260. Memorandum From the Deputy Director of the Office of Central African Affairs (Looram) to the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Williams)1
- Status Report on Recent Developments—INFORMATION MEMORANDUM
American Personnel Stanleyville
The most significant development has been the receipt by the ICRC representative in Bujumbura of a message from the Stanleyville authorities saying that they accept the ICRC proposal to send in a plane to Stanleyville with doctors and medical supplies. We have assured the ICRC of our full support, urging that a Swiss plane and pilots be used for this purpose. The ICRC is working on this matter on an urgent basis and it is hoped that an ICRC plane will be in a nearby position, such as Bangui, by the middle of the week to go into Stanleyville.
Whether or not the plane will be allowed to evacuate people, particularly Americans, remains to be seen. (There are indications that Gbenye’s acceptance of the plane is due to his desire to use it for his own transport to Nairobi for the OAU Commission.) However, we [Page 378] have our fingers crossed and the mission should at least serve to ascertain their welfare and whereabouts.2
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Confidential.↩
- On September 21, Looram sent Williams a memorandum pointing out that it would be difficult for the ICRC representatives to obtain early permission from the rebel authorities for the evacuation of the U.S. Consulate staff, and that they might find it necessary to obtain authorization for the evacuation of other nationals first. He emphasized that it was essential that the ICRC not give any indication that the U.S. Government was behind the operation. (Ibid.)↩