407. Editorial Note

In telegram 90199 to the Station in Leopoldville, March 5, 1965, the Central Intelligence Agency reported on a consensus reached regarding the political divisions within the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (GDRC). There was no doubt such schisms existed, the telegram stated. President Kasavubu suspected Prime Minister Tshombe, Tshombe complained to Ambassador Godley concerning Joseph Mobutu, and Victor Nendaka was disturbed over the proliferation of intelligence agencies in the GDRC. Regardless of the degree to which the split had gone or was going, it seemed clear that the [cryptonym not declassified] were at least taking out reinsurance by siding with Kasavubu against Tshombe. All this activity was bound to have a disruptive effect on an already chaotic GDRC, the telegram stated, and the U.S. Government must attempt to minimize it. Thus it should undertake selective, modest, ad hoc funding of specific individuals, not parties, for specific purposes, to keep all lines open and to provide some leverage in counseling moderation [text not declassified]. (Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job [text not declassified], Fiche 44, Row 2, Frames 4–7, [text not declassified])

On the other side of the coin, the telegram continued, Tshombe was suspicious of the [cryptonym not declassified] or any other power block that he could not completely control. His request for election [Page 591] funds was probably made not because he needed money but rather to test U.S. willingness to stand behind him personally. If the U.S. response was negative or too little he could be expected to interpret the lack of support as a manifestation of an active anti-Tshombe position. CIA believed, albeit reluctantly, that the U.S. could not risk such an interpretation. In its initial approach, the U.S. could assure Tshombe it would make every effort to obtain the [cryptonym not declassified] support for the GDRC and Tshombe in the critical pre-election period. The “net message” to Tshombe should be that the greatest danger to the Congo was the creation of feuding factions would lead to an internecine struggle similar to that in Vietnam. (Ibid.)

Telegram 7516 from Leopoldville to CIA, March 8, transmitted Ambassador Godley’s response to telegram 90199. The Ambassador emphasized the fluidity of the present situation in the Congo and said he definitely did not believe that the U.S. Government should undertake widespread financing of many additional specific individuals, noting that they could not guarantee that funds so disbursed would not go to parties. (Ibid., Frames 8–11)