433. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Congo1

390. Embtel 642,2 Deptel 384 to Leo.3 We concur Embassy’s intention channel most of its present efforts retain KasavubuTshombe team through Mobutu who, of all Congolese politicians, has apparently demonstrated greatest understanding of problem.

Assuming that situation approaching decisive point, perhaps in form Kasavubu speech to Parliament, you should explore carefully other steps, preferably in coordination with Belgians, Embassy could take at this juncture to assure continuation of team. If, in your opinion, approaches to Kasavubu, Tshombe, Nendaka, Bomboko or others might be productive you should make them, basing your remarks on previous messages this subject (e.g. Deptels 193 rptd Brussels 212, 179, rptd Brussels 201, 151, rptd Brussels 173).4 Suggest also that Embassy officers in contact with other politicians who largely supporting players in this situation emphasize advantages to Congo in continuing [Page 628] present KasavubuTshombe team which would not exclude expanded government.

We also concerned about Mobutu’s report of Nendaka’s efforts to turn self and Kasavubu toward Africans particularly Ghanians as means shoring up internal position. Questionable whether they really equipped play this game skillfully enough to avoid being burned. African interventionists would probably exploit Congolese internal disarray for own ends.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 15–1 THE CONGO. Secret; Priority; Limdis; Noforn. Drafted by Schaufele and approved by Fredericks. Repeated to Brussels, Dar es Salaam, and Accra.
  2. Telegram 642 from Leopoldville, October 8, reported that Blake told Mobutu that the U.S. Government applauded the constructive role he was playing politically. Mobutu said this role was not easy and he had never seen Kasavubu more unhappy about Tshombe. Mobutu had strongly advised Tshombe not to seek the Presidency now, saying he could easily have it in 5 years. (Ibid., POL 23–9 THE CONGO)
  3. Dated October 8. (Ibid., POL 15–1 THE CONGO)
  4. Telegrams 179 and 193 to Leopoldville, August 17 and August 20, are ibid., POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Telegram 151 to Leopoldville, August 10, is ibid., POL 15–1 THE CONGO.