312. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Congo1

1165. Ref: Kampala 716, Leo 1760, Dar es Salaam 916.2 FYI Dept gravely concerned over confirmed report of Ilyushin offloading cargo in Uganda which may contain arms for onward shipment to Stanleyville rebels. Another agency is reasonably certain this is Algerian Ilyushin recently seen in Dar es Salaam (Dar es Salaam 884).3 If this and similar actions continue, tide which now against rebels could turn decisively and could prolong Congolese insurgency indefinitely contrary to US interests (including security of US hostages in rebel hands), as well as Congolese and general African interests. End FYI.

For Leopoldville: You should share gist of first paragraph of ref Kampala tel [less than 1 line not declassified] with Tshombe and urge that his representative at Kampala (special envoy if necessary) make dignified but forceful démarche to GOU protesting this aid to rebels and requesting assurances that same will not occur in future. You should also suggest that Tshombe send urgent message to Kenyatta underlining fact that such aid will only prolong Congolese conflict and will jeopardize peaceful solution which he earnestly seeking. Embassy may assist GDRC in preparation of message to Kenyatta in order ensure it is discreet and will create optimum desirable effect if published. You should discourage Tshombe from public denunciation of any African govt at this stage and at least until confidential diplomacy with GOU and Kenyatta is given opportunity to produce desired effect. You [Page 453] should stress importance of prompt action by GDRC in both channels in order attempt nip in bud possible mounting of supply operation.

You should share same report (Kampala 716) with your Nigerian and Ethiopian colleagues and suggest that this is sort of mischief which radical Africans will continue to engage in unless moderate elements like Nigerian and Ethiopian govts take more spirited action in OAU and elsewhere in support of earliest peaceful solution of Congo problem.

For Addis Ababa and Lagos: You should take line with GON and IEG, at level you deem most appropriate, similar to guidance which Embassy Leo is authorized to use with Nigerian and Ethiopian diplomatic reps. You might ask for suggestions as to how this apparent radical African activity might be countered.

For Brussels: You may inform GOB of Kampala report, may describe action which USG is taking to counter this new development, and, if you perceive no objection, may ask GOB to support USG approach to Tshombe as outlined above.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Hoffacker in AF/CWG on November 5; cleared by McElhiney in AF/CWG, AFE Deputy Director Edward W. Mulcahy, [text not declassified], Newsom, and Leonard F. Willems in WE; and approved by Tasca. Also sent to Addis Ababa, Lagos, and Brussels, and repeated to Nairobi, Kampala, Dar es Salaam, Algiers, London, Khartoum, Bujumbura, CINCSTRIKE for Ramsey, and DOD.
  2. Telegram 716 from Kampala, November 4; telegram 1760 from Leopoldville, November 5; telegram 916 from Dar es Salaam, November 4. (All ibid.)
  3. Dated October 30. (Ibid.)