LBJ & the Congo
Africa, map from Time 1964
see also modern map
Lumumba - newsreels

1960 was the "Year of Africa"

Congo became independent June 30, 1960, but civil war

JFK and Nkruma 3/8/61

JFK supported newly elected premier Cyril Adoula

Katanga secession led by Tshombe from capital Elisabethville, but secession crushed by Jan. 1963 and Tshombe fled to exile in Spain

"Rebel Simbas on spree"

Joseph Mobutu was one of the enemies of Lumumba, was leader of the ANC (Army of the Congo) and kept stability in the Congo with the help of UN troops, but his government became increasingly corrupt

Mobutu's army collapsed June 1964, had no desire to fight the growing Simba rebel movement

Simbas took western hostages, including Dr. Paul Carlson

Carlson on Time cover 12/4/64

Africa was not well known in the U.S.

June 26, 1964 - Tshombe returned from his Spanish exile and was appointed PM by President Kasavubu and Gen. Mobutu, but he was considered a "walking museum of colonialism" due to his ties with Belgium and Portugal and favored a partitioning of the Congo

LBJ wanted the European allies to help Tshombe suppress the rebels, but Britain would not send troops to stop communists in Zanzibar; no French or German help; "gutless Belgians" refused help

July 22, 1964 - 2nd meeting of the new Organization of African Unity

Aug. 5 - Simba rebel army captured Stanleyville

Aug. 11 - NSC began 1st of 75 meetings about the Congo - John McCone of CIA

Over 1000 mercenaries employed for the Congo campaign in Oct. and Nov.

Carlson's body

1964 was the "Year of the White Giants"

U.S. contributed planes for the Congo AF

Cuba sent Che Guevara, known as "Talu" to train Simba rebels - 2

Although Tshombe sought to present an anti-colonial image by contributing $800 to Holden Roberto of Angola, he secretly accepted weapons and mercenaries from South Africa to fight the rebels

Nov. 24 - Hoare's mercenary army and Belgian paratroopers rescued Stanleyville hostages

April 1965 - Hoare's forces reached the Sudan border

June 1965 - Ben Bella of Algeria who had aided the rebels was overthrown by Boumedienne; Ghana's Nkrumah would be overthrown in 1966

Sen. Thomas Dodd was pro-Tshombe

Malcolm X was anti-Tshombe and critical of LBJ

Oct. 1965 - Tshombe was overthrown by Kasavubu

Nov. 25, 1965 - Mobutu assumed power and ruled the Congo for the next 27 years


revised 4/10/06 by Schoenherr | Cold War Policies | next-->