A Proposal for a New U.S. Policy on the Congo

by George M. Houser, American Committee on Africa
New York, New York
Undated, late 1960 or very early 1961?
Publisher: American Committee on Africa
3 pages
Type: Policy Document
Language: English
The document says there is no central government which is operating effectively in the Congo; this has in fact been true ever since independence came to the Congo on June 30th; President Kasavubu's power rests partly on moral support which he has been given from outside, plus the control which Colonel Mobutu has over the Congolese army in the Leopoldville area; the Government of Commissioners which has been established has not effectively or with any sense of efficiency been able to carry out elementary functions of government; the United Nations is constantly complaining that one of the reasons things move so slowly is that there is no one who can expedite orders; whether it is possible under these circumstances to talk about real independence is questionable; there is no one government to safeguard independence for the whole country. The document says the process of segmenting the Congo into small secessionist states is proceed1ng rapidly; the prospect of civil war breaking out between the various sections of the country is ever more imminent; Kasavubu and the Abako Party control only a certain section of the Leopoldville Province; the PSA under Kamitatu controls a significant portion of the rest of the Province; Lumumba's MNC controls the Stanleyville area and a large portion of Oriental Province; Tshombe's Conakat Party controls Elizabethville and the southern portion of Katanga; Sendwe's Balabakat Party controls the northern part of Katanga and is in opposition to Tshombe; Kalonji's party controls the southern part of Kasai; not only do tribal differences and traditional rivalries dictate the breaking up of the Republic of the Congo, but personal animosities between the leaders are to some extent a determining factor.  The document says interference in the internal affairs of the Congo by outside forces is proceeding with ever increasing vigor; in the circumstances of a power vacuum within the Congo, there is no single force within the country that can control influence from the outside Thus Belgium has been able to move in the Congo with economic and political influence, accepted by some internal forces and opposed by others within the Congo; various of the African states have been engaged in manueverings primarily of a political character, accepted by some internal forces and opposed by others; the United States has played its role in backing up the Kasavubu and opposing the Lumumba forces; the Soviet Union, for a short time, was giving significant aid and was prepared to continue this if Lumumba had remained in a position of authority. The document says the civilian operation of the United Nations is essential in keeping elementary functions of government in working order. The technicians whom the United Nations has sent into the Congo have been responsible for keeping the transportation and communications systems operating, for food supply, for minimum standards of health being maintained. The document discusses Parti Solidaire Africain (PSA), Alliance des Bakongo (ABAKO), Mouvement National Congolais (MNC), the Security Council, the General Assembly, military and civilian personnel. 
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: Peter Weiss (Africa collection), Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections