404. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Israel1

844. For Gov Harriman. Congo. We have thus far been unable get Tshombe commit himself to go to Fon Min meeting, despite strong appeals from Amb Godley, UK, Zambians, and GDRC Del Nairobi. Meeting will apparently run through first week of March, with Congo item inscribed towards end of agenda. Zambians claim they can rally adequate support for GDRC if Tshombe arrives to coordinate with moderates and present case. Meeting opened with mild statement by Kenyatta, who appears ready adopt moderate stance in effort find Congo solution.

Obote reacted emotionally to Amb Deming’s revelation of Ugandan incursions onto Congolese soil. While GDRC appears prepared accept some form of mediation or border commission, chances for Ugandan agreement not favorable at this time. Meanwhile, we have [Page 588] asked Embassy Leo whether ANC cannot effectively seal off northeast corner without actually advancing on border towns, thereby avoiding new incidents.

Houphouet has told us that OCAM grouping formed at Nouakchott is best vehicle both for assisting legitimate GDRC and for persuading Tshombe take steps to improve his African image. Houphouet confident Tshombe can get African police troops from OCAM members but stressed that arms would have to come from US and France.

Davignon informed us that GOB has instructed De Kerchove to refrain from meddling in KasavubuTshombe affair, in line with Spaak belief it best adopt hands-off policy on domestic matters. Belgians see reported rift as predictable phenomenon of electoral period. Nevertheless, our Embassy in Leo is discreetly but firmly pointing out to both elements the mutual disadvantages of a split and the concomitant effect on US ability to cooperate with GDRC.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Alan D. Berlind and approved by McIlvaine.