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

20600. 1. In view series of events last few days, believe it most important that you seek appointment with Mobutu ASAP and speak to him along following lines:

2. Under instructions you requesting clarification Congolese intentions for immediate future.

3. We aware of discussions which Mobutu had held with Belgian Amb about security Belgian citizens and also of Litho efforts calm foreign population Katanga. Therefore we find violence which took place Kinshasa Aug 142 inconsistent with GDRC’s own assurances of safety for foreigners and with what we considered to be sincere Belgo-Congolese efforts to find mutually acceptable formula re security Belgian citizens in Congo. It seems to us that incident of Aug 14 in large part due to inflammatory output Govt-controlled communications media.

4. We also concerned by Congolese appeal to President SC which, contrary to our usual frank and full discussions, was carried out without prior knowledge USG. We struck by fact that at very time Adoula under instructions to inform USG of this step Soviet Amb in Brazzaville appeared in Kinshasa to offer assistance in response to it.

5. More than any Congolese leader Mobutu is aware of US policy toward Congo and assistance US has provided Congo. We have worked closely together for seven years. Therefore we at loss to explain recent Congolese actions especially since Mobutu also aware strong domestic reaction which our most recent assistance has caused in U.S.

6. Violence of Aug 14 in which American citizens were badly beaten, especially if combined with assistance from Soviet or other countries backed by Soviets, bound have adverse results in U.S.

7. US policy toward Congo remains unchanged but in view our close and cordial relationships we would welcome Mobutu’s comments on above.

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8. If Mobutu queries you about status his requests for assistance you should limit yourself to stating that you have had no response as yet.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 1 THE CONGO. Secret; Immediate. Drafted by Schaufele, cleared by Brown, and approved by Palmer. Repeated to Brussels.
  2. On August 14, the Belgian Embassy was sacked and many Europeans and Americans in Kinshasa were attacked and beaten.