoula on 30 June, when it became necessary to appoint an interim caretaker government which would rule the Congo until national elections could be organized.) (In accordance with the provisions of the new constitution, which is now being submitted to a referendum for ratification, elections are to be held not later than nine months after acceptance of the constitution by the people on 1 August 1964.) Tshombe quickly presented to Kasavubu a cabinet list made up of, for the most part, relatively unknown individuals and was himself named by Kasavubu as Prime Minister.
During the period of maneuver and counter-maneuver by various individuals and political groups leading up to the return of Tshombe and the developments immediately thereafter, General Mobutu and Victor Nendaka played a somewhat devious game, the final element of which was that their support was withdrawn from Adoula and, it is assumed, at least conditionally given to Tshombe. Both Mobutu and Nendaka have retained their positions under Tshombe, but there is now a good deal of evidence that Tshombe is strengthening his hand so as to be able ultimately to wield more influence within the Congolese Army, and needless to say, reduce the influence of General Mobutu therein. Large contingents of ex-Katangese gendarmes are now coming out of hiding in the bush and from neighboring Angola. Recently reports have verified the presence in the Congo of a number of white mercenary officers who formerly commanded Tshombe’s gendarmes during [Page 368] the secession of Katanga, and it is surmised that they may be used to lead ANC troops into battle against the various rebel bands now terrorizing large segments of the country. (The uprisings have spread from Kwilu and Kivu provinces into North Katanga, Maniema, and Lac Leopold II provinces and have met with very ineffective resistance from the ANC.) More than ever Mobutu needs the support of ODYOKE (and particularly KUBARK support in the form outlined in the project objectives):
1. To shore up his authority in the ANC.
2. To assure him sufficient strength to be able to successfully counter any attempt to impose an extreme (whether of the right or left) political solution on the Congo;
3. To maintain the loyalty of his troops in the face of direct attempts at subversion designed to fragment the army’s leadership and destroy its morale and confidence in its officers;
4. To carry out the necessary reorganization and training programs to make of his army a reasonably effective fighting force capable of handling the grave threat to civil order posed by the various rebel movements.
- Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 89–00195R, Box 1, [cryptonym not declassified]—Development & Plans, [text not declassified]. Secret.↩
- Attached to the paper is a CIA Project Approval Notification form dated September 10, 1964, showing that Project [cryptonym not declassified] was approved.↩