76. Telegram From [location not declassified] to the Central Intelligence Agency1

0398. Ref A. 0372 [less than 1 line not declassified];2 B. 0382 [less than 1 line not declassified].3

1. On 14 Feb [Identity 1] stated no Belgian in Katanga had any part in events leading to death Lumumba. Plan advanced by [Identity 2] and [Identity 1] was to have Lumumba make public declaration he paid by Soviets and repents, followed by tribunal before major chiefs. However Tshombe and ministers took matter into own hands. [Identity 1] expressed hope highest levels ODYOKE would realize Belgians had counselled against quick violent action against Lumumba, adding also that [Identity 2] responsible for small losses on both sides in recent Bukama attack despite GOK desire inflict heaviest possible casualties on Balubakat.

2. [Identity 3] states that Doctor de Coster on 14 Feb again flatly declared Lumumba killed 17 Jan within hours after his arrival Katanga. [1½ lines not declassified]

3. Ref B confusing. Should read “original source [name not declassified] on 10 Feb reconfirmed death occurred 17 Jan etc”.

4. Am still inclined accept both [Identity 1] and [Identity 3] version although still no firm evidence available.4

End of message.

  1. Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Job 78–00801R, DDO/ISS Files, Box 1, Folder 8, [cryptonym not declassified], Vol. I. Secret; Routine. Received at 0912Z. Repeated to Leopoldville.
  2. Review of reports received by w regarding the fate of Lumumba. [Footnote in the original.] This telegram is printed as Document 72.
  3. On 10 February [text not declassified] repeated his conviction that Lumumba was dead. [Footnote in the original.] Telegram 0382 from [location not declassified] to CIA, February 12, quoted several informants who contended that Lumumba was dead. (Central Intelligence Agency Files, [text not declassified], Folder 3)
  4. Telegram 0851 from Leopoldville to CIA, February 20, reported that on February 18 a station officer met briefly with two sources who told him that Lumumba and his two companions had been executed on January 18 by a Belgian officer. They said that the officer shot Mpolo and Okito, and then brought Lumumba into the same room and asked if he repented and was willing to denounce communism. When Lumumba said no, the Belgian shot him. The cable noted that this story and its similarity to other reports would seem to cast some doubt on Belgian innocence. (Ibid.)