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Department of State bulletin (Volume v. 46, Jan- Mar 1962) online

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of the U.N.'s rightful presence in Katanga. The
U.N. role has been to prevent civil war, to eject
the mercenaries, and to keep the focus on the
need for a national reconciliation between Ka-
tanga and the rest of the Congo.

Katanga Is Part of the Congo

The United States is not alone in opposing seces-
sion by Katanga. Far from it. The Government
of the Kepublic of the Congo quite naturally op-
poses secession of the richest of its six provinces.
Bcj'ond this the United Nations memberehip, in-
cluding all the Western Powers, is opposed to se-

* For an article by Under Secretary Rail on "The Ele-
ments In Our Congo Policy," see ihid., Jan. 8, 1962, p. 43.


Department of State Bulletin

cession. It is worth i-ecalliiig that Mr. Tshombe
proclaimed his secession in July 1960. Yet at no
time since has any government anywhere in the
world recognized his i-egime.

Tlie fact is, there has never been any legal,
moral, or other basis for Katanga's existence as a
separate state. Let us see why this is so.

First of all, the Congo achieved indejiendence as
a miit with a Constitution specifying that its ter-
ritoi-y includes all the provinces of the former
Belgian Congo. This was agreed to before inde-
pendence by all of the Congolese party leaders,
including Mr. Tshombe, at a conference in Brussels
in February 1960. The validity of this C/onstitu-
tion was perfected by the election of officers under
it. Mr. Tsliombe in fact became President of the
Katanga Province by virtue of this same

Furthermore, an integrated Congo is the will of
the vast majority of the Congo's 14 million people.
Not only that, but in Katanga Province itself Mr.
Tshombe and his regime have enjoyed the support
of less than half of the population. The Baluba
tribe, centered in the north, and related subgroups
alone constitute approximately one-half of a total
provincial population of 1,650,000 people and have
been opposed to Mr. Tshombe's regime and its
secessionist efforts.

In May 1960 Mr. Tshombe's Conakat party and
its allies won 27 seats in a provincial assembly of 60
seats. The Baluba party (Balubakat) and its
allies won 25 seats. Eight seats were not effectively
filled because of disputed elections and other
reasons. Harassed by the Elisabethville govern-
ment, the Baluba representatives long ago with-
drew from the provincial legislature, leaving what
we would call a rump organization. In these cir-
cumstances the "legislature" is a body which is
witliin Ml'. Tshombe's control. The question of
"ratifying'' the Kitona agreement is thus mean-
ingless, except as a demonstration of what orders
Mr. Tshombe gives to his deputies.

In tliis comiection, you may have heard the al-
legations that the Katanga is the only area of
order and peace in the Congo. The fact is that
the Elisabethville regime has forcefully but im-
successfully sought to impose its will on the Balu-
bas and the Katanga has been as disturbed as any
other area of the Congo. An example was the
massacre at Luena, in which over 200 Baluba
tribesmen were shot down by Katanga soldiers.

January 22, T962

624352—62 3

Alternative to Reintegration

But what of the broader picture?

They have not seen it, but those who have argued
for Katanga secession have in reality been arguing
for the destniction of the Republic of the Congo.
They simply have not faced up to the civil strife
and economic and political chaos which would then
overtake 14 million Congolese. They have taken
no account of the alternative to U.N. action, wliich
is to see the army of the Leopoldville government
embark on a direct military attack against

Make no mistake about this: The rest of the
Congo is intent upon the return of the Katanga.
They woidd use force to secure it. No political
leader would siu^vive who did not support Ka-
tanga's return. And a very serious disaster could
easily grow out of civil strife in the Congo. In
the words of the U.N. Conciliation Commission for
the Congo, there is the "danger of civil war which
may well degenerate into a war of genocide be-
tween different tribes in the Congo."

To forestall such a calamity is reason enough
for the United Nations Operation in the Congo.
Just as important is the prevention of outside mil-
itaiy intervention which woidd all too probably
follow such warfare. Those who would denigrate
the U.N. role in the Congo have not, I fear, reck-
oned with these alternatives.

If Katanga leadere in Elisabetliville have suf-
fered from "local-itis," responsible people outside
Katanga have a broader obligation. Unfortu-
nately, this "local-itis"' has been cultivated widely
in Europe and even heie in the United States by
a well-financed propaganda machine speaking for
Mr. Tshombe and against the U.N.

Central Government of Prime Minister Adoula

The United Nations — with U.S. support, with
the support of the great majority of U.N. mem-
bers, and in direct o^jposition to the Soviet
Union — slowly built up the basis for a new politi-
cal consensus in the Congo. This bore fi'uit last
August, when Parliament met to fomi a new gov-
ermnent under the strong, moderate, independent
Prime Minister, Cyrille Adoula.

The Adoula government gained the adherence
of all major elements of the Congo body politic,
excepting Tshombe, although provision was made
for Katangan representation. Its inauguration
marked the effective end of the illegal, breakaway


regime of [Aiitoine] Gizenga, whom the Com-
munists had sought to make their puppet. It set
the stage for national integration imder moderate
government. It signaled the imminent accom-
plisliment of the U.N.'s emergency task and the
beginning of a new and hopeful life of recon-
struction for the Congolese people.

Mr. Adoula, whom I have met, deserves to be
much better known. As Secretary Rusk stated
the other day,'' "Premier Adoula is a man of intel-
ligence, moderation, and nationwide stature. . . .
He has made clear liis determination to keep his
country free from control from any foreign
quarter." Furthermore, Mr. Adoula has held the
door open to reconciliation with Mr. Tshombe.
Senator [Thomas J.] Dodd, who has recently re-
turned from talks in the Congo with both Mr.
Adoula and Mr. Tshombe, described both leaders
as "men of exceptional intelligence and integi'ity"
who have a great deal in common. It is evident
that agreement between the two, on the basis of
one Congo under a national government, is the
liighroad to ending the present crisis. That is
why it is so important that Mr. Tshombe and his
colleagues fulfill the commitment made at Kitona.

Extremist and Communist Threats

Tlie effect of Mr. Tshombe's erstwhile course of
secession was to threaten the survival of the mod-
erate Adoula government and to strengthen ex-
tremist elements — Mr. Gizenga in particular —
who are all too ready to invite hostile outside
intervention, which could plunge central Africa
into chaos with the Communists as the only win-
ners. Mr. Gizenga has not given up his own itch
for power in the Congo, but he has l>een cut back
severely in the last 6 months. He has no broad
political support, and his chief hope has been to
trade on the issue of Katangan secession and, per-
haps, civil war. A divided, anarchic Congo would
be wide open to communism.

Failure to see this vital role of the Adoula gov-
ernment has been the great blind spot of those
for whom it is enough that Mr. Tshombe has
described his cause as anti-Comnumist. Mr.
Tshombe is indeed anti-Communist, and this is all
to the good. But even if one imagines a separate
Katanga — and even Sir Roy Welensky of tlie

° For a transcript of Secretary Rusk's news conference
of DiK-. 8, see ibid., Dec. 25, 19C1, p. 1053.


Rhodesias has said he sees no future for a separate
Katanga — the price that would be paid in the rest
of the Congo would most certainly be chaos, civil
war, and conditions favorable to Communist pene-
tration. The world would then have on its hands
a disaster afl'ecting central Africa and perhaps
the whole continent. And it would be a very high-
priced disaster indeed.

Let me now speak of two important considera-
tions which deserve a better miderstanding. One
is the provocations that led up to violence in
Katanga: the other is the efforts at conciliation
which have been, and are being, made to resolve
the crisis.

Provocations Against UNOC

At his press conference December 8, Secretary
Rusk observed, "I think we ought to remind our-
selves that this recent outbreak of fighting oc-
curred after several days of harassment by Ka-
tangese against U.N. personnel, both civilian and
military." The background is this :

Since about the middle of November, and prior
to adoption of the most recent Security Council
resolution,*' Katanga provincial authorities have
directed a propaganda campaign of mcreasing
violence against the U.N. An official Katanga
communique on November 15 said that "ill-inten-
tioned officials" of the UN. were "intent on mas-
sacring the people who have remained faithful
to the Katanga Government." This is but a sam-
ple of tlie propaganda of incitement to which the
U.N. was subjected.

On November 28, Ivan Smith (Australian) and
Brian Urquliart (British), the top U.N. officials
in Elisabethville, wei-e severely beaten by Katanga
troops in front of Senator Dodd, who was visiting
Elisabethville at the time. They were rescued
only by valiant efforts of the American consul.

On the same day an Indian officer was kidnaped
and his driver was killed by Katangan troops.
The officer is still missing, and the worst is feared.

On December 2, drunken Katangan gendarmes
molested airport workers and a woman at Elisa-
bethville airfield. Indian troops disarmed the
gendarmes, whereupon other Katangan armed ele-
ments opened fire on the U.N. troops.

That same evening, a Katangan armored car oc-

' For text, see ibid., IOCS.

Department of State Bulletin

cupied by two Europeans was stationed off the road
to the airfield and roadblocks were set up by the
Katanga gendarmery to impede U.N. conununica-
tions with its headquarters.

On the night of December 2-3, seven Swedes,
two Norwegians, and one Argentine, all members
of the U.N. foi'ces, were abducted by Katanga

On December 3, the roadblocks were mamied
again, a U.N. helicopter was fired on, and shoot-
ing by Katangan gendarmeiy was reported from
various parts of Elisabethville.

Also on December 3, Katanga gendarmes fired
on U.N. personnel attempting to pass a roadblock
at the tunnel. A private Swedish soldier who was
driving was killed, and two others were injured.

On December 4, Katanga paracommandos estab-
lished roadblocks completely cutting communica-
tions between UNOC headquarters and the air-
port. Repeated representations were made to the
Katangan Foreign Minister, who promised to re-
move the troops. His orders were not obeyed.
Early in the afternoon of December 5 Indian
troops took action to clear the roadblocks.

That is when the first serious action began.

That is the background to the reinforcement of
U.N. forces in Katanga, which the United States
assisted by providing planes for an airlift.

Since Mr. Tshombe is a man of some responsi-
bility, how can we account for these provocations ?

The reason is that local political extremists and
some 400 foreign mercenaries, men of the worst
reputation, sought to convince Mr. Tshombe that
through use of force he could maintain the Ka-
tanga as a separate state. These individuals de-
liberately initiated violence and fomented activi-
ties designed to frustrate the peacemaking efforts
of the U.N.

Their handiwork is also responsible for much
of the harassment of U.N. forces, by sniping and
hit-and-rim raids, which has been reported since
Mr. Tshombe took off for Kitona. The U.N. had
issued a hold-fire at that point. The mercenaries
obviously stand to lose in a reconciliation of the
Congolese people. They have not hesitated to
keep the provocations going. The Katanga propa-
ganda machine has thus had the material to fabri-
cate horrendous tales of indiscriminate mayhem
by U.N. troops. Actually, casualty figures have
been held down only by virtue of U.N. restraint
and discipline, which has been very good.

Conciliation Efforts

Now, what of steps taken by the U.N., with U.S.
support, to achieve peaceful reconciliation of Ka-
tanga with the Congo central government ?

Attempts at reconciliation go back to July of
1960. In that summer the American consul in
Elisabethville made repeated attempts to convince
Mr. Tshombe that the only future for Katanga
lay in its reintegration with the Congo. No terms
were suggested; the nature of the political ar-
rangements was to be left to negotiations between
the two parties. Such efforts, by us and by the
U.N., continued in succeeding months.

In March 1961, the U.S. and other Western gov-
ermnents applauded the results of the provisional
conference at Tananarive, which seemed to foretell
the restoration of Congolese unity. We heartily
approved Mr. Tshombe's attendance at the con-
ference at Coquilhatville in April 1961 which was
to work out the constitutional pattern in more
detail. We were distressed when the breakdown
of this conference led to his detention at Coquil-
hatville and later at Leopoldville. However, on
June 25, after being liberated and then promising
to jom with other Congolese factions in establish-
ing a central government and participating in the
reconvening of Parliament, Mr. Tshombe returned
to Elisabethville. But once there, Mr. Tshombe
repudiated the agreements he had made in Leo-

When in July it became apparent that a new
central government was indeed going to be formed
through legal meetings of Parliament at Leopold-
ville, the U.N. — and among othere the U.S., Bel-
gium, and Britain — made repeated efforts to con-
vince Mr. Tshombe to send his parliamentarians
to Leopoldville. Despite guarantees of protection,
Mr. Tshombe refused. The Adoula government
was fonned by all major political elements in the
Congo, excepting only the Tshombe group.

During the fighting in Elisabethville from Sep-
tember 13 to 20, Secretary-General Hammarskjold
himself came to the Congo in a new attempt at
reconciliation. He lost his life while on a mission
to accomplish a cease-fire and lay the foundation
for political negotiations.

On September 26, our consul delivered to Mr.
Tshombe a written statement in which we hailed
the cease-fire and the end of bloodshed and
pointed out the advantages of restoring the po-
litical and economic situation of Katanga by en-

January 22, J 962


tering into a satisfactorily negotiated settlement
with the central government. As in the past,
Tshombe's reaction to tliis suggestion was

Finally, in the period between the firet and sec-
ond U.N.-Katangan conflicts in Elisabethville,
President Kennedy asked Mr. [ W. Averell] Harri-
man to meet Mr. Tshombe in Switzerland and to
underline the importance which we attach to rec-
onciliation in the Congo. Ambassador Harriman
did indeed attempt to convince Mr. Tshombe that
the Congo situation demanded that negotiations
take place as soon as possible. Moreover, when
Senator Dodd visited Elisabethville in November,
he also attempted without success to achieve this
same objective.

The re

Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 46, Jan- Mar 1962) → online text (page 32 of 101)