331. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain Posts1

949. Text of proposed Concilium appeal (recent Depcirtel 948)2 is as follows:

“The Governments ofwelcome the humanitarian efforts of PM Jomo Kenyatta of Kenya, who is Chairman of the OAU Ad Hoc Commission on the Congo, to save lives in the Congo including foreign civilians. Despite the steps which Prime Minister Kenyatta has taken and the assurances of safety for foreigners which have been made to him from Stanleyville, it has become clear that the lives of civilians in Stanleyville remain in grave danger.

In furtherance of the objectives of Mr. Kenyatta’s humanitarian initiative, we the undersigned representatives of Governments, being signatories to the Geneva Conventions of 1949 for the Protection of War Victims, which govern the treatment of civilians and others in the present conflict in the Congo, and being concerned for the safety of all the civilian population, appeal to all concerned to facilitate an immediate and safe arrival at Stanleyville of personnel of the ICRC, in order that they may perform their humanitarian services throughout the whole Congo including those parts of the Congo to which they do not now have access. If it would help to insure the success of this mission, we are, for our part, prepared forthwith to designate our own representative to accompany the ICRC mission to Stanleyville, and if any [Page 481] OAU member states wish to designate a representative to accompany the mission, we would welcome this.”3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Limited Official Use; Immediate. Drafted by Runyon in L/AF on November 16, cleared by Schaufele, and approved by Williams. Sent to Ottawa, Brussels, London, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Mogadiscio, Lagos, Yaounde, Ouagadougou, Paris, Athens, The Hague, Rome, New Delhi, Karachi, Port au Prince, Buenos Aires, Bern, Oslo, Canberra, Bonn, Copenhagen, and Geneva. Repeated to Leopoldville and Bujumbura.
  2. Circular telegram 948, November 17, sent to 22 Embassies, instructed them to seek the support of their host governments as soon as possible for a humanitarian appeal by an ad hoc concilium of Geneva Convention signatories on behalf of all civilians in the Congo conflict. (Ibid.) Rebel leaders in Stanleyville had announced that they were planning to execute “Major” Paul Carlson as a U.S. spy on November 16. Secretary Rusk’s November 16 appeal to Kenyatta to intervene on behalf of Dr. Carlson, which stated that Carlson had been a medical missionary in the Congo for 3½ years and had no connection with the U.S. military is printed in Department of State Bulletin, December 14, 1964, pp. 838–839. Ambassador Godley’s November 17 appeal to the rebels is printed ibid., p. 839. On November 18, Kenyatta appealed to the rebels to spare Carlson on humanitarian grounds. Radio Stanleyville subsequently announced that Carlson’s execution had been postponed until November 23.
  3. Circular telegram 996, November 21, reported that the appeal was being released that day at Geneva by the following 13 governments: Australia, Canada, United States, Haiti, Argentina, Greece, United Kingdom, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, and Norway, all signatories to the Geneva Convention. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO)