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

1077. Williams, Fredericks, and Palmer met privately last evening with Murumbi and Nbwera. Williams explained U.S. position re ad hoc commission delegation, emphasizing our desire cooperate appropriately with OAU but problems caused for us by delegation’s publicly announced terms reference. Murumbi took line these clarified privately thru Attwood and that there no intention on part Commission embarrass us or question our right maintain bilateral relationships with sovereign GOC. He added in this context that he recognized right of Congo to receive military aid from U.S. just as Kenya itself had from UK. Went on to say purpose delegation simply enlist assistance U.S. in OAU efforts solve Congo problem. Williams said whatever Commission’s private intentions, it had either wittingly or unwittingly created awkward situation for itself and for U.S. by public stance it has taken. (Williams also gave him world press summary material critical U.S. and OAU stance this matter.) Williams went on to say that until Murumbi’s own terms reference publicly clarified to meet points of principle in our public statement (Deptel 1027 to Nairobi)2 Secretary unfortunately could not receive him. Urged Murumbi issue public statement based on his instructions from Kenyatta (Nairobi’s 738 to Dept)3 and gave him informally draft text which would meet our points and make possible meeting with Secretary. Murumbi demurred, taking position Kenyatta instructions sent in context his being head delegation as well as Kenyatta’s personal representative. Since rest of delegation not here, he would have to consult Kenyatta by telephone this morning and Ambassadors here of other countries represented on delegation which he intended do after leaving Williams last evening. He suggested further [Page 388] talk with Williams this morning at 11:00 local, but subsequently postponed meeting since had not yet been able contact Kenyatta.4

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 3 OAU. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Palmer, cleared by Williams, and approved by Palmer. Repeated to Accra, Addis Ababa, Cairo, Conakry, Lagos, Mogadiscio, Ouagadougou, Tunis, and Yaounde.
  2. Dated September 23. (Ibid.)
  3. See footnote 5, Document 263.
  4. Telegram 1084 to Nairobi, September 26, reported that Murumbi told Williams that Kenyatta was consulting the other members of the Commission. Murumbi insisted that the Commission did not question the U.S. right to give aid to the Congo. Its only objective was to obtain U.S. assistance in getting Tshombe to respect a cease-fire. Williams expressed the U.S. concern that the Commission seemed to equate the legitimate government with the rebels. Murumbi replied that the OAU fully respected the Congo’s sovereignty but had a mandate to work for national reconciliation. After a cease-fire, all areas of the Congo would be returned to central government control, and once a coalition government was achieved, there would be OAU-supervised elections. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 3 OAU)