522. Memorandum From the President’s Special Assistant (Rostow) to President Johnson1


  • Congo Situation Report

1. Mobutu has reported to McBride that the mercenaries in Kisangani (formerly Stanleyville) fled the city by truck convoy at noon today our time. Destination unknown.

2. McBride has refused Mobutu’s suggestion that we supply a C–130 for reconnaissance to find out where the mercenaries are going. Congolese planes can and should do this job.

3. The Red Cross mission to Kisangani is now fully set up and will leave at 10:00 tonight our time. We have no word on what happened to the hostages when the mercenaries fled. If they were unharmed, the job of the Red Cross plane will be to forestall any Congolese excesses as the Congolese army occupies the city.

4. McBride has made a strong démarche to Mobutu that a great deal depends on his ability to keep his soldiers from harming the white [Page 764] population in Kisangani and other cities. Mobutu has responded with a radio announcement that restrictions on travel by foreigners, curfews, and other measures directed against the white community will be lifted tonight.

5. McBride has worked up several more proposed mercy mis-sions for the C–130’s in addition to the food flight now on the way to Bukavu. The first would be another food delivery to the Kisangani area tomorrow.

6. All C–130 missions not required for emergency protection of Americans must now be approved in Washington by the Joint Chiefs.

  1. Source: Johnson Library, National Security File, Country File, Congo, Vol. XIII, Memos & Miscellaneous, 11/66–8/67. Confidential.