364. Circular Telegram From the Department of State to Certain African Posts1
1043. Department deeply concerned by distortions in Africa of Stanleyville–Paulis rescue missions of foreign hostages and endangered Congolese civilians during past few days, especially (1) tendency ignore humanitarian aspect of mission, (2) fact it saved hundreds of innocent Congolese from death or torture in addition to Europeans, and (3) prevalence of assumption mission intended as political imperialism. These attitudes contribute to African sympathy for rebels, make task OAU Commission more difficult and work against reconciliation Kasavubu government with other African governments. They also are giving field day to Communist and radical African propaganda.
Department believes it extremely important African leaders publicly express (1) their recognition of humanitarian aspect of rescue operation, (2) condemnation of atrocities against innocent Congolese teachers, other educated as well as foreign missionaries, and if possible (3) express opposition African association with rebels who perpetrate such atrocities. FYI. Hoyt reports rebel leaders, Simbas, etc., are directly [Page 526] responsible for many of those atrocities to Congolese as well as foreigners. End FYI.
Department also recognizes that this delicate task, requiring you to deploy arguments and information given you by Deptels and USIS file within framework situation your country. Extremely desirable to stimulate African statements as much along lines of above as feasible, but it is important you elicit such statements without getting rebuff which would curtail your influence in following days.
If situation in host countries permits, Info Addressees should seek such statement as feasible along above lines.
- Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Hadsel in AFI; cleared by Fredericks, Palmer, and Jaegar in EUR; and approved by Harriman. Sent to Addis Ababa, Freetown, Lome, Monrovia, Niamey, Rabat, Tunis, Tripoli, Dakar, Lagos, Blantyre, Abidjan, Tananarive. Repeated to all African posts and to Brussels.↩