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

1138. 1. Lt. Colonel Puati, GDRC military attaché, called requesting Department’s assessment Tshombe’s activities Brussels and accuracy current accusations against him. Puati indicated GDRC concerned and seeking friendly government’s advice re Tshombe situation.

2. Deptoff replied by reviewing USG attitude toward Tshombe when he President of Katanga and later Prime Minister of Congo. Said since Tshombe relinquished power USG has maintained only correct, respectful attitude toward him as toward other ex-premiers. Department had no information bearing on reliability reports Tshombe’s activities since arrival Europe.

3. Puati then asked what USG attitude would be if it develops Tshombe conspiring against Mobutu. Deptoff said that our correct and frank relationship with Mobutu and others in GDRC would continue in accordance our known policy toward Congo. Deptoff then asked whether Puati believed Tshombe engaged subversive activities and received reply that Tshombe sufficiently supported by powerful elements in Brussels to assure credibility such suspicion.

4. Puati’s manner indicated belief Tshombe conspiring and fear Tshombe’s base may be broad enough to cause considerable trouble to Mobutu. He doubted Tshombe could now return Leopoldville. Subsequent conversation with Chargé Nzeza revealed latter unaware of Nendaka’s charges against Tshombe, not directly concerned with Puati’s activities and presumably ignorant of latter’s visit to Department.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 6 THE CONGO. Secret; Priority. Drafted by Canup, cleared by Moffat and Colonel Kennedy, and approved by Brown. Also sent to Brussels and repeated to CINCSTRIKE for POLAD Tampa.