567. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Uganda1

86428. 1. Démarche to Mobutu should be made soonest by Stebbins or by Burns if time precludes seeing Mobutu in Kampala. Following points should be made.

(a) U.S. gravely concerned over possibility Congolese may take military action against Rwanda as intimated by Bomboko to Ambassador Cyr.

(b) US hopes problem of mercenaries can be solved to satisfaction of all interested parties, but does not believe that military solution, under any circumstances, can serve interest of Congo. Issue would inevitably go to Security Council and cause great difficulties for Congo and its friends.

(c) In any case T–28 aircraft precluded from use outside Congo by terms of MAP agreement. (Under terms of US–Congo MAP agreement T–28’s can only be used for internal security or legitimate self defense. Use for any other purpose would require USG approval which could not be given in this case.)

(d) US not involved in mercenary problem and believes GDRC should continue to attempt resolve directly with parties concerned.

2. If asked whether US has approached Belgians or others in matter, Ambassador should reply that we have not for reasons stated in (d) above.2

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1967–69, POL 23–9 THE CONGO. Confidential; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by McKesson; cleared by Palmer, Colonel Kennedy, and Meagher; and approved by McKesson. Also sent to Dar es Salaam and repeated to Kinshasa, Kigali, Brussels, Addis Ababa, Bujumbura, Paris, London, Lubumbashi, USUN, and CINCSTRIKE.
  2. In telegram 1119 from Kampala, December 19, Ambassador Stebbins reported that he made the démarche contained in this telegram to Bomboko, who had said he would convey this to Mobutu en route to Dar es Salaam. (Ibid., POL 7 THE CONGO)