261. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Kenya1

1001. From Acting Secretary. Ref Nairobi’s 714.2 You should see Kenyatta immediately and remind him that U.S. has made it clear that we are anxious cooperate in every appropriate way with OAU and attaches great importance to success its efforts to contribute to solution Congo problem. At same time, we must emphasize that any U.S. assistance to Congo is at request of GOC in exercise its sovereign rights and duty to assure law and order, just as similar assistance given other African nations at their request. We therefore could not agree to any meeting with commission on the subject of U.S. assistance to the Congo without appropriate participation by the Government of the Congo.

If the GOC willing to participate, the U.S. would be prepared to designate representatives to meet with representatives of the GOC and the OAU Commission at time and place to be agreed to discuss matters of common concern and interest according to a previously agreed agenda. We could not however agree participate in any such talks under any circumstances which imply U.S. improperly intervening in [Page 379] Congo. U.S. also of course stands prepared discuss such matters through normal diplomatic channels at any time.


1. It is most important you do everything within your power to prevent mission coming to U.S.

2. President’s obvious preoccupations and commitments rule out such meeting. (If useful you may tell Kenyatta this.)

3. Adverse U.S. public reaction to possible commission gaff at this critical point could greatly endanger U.S. Congo and general African policies and programs.

4. Commission should be exposed to Congolese realities in order to assist it reach proper judgments. End FYI.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Flash. Drafted by Williams and Palmer; cleared by Brubeck, Williams, George S. Springsteen, Jr., and Fredericks; and approved by Palmer. Repeated to Leopoldville, Brussels, Lagos, Cairo, Accra, and Conakry.
  2. Telegram 714 from Nairobi, September 22, transmitted the text of a communiqué issued by the OAU Ad Hoc Commission stating that the Commission had decided to send a special delegation of five Ministers to see President Johnson in Washington. The communiqué also declared that without the withdrawal of all foreign military intervention from the Congo the Commission would not be able to achieve its mission of reconciliation. (Ibid.)