542. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Belgium1

24841. 1. We believe time has come for GOB to issue public statement, reiterating its support for GDRC, condemning mercenary-led rebellion, and expressing hope for rapid, bloodless end to strife. Realize that GOB has condemned mercenaries in past but think another statement [Page 786] is called for. It should be aimed both at reassuring Mobutu and warning Schramme that he cannot expect assistance or encouragement from official Belgian circles. It should serve take some of sting out of Belgian press articles, sympathetic to Schramme, which disturb Mobutu.2

2. Above becomes more urgent as result collapse Rwanda evacuation plan.3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Brown, cleared by Moffat, and approved by Palmer. Repeated to Lisbon, Kinshasa, Kigali, Bujumbura, and CINCSTRIKE for POLAD Tampa.
  2. In telegram 1101 from Brussels, August 23, Knight reported that he conveyed the Department’s suggestion to Davignon, who readily agreed. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 371 from Kigali, August 21, reported that the Rwandan Government refused to let the mercenaries transit Rwanda. (Ibid.)