47. National Security Council Briefing1


I. Lumumba’s escape from Leopoldville—presumably towards Stanleyville in Orientale Province—planned since early November.

A. [less than 1 line not declassified] —who had been in close contact with Lumumba—told [less than 1 line not declassified] 28 November he had not aided Lumumba’s escape and had not seen him for a week. Characterized Lumumba as in “disturbed personal condition.” [less than 1 line not declassified] says Lumumba blamed his remaining on so long in Leopoldville on Afro-Asians. Most of his followers have also fled.

B. Unconfirmed press reports suggest Lumumba is moving overland to Stanleyville.

II. Orientale Province controlled by Lumumba forces since mid-October, despite some opposition from army elements loyal to Mobutu.

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A. Lumumba, describing situation Orientale, recently observed that “liberation movement in Congo could be launched from there.” Probably hopes to consolidate position there, then build up his following in other areas.

B. Lumumba agents, the UAR, and Soviet Bloc continue active in support of this goal.

1. On 26 November, [less than 1 line not declassified] that Lumumba’s operations in Stanleyville should be encouraged, “and similar movements started in Kasai, North Katanga and Kivu.”

2. In mid-November, Lumumba emissary contacted [less than 1 line not declassified] concerning delivery of unidentified shipment which was to transit UAR and Sudan, presumably to Orientale Province.

III. On 28 November, Lumumba partisans in Stanleyville launched sweeping arrests of Europeans, including UN personnel. Most released, but many beaten. UN representative Stanleyville asked for emergency air evacuation of 1,000 Europeans on 29 November, but request dropped on 30 November with UN reporting Stanleyville “quiet.”

A. Also on 28 November Congolese district commissioner in Stanleyville instructed all police posts Orientale Province that any European expressing anti-Lumumba sentiments would be expelled.

IV. Should Lumumba arrive safely Stanleyville, where his followers so well established, new phase of power struggle in Congo would begin.

A. According to one report, Mobutu’s commissioners decided 29 November to mount military operations against Lumumba forces at Stanleyville. This would be most difficult. If UN unable prevent such action, result would be civil war.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 79R00890A, Box 13, Folder 2, NSC Briefings, November 1960. Top Secret; [codeword not declassified].