68. Central Intelligence Agency Information Report1

TDCS–3/464, 615, Field Report [text not declassified]


  • Reported death of Patrice Lumumba, Joseph Okito and Maurice Mpolo in Katanga

1. Patrice Lumumba, Joseph Okito and Maurice Mpolo were executed shortly after their arrival in Elisabethville the evening of 17 Jan. Katanga soldiers shot and killed Okito and Mpolo. A Belgian officer of Flemish origin executed Lumumba with a burst of submachine gun fire at 2300Z 17 Jan. An ear was severed from Lumumba’s head and sent to Albert Kalonji, President of Sud-Kasai. The three bodies were buried in a common grave. ([less than 1 line not declassified] comment: Although a Katanga Government official ([less than 1 line not declassified]) (TDCS-3/463,595)2 reported Lumumba alive as of 17 Jan, no other report has confirmed this. The United Nations command in Leopoldville has been unable to determine the whereabouts or condition of Lumumba. A qualified American observer (B) in Leopoldville who has contacts among the [Page 94] international press corps believes a few of the newsmen recently returned from Katanga have heard rumors of Lumumba’s death).3

2. Field dissem: State Army Navy Air CINCLANT.

End of message.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 79–00149A, DDO/IMS Files, African Division, Senate Select Committee, Volume II, Box 23, Folder 1. Secret; Priority; Noforn; Continued Control.
  2. Not found.
  3. Telegram 0785 from Leopoldville to CIA and [text not declassified], February 8, reported that Fernand Kazadi, Commissioner General for National Defense, claimed he saw the execution and asked whether [text not declassified] could comment. (Central Intelligence Agency Files, [text not declassified], folder 3) See Document 70 for [text not declassified] response. Telegram 0797 from Leopoldville to CIA, February 9, reported that a Station officer had been told by [text not declassified] that Lumumba, Okito, and Mpolo had been executed in mid-January by Katanga officials. The telegram also reported that a Station contact said February 9 that he believed Lumumba was dead, based on a conversation with Interior Commissioner Daniel Kandolo on February 2 in which Kandolo expressed the same opinion. (Ibid.)