DRAFT STATEMENT ON THE CONGO

New York, New York, United States
Undated, about December 1964
4 pages
Type: Statement
Coverage outside Africa: United States, Belgium
Language: English
The statement says we believe that the Congo crisis presents a major challenge to the conduct of United States foreign policy whose response will guide much of the future relations between the U.S. and the developing countries. The statement says the combined Belgo-American Stanleyville operation, however laudatory its aim might have been, was interpreted by most independent African states as a threat to themselves. The statement says rather than putting a decisive end to the Congo rebellion, the Stanleyville operation has inflamed most of Africa into denunciations of Western intrigues. The statement says peace and stability can ultimately come to the Congo only if the warring factions can come to political terms with one another; the OAU has already given proof of its willingness to' initiate such reconciliation talks. The statement says we thus recommend that U.S. disengagement be phased into an OAU assumption of responsibility. The statement says neither the Central Government under Tshombe nor the rebel forces can hope for a clear victory without outside aid; Tshombe has called upon and has accepted American and Belgian assistance. He has relied heavily on white mercenaries for military victories. The statement says continued reliance on military answers to the problem of unification is thus likely to deepen the splits in Congolese society, and to take the lives of thousands of persons; a long, drawn-out guerilla war should involve extensive bombing of villages, population relocations, establishment of internment camps, reprisal raids, political assassinations, and even the continued loss of life to missionaries and other foreigners working in the Congo. The statement says the stakes are enormous; military aid needed to swing the balance of power is relatively. small at present - a mere 300 paratroopers and as many mercenaries were sufficient to beat back (but not defeat) a rebellion that holds the world’s attention. The statement says the warring factions must therefore be convinced that a political compromise is necessary; but they will only come to such political accommodation when they can no longer rely on external military assistance. The statement says present American policy is making a political solution to the Congo difficult by giving increasing assistance to the government of Moise Tshombe and thus reinforcing the belief that a military solution can be obtained. The statement says the U.S. aid to Tshombe emphasizes the cold war conflict; U.S. aid to Tshombe makes an African solution difficult by conflicting with OAU efforts to bring about a reconciliation; finally, by following its present policy, the U.S. is looked upon with suspicion and distrust by many of the African states. The document discusses the OAU (Organization of African Unity), the Communist bloc, development, progress, policy, and China. [Note: This was a draft that was apparently circulated to members of the American Committee on Africa Executive Board but was not published; see the minutes of the December 14, 1964 meeting available on this website.]
Used by permission Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: George M. Houser (Africa collection), Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections