40. Telegram From the Station in the Congo to the Central Intelligence Agency1

0229 (In 37289). Ref Leop 0162 (In 31811).2

1. No action taken ref program view instructions to delay.

2. Although cannot predict next premier, doubt [Identity 1] would be best candidate. He relatively able by local standards but lacks drive and force necessary for Govt Chief. Have asked many locals, [Embassy] personnel and Europeans who they believe would be best premier. [Identity 2] cited by majority as best qualified, although he lacks broad political support. [Identity 3] might provide alternate candidate but many consider him be tarred with Belgian brush and lacking in courage.

3. Station believes plan outlined by SYG will greatly hinder and could render impossible ref plan.

A. If UN assumes de facto control CNA, [cryptonym not declassified]3 coalition will lose its primary weapon, [Mobutu] will become just another anti-[Lumumba] leader (and one with little influence as has no political party) and way would be open for civil war and/or [Lumumba] return power. In short, [Mobutu’s] control CNA absolutely essential [less than 1 line not declassified]. UN control army would play into hands [Lumumba] forces. If ODYOKE gives in on this point, [cryptonym not declassified]4 program will have little if any chance in near future. In [Page 54] such case it would be just as well to soft peddle [less than 1 line not declassified]5. Station hopes this will not be case, for return [Lumumba] will mean trouble for West and advantages for Bloc. Despite reports by limited number journalists Leop, neither Station nor Embassy have reason believe [Mobutu’s] power waning in army. Also we discount exaggerated stories re CNA terrorist activities. There were incidents but some journalists exaggerated them out of all proportions.

B. Agree political realities require some form constitutionality for new govt. However if we to be realistic, must be satisfied with democratic facade as, with possible exception Nigeria, there no real democracy in Africa and Congolese are less prepared than most Africans for true democracy. We have alternatives between [Lumumba] dictatorship which would be anti-Western and pro-Western coalition which would try give Congo stable if not fully democratic govt.

C. Agree parliament meeting must be “full” (that is include Katanga deputies). Although recognize political difficulties UN which would result if [Lumumba] prevented from attending parliament, his presence parliament will endanger our program. He is a convincing demogogue. UN protection parliament meeting will remove lever Station planned use. Had planned place CNA around parliament building in effort convince hesitant deputies it not healthy support [Lumumba]. However placing UN troops around parliament building is not solution to intimidation problem. Many anti-[Lumumba] deputies afraid come Leop or afraid take open stand against [Lumumba]. As they fear MNC and PSA goon squads, attacks on families in provinces, and destruction property. View this, believe it essential [Mobutu] guarantee anti-[Lumumba] deputies protection while Leop, perhaps reserving and guarding hotel for them. Also believe he must form civilian goon squads to counter pro-[Lumumba] squads.

D. [less than 1 line not declassified] operation cannot succeed if we do not “put something in pocket” of many people.

4. Station greatly concerned by maneuvering within UN of nations supporting [Lumumba] and apparent cooperation if not actual connivance of Dayal, Rikhye and other UN personnel. They have made no secret of their dislike and contempt for [Mobutu] and Rikhye has stated on many occasions UN objective is to disarm CNA and quoted by some American correspondents as “looking for pretext” effect same. Although recognize need discipline CNA, Rikhye and others know this would give [Lumumba] big trump card. Now appears ODYOKE being outmaneuvered in UN. Our policy oppose [Lumumba] being blocked by small group powers claiming speak for Afro-Asian bloc, despite fact [Page 55] we providing largest part financing for UNOC. Example of maneuvering by pro-[Lumumba] bloc in UN is eight nation resolution to seat Congolese delegation and recommend opening parliament soonest. USUN has suggested compromise resolution and Embassy has recommended delay, for if resolution calling for early opening parliament passed UNGA, Dayal could and probably would use it force open parliament with UN troops. Such action in near future would probably return [Lumumba] to power. Also a compromise which weakened [cryptonym not declassified]6 forces would definitely undermine Station relations with [Mobutu].

5. If ODYOKE continues permit tail to wag UN dog, Station believes we will soon find [Lumumba] back in saddle, Bloc reps will return in force, Congo which is key to Central Africa will follow Cuban path with result that all Africa may soon fall under influence if not control of anti-Western nations. In short, Station believes ODYOKE must take stronger UN position, even at risk temporary loss popularity among neutrals. If we continue compromise and permit pro-[Lumumba] nations take initiative our [cryptonym not declassified]7 policy will fail and another area will have gone down the drain.

6. View maneuvering within UN, Station in coordination with Ambassador will endeavor implement ref plan. If UN were not in act, outcome would be in the bag. However, view UN presence and role, Hqs must realize this uphill fight.

7. Regret delay reply Dir 09026 (Out 87173).8 Was not able obtain Niact 142 until (portion garbled-being serviced) Nov.

8. Ambassador read clear text version this message and fully approves.9 He received Roger channel message authorizing ref plan 3 Nov. Will coordinate all steps plan per Dir 09643 (Out 88263).10

End of message.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 5, [cryptonym not declassified] Ops. Secret; Rybat; Operational Immediate. Received at 1648Z.
  2. Station’s suggested program of 22 October for supporting Mobutu. [Footnote in the original.] Regarding this telegram, see Document 35.
  3. CIA political action program in support of moderate, anti-Lumumba leaders in the Congo [text not declassified].
  4. See footnote 3.
  5. See footnote 3.
  6. See footnote 3.
  7. See footnote 3.
  8. Queried whether any action was taken on Leopoldville’s proposal prior to receipt of request to hold off on the proposal. [Footnote in the original.] This CIA telegram has not been found.
  9. In a 1967 Agency debriefing, the Chief of Station in late 1960 said how lucky he had been to work with Ambassador Clare Timberlake, who was “very pro-Agency.” He described Timberlake as a man whose object was to get the job done, with no worry about who got the credit. The Chief of Station recalled that he and the Ambassador were the principal parties involved; they agreed on a course and they acted. He argued that this had made the critical difference because “nobody in Washington knew what was going on anyway.” (16 August 1967 and 20 September 1967 Debriefing: Chief of Station, Leopoldville, 1960–1963; Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 82–00450R, Box 7, Folder 1, DDO/AF, AF/DIV Historical Files)
  10. Authorized Leopoldville to implement program of support to Mobutu. [Footnote in the original.] Regarding this telegram, see Document 39.