55. Memorandum From the Chief of the Africa Division, Directorate of Plans, Central Intelligence Agency (Tweedy) to the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Satterthwaite)1


  • Political Situation in the Congo

1. [CIA] received the following message from its representative in Leopoldville on January 13, 1961.2 [Department of State] a Leopoldville [Page 74] representative read and concurred with the message. The message is as follows.

2. Both the [Department of State] and [CIA] representatives in Leopoldville recognize that a temporary pay increase does not provide a final or good solution to the CNA problem. However, it now appears we have no acceptable alternative. If the GOC refuses to heed CNA pay demands [CIA] and [Department of State] representatives in Leopoldville believe the present government may fall within a few days. The result would almost certainly be chaos and the return of Lumumba to power.3 The second alternative would be for the UNOC to disarm the CNA. That step might lead to fighting between CNA and UN troops, which would play into the hands of the Gizenga regime. Also, if the troops were disarmed, Lumumba would probably return to power. Dayal and other UN leaders have directly or indirectly supported Lumumba to such an extent that [CIA] and [Department of State] have little doubt that they would avail themselves of this opportunity to encourage the return of Lumumba to the government. For example, if the CNA were disarmed and the UNOC opened parliament, the combination of Lumumba’s powers as a demagogue, his able use of goon squads and propaganda, and the spirit of defeat within the Kasavubu/Mobutu coalition which would increase rapidly under such conditions would almost certainly insure a Lumumba victory in the parliament. In short, [CIA] and [Department of State] believe the US Government faces a difficult choice. Neither alternative is good, but refusal to take drastic steps at this time will lead to defeat of US policy in the Congo. On the other hand, immediate steps to guarantee troop loyalty by increasing salaries through a combat bonus would give the US a breathing spell during which time we might aid Mobutu and [name not declassified] and others to meet the problem of the Gizenga regime and to instill discipline in the CNA.

3. In view of the above, [Department of State] and [CIA] representatives in Leopoldville recommend that the [CIA] representative be authorized to tell Mobutu and [name not declassified] that the US is prepared “in principle” to assist them by providing funds on a temporary basis (three or four months) to meet CNA pay demands providing the following requirements are met:

a. Final approval would be contingent upon submission of GOC plans and the view of headquarters in Washington.

b. GOC would immediately prepare plans to counter the moves of the Gizenga regime (if it risks disaster, sic.)

c. Mobutu and [name not declassified] would coordinate in advance future political and military moves with the [CIA] representative.

[Page 75]

4. It is recognized that many powers would accuse the US of intervention if the GOC suddenly finds extra funds for the troops. However, the [CIA] representative believes he can fund the operation without any appreciable risk of compromise. We have already been accused of doing more than we have done, but to date no one has offered proof of US intervention. [1½ lines not declassified]

[pseudonym not declassified]4
  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 76–00366R, DDO/ISG Files, Box 1, Folder 10, [text not declassified], 1960–62. Secret. This memorandum was sent via back-channel.
  2. Telegram 0630 from Leopoldville to CIA, January 13. (Ibid., Job 78–00435R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 6, [cryptonym not declassified] Ops)
  3. Quoted in Interim Report, p. 49.
  4. Printed from a copy that bears Tweedy’s typed pseudonym.