290. Telegram 14140 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Zaire1 2


  • Angola: GOZ Contemplates UN Action


  • Kinshasa 388 (Nodis)
  • Kinshasa 397 (Nodis)
  • Kinshasa 420 (Nodis)

1. In your reply to points raised by Mobutu, Bula and Bisengimena you should say that US fully understands and sympathizes with GOZ concerns and problems. We appreciate positive and effective role which GOZ has played in Angolan situation.

2. You should reassure Mobutu that he has our support and understanding and you should encourage him to pursue his active diplomatic efforts regarding Angola. We will provide continuing support and cooperation in this regard.

3. We are examining sympathetically requests he has made. Obviously some of them present congressional and other obstacles but we will actively explore ways to surmount them. FYI: It is important that you be encouraging and supportive in this phase of your conversation. End FYI

4. On specific points which we can respond to now:

—(A) UN Security Council:

We favor idea of sending such a letter to SC President setting forth the Zairian complaint of violation of its frontier by Soviet/Cuban-supported MPLA forces and we will provide support with other SC members as appropriate. Such a letter, if well drafted, could provide an opportunity to give widespread publicity to the moderate cause in Angola. Best method would be message from Mobutu or Bula to SC President (Tanzania) and UNSYG requesting that it be circulated as SC document. However, if it asks for UN team to be sent to investigage the situation, this could only be done as consequence SC debate which we understand GOZ does not wish at this time. If GOZ sends letter it should persuade other moderate African chiefs of state or their PermReps in New York to chime in with supporting written or oral statements, former of which should also be circulated as SC documents. Other possibility which would be more time-consuming and might require negotiation would be a letter transmitted by GOZ PermRep and signed by PermReps of other moderate African states. GOZ should realize that likely response from other side will cite Zairian intervention in Angola and air attack on Texeria de Sousa. It should also be aware that other two African SC members are Benin and Libya.

—(B) As Assistant Secretary Schaufele reminded Zairian Charge earlier this week SC is scheduled to begin Namibia debate before end of month. Angola will inevitably be raised by pro-MPLA group and GOZ and its friends should be prepared to participate forcefully in that case. We would prefer that Angola not be raised in Namibia debate but doubt that it can be avoided. Strong reasoned response from Zaire and its friends would be helpful in this regard.

—(C) Meeting with Secretary: We are reexamining possibility of Bula meeting with Secretary.

5. Visit of delegation to US: If Mobutu could persuade such a prestigious delegation as Kaunda, Senghor and Ahidjoor their Foreign Minister, to come to the us we think this would have a positive impact. Should Mobutu decide to make such an effort we would be happy to receive such a delegation and extend every courtesy to it.

6. Nguza visit: We would welcome Nguza visit but if he is not part of broader delegation as in para 5 above we think it should be low key depending on how atmospherics develop here. We would appreciate as much notice as possible and suggest that publicity if any, be limited initially to statement that he coming to consult with US officials.

7. Rapproachment with South Africa: On this point we must be discouraging. It is neither in his interest nor in ours to have such an rapproachment which would result in GOZ becoming outcast. Result would be to destroy moderate African grouping which held together in Addis and may be future source of greater moderation in Africa. Here it would arouse strong domestic animosity.

8. This, combined with SMTF problem does not provide so much reassurance and support as Mobutu seeks. Therefore you should reiterate our basic sympathy and our support.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Policy Files, 1976. Secret; Niact Immediate; Nodis. Repeated Immediate to USUN and Priority to USDEL Secretary. Drafted by Thompson R. Buchanan, Jr. (AF/C); cleared in IO, AF, S/S; and approved by Kissinger via telegram. An information copy of the telegram was sent Priority to the Secretary’s delegation abroad. Kissinger was traveling from Copenhagen to Moscow.
  2. The Department instructed the Embassy to sympathize with Zairian security concerns and to assure President Mobutu that he had U.S. understanding and support.