PRESIDENT MOBUTU'S COMMENTS ON RANSOM EXCHANGE WITH REBELS, THE SITUATION IN AN

Created: 7/13/1975

OCR scan of the original document, errors are possible

1. Re paraF is asking Embassy Dar es Salaam for confirmation no US officials were present at the ransom exchange.

2. Re paraF notes the figure0 tons of arms and ammunition which Mobutu claims the Soviets have provided the MPTjA during the past week. We have no confirmation of that figure, which seems extraordinarily large. The Agency believes it may be in error and is trying to verify its accuracy.

rs

FOR RELEASE

DATE: 4

A*o0 Oft. CI

MEMORANDUM

SUBJECT: President Mobutu's Comments on Ransom Exchange with Rebels, the Situation in Angola and Zaire's Economic Problems.

Ambassador Mobutu and

^ubu ativU on uVance's message concerning theiscussed the Angolan situation with him.

did not cross the lake and

was not

involved

Tfrr

in the exchange. 0U5 COnVlCtlOn Vitn-wTmr ence and comments that both

"lnoncthd

tnrd

2. In discussing the kidnapping, Mobutu reiterated that he had fixJD.rqpo.rts that Consul MacFarlane had been present durineith thent in

bbi _

t

be

nau inocru part-rcipated in the exchange in order to assure protection. equTTTFT would be helpful if the Department queried

tu spoke about the Consul's pres-the credibility of Ambassador Vance severely strained if. official

(suggests that wrrih Mobutu it the Embassy in Dar e

Salaan--prior to Ambassador Vance's forthcoming trip--for recon firmation that. official was present during the ransom exchange.)

3. Mobutu went on to say that his reports alsousedout that our

biggest problem had been that of'muMiig Jontact with the rebels and that, in this regard, we still have to rely on foot Mobutu then referred again to his "humanistic" reaction to our request for his help, saying that to this very day the Government of Zaire (GOZ) is exercising restraint in notthe rebels. Had it not been foT our pleas, Mobutu said Ke would have sent in three battalions and "mopped up the area".

said that unknown elements apparently arc exploiting

the kidnapping in an effort to further divide. Government (USG) and. He noted the false reports of USG supplyeapons to the rebels and also noted that we had received reports, presumably equally false, that Zairian arn.ed forces had in fact launched operations against the rebels despite Mobutu's assurances to the contrary. Mobutu expressed some surprise at this but made no further comment; however, he' did soundin his assertions that the GOZ is fully cooperating with the USG and standing down on military operations.

then turned to the Angolan situation, and itthat he is more preoccupied with it than with At one point during thefld 'f

girUntnd senior levels of the USG are

criti.cal situation in.Angola, and ne was assured tfiat Mobutu said the situation an Angola isserious, and although he has emptied virtually alland warehouses of arms and materiel vitally needed byarmed forces, this obviously has not been enough. He hasthat th rate,.So viet vessels delivered more thanrms and arimuni tiqn to the Popular Movementleliveries which hecould_

USG is well aware of the gravity ofin Angola and of the possibility that the Nationalthe Liberation of Angola (FNLA) might be forced toeffort is being made tobut it is aimcuit in view of FNLA President lloldento go to Angola, particularly since we haveRoberto's credibility is diminishing because of this While recognizing the arguments in favor ofapart from the internal machinations of the competing

can no longer play the role

amora Machel andast-minute arrival on the scene. For example, Mobutu's own presence had been vital on numerous occasions to the retrieval or reversalarticular situation, and this explains why the Presidential yacht is appropriately namedhe site where Mobutu himself had turned the tide of battle. The analogy led Mobutu to wax enthusiastically on his past exploits.

6. Following the discussion on Angola, Mobutu again brought up the absence of "even one cartridge" from the USG. He asked about the results of General Rockwell's military mission to Zaire and pointed out that the time had long since passed when he

had beenesponse, be forthcoming soon.

said heeply would

seemed cut all obtain seemed that he Zaire's reports than 20

then commented on his latest economic measures. He particularly proud that he had been able, in one stroke, to

obvious to is tightening nis blems the

measures designed to alleviate the economic situation.)

rents in half, and said he is taking other actions to money without having to dip into the GOZ treasury. It

economic pro that indicate

"that Mobutu was trying to make the point belt and doing his best to rectify

the Embassy has "Is" in ractood try on more

Original document.

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