56. Editorial Note

On April 25, 1963, the Station in Leopoldville reported to Central Intelligence Agency headquarters that it had received and reviewed a “first batch” of Tshombe papers [text not declassified] including letters dated January 15, 1961, to Justin Bomboko and Joseph Kasavubu approving Patrice Lumumba’s transfer to Katanga, and one dated January 13, 1961, to Joseph Mobutu offering a payment of one million Belgian Congolese francs in the hope that this sum would aid his army. The cable said that Mobutu had advised the Congolese Government of the payment, which was made during the “post-Coquilhatville reconciliation period,” and had turned the funds over to the Congolese National Army. (Telegram 6730 to the Central Intelligence Agency; Central Intelligence Agency Files, [text not declassified], Tshombe, Moise, Fiche 4) Copies of the letters to Kasavubu and Mobutu, which are in French, are ibid., Fiche 18, and a copy of the letter to Bomboko, also in French, is ibid., [text not declassified], Bomboko, Justin, Vol. I.) On April 12, 1966, CIA headquarters, responding to an inquiry from a Chief of Station regarding the authenticity of the January 15 letter to Bomboko, stated that CIA could not state definitely that the letter was a forgery. CIA’s dispatch said it was possible that the letter had been prepared by the Soviets or “some other interested party,” but noted that there was no contradiction between the contents and date of the letter and the known events leading up to Lumumba’s death. (Dispatch [text not declassified] to the Chief of Station, [text not declassified], April 12, 1966; ibid., [text not declassified], Tshombe, Moise, Fiche 41)