370. Draft Memorandum From the Former Chief of Station in Leopoldville to the Chief of the Africa Division, Directorate of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Fields)1


  • Adoula’s Views Concerning Viability of the Current Congo Government

(1) Adoula is convinced that the Tshombe government will fall within three months, unless drastic action is taken to enlarge the government. He reasons as follows:

(a) The revolt in the Northern and Eastern sections of the Congo is primarily a social revolution and, thus, a revolt which cannot be put down and held down by force alone.

(b) The only hope of putting down the revolt is for the Central Government to provide the necessary governmental services for the area.

(c) Tshombe is not an effective administrator and, thus, is not capable, working with his present government, of providing good government in the provinces.

(d) Tshombe is anathema to all other African leaders. Thus, all African states will cooperate, even with the Soviets and Chicoms, to bring down the Tshombe government.

(e) Tshombe does not have the personal contacts, nor does he have sufficiently clear understanding of African politics to convince the other African leaders to cooperate with his government or, at the very least, to adopt a neutral attitude toward the GDRC.

(2) Adoula advised [less than 1 line not declassified] that representatives of various radical African states have urged him to accept the leadership of the rebellion. It is evident from Adoula’s statements that he is sorely tempted by this possibility, for it was equally evident that he bitterly resents Tshombe’s accession of power. However, the undersigned doubts that Adoula will accept such an offer, at least for the present. Adoula has always maintained his position as a compromise leader, and it is doubtful that he would wish to accept the leadership of an extremist group. Also, Adoula must suspect that such a step on his part would result in his losing the support of the U.S. government. He also must realize that it was the support of the United States government which won for him the premiership in 1961, and [Page 534] that without U.S.G. support he would have been unable to maintain himself in office for more than a few months. Thus, it is doubtful that Adoula would agree to accept a position which would place him in direct conflict with the United States government.

(3) Although Adoula would dearly love to see Tshombe fail, he also recognizes that the rebels do not offer a viable alternative. Thus, he recognizes that the fall of Tshombe would contribute to further anarchy within the Congo. He agrees that one possible alternative would be to create a government of public welfare which would include moderate elements not presently in the government. Specifically, he is thinking of himself, Bomboko, Ndele, Kondolo, etc. He believes that if such a government were to be formed, even with Tshombe as premier, it might be feasible to slowly reverse the current situation in the Congo and to achieve a solution to the Congo problem which would be acceptable to other African states. Such a government would be created to carry out the following limited objectives:

(a) To revamp the administrative apparatus of the government.

(b) To achieve a solution to the current rebellion.

(c) To re-establish friendly relations with the other African states.

(d) To prepare for free elections.

(4) Adoula would be willing to enter such a government of public welfare on the following conditions:

(a) Tshombe would have to agree to accept and to work with the moderates added to the government.

(b) Adoula would agree to enter the government only if President Kasavubu were to take the responsibility for appointing him to the government.

(c) It would have to be understood that Adoula, by entering the government, was not going bond for Tshombe as an individual.

(d) A mechanism would have to be created which would permit the Congo government to locate and hire a core of public administrators to work with Congolese civil servants, to train these Congolese civil servants, and to insure the functioning of effective governmental mechanisms in the provinces.

(e) The army must be completely revamped in order to eliminate the incompetent elements.

(f) United States government would have to maintain pressures on Tshombe to insure that the latter would not sabotage the efforts of the government of public welfare.

(g) Similarly, the United States government should guarantee to provide financial support for Adoula and other moderates. Adoula recognizes that should a government of public welfare be successful, it might well guarantee the continuation of power of Tshombe. However, he believes that continued financial support for other moderates would [Page 535] be necessary in order to convince Tshombe that he must cooperate with all moderate groups.

Lawrence Devlin 2
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 90–01073R, [text not declassified], Box 29, Folder 893, [text not declassified], Vol. 2 of 5, January 1964–March 1965. Secret.
  2. Printed from a copy that bears this typed signature.