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

136429. Subject: Tshombe Plot. Ref: State 103125, 110241.2

1. Deptoff asked self-styled Tshombe emissary Michael Pons to call Feb 13 to receive reply to his oft-repeated request for USG support for Tshombe coup. Pons was told:

a) USG will continue support central govt in Congo, including Mobutu, just as it did all central govts since independence;

b) USG believes Mobutu expresses same nationalist aspirations any independent Congolese Govt could be expected demonstrate;

c) USG believes another coup at this stage Congo’s development could be disastrous for Congo and free world interests in Africa.

2. Pons said he anticipated reply and appreciated frankness with which it given. Nevertheless, he added, Tshombe still plans carry out coup some time during next three to four months. Pons said he familiar with principal aspects of coup planning which he judged sound.

[Page 718]

3. You should inform Mobutu of pertinent points this message as well as State 110241 as soon as possible and inform Dept when message conveyed.3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Secret; Exdis. Drafted by Haverkamp and Brown, cleared by Palmer, and approved by Brown.
  2. See Document 487 and footnote 2 thereto.
  3. In telegram 5314 from Kinshasa, February 18, Blake reported that he gave Mobutu the substance of the points in this telegram, and that Mobutu was obviously pleased. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 30 THE CONGO)