The Ottawa Herald from Ottawa, Kansas on October 25, 1961 · Page 12
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The Ottawa Herald from Ottawa, Kansas · Page 12

Ottawa, Kansas
Issue Date:
Wednesday, October 25, 1961
Page 12
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Russia May Be Bungling Its Chance In The Congo EDITOR'S NOTE—Down in the Congo, beset by chaos since it won independence, the Soviet Union sees a chance to establish an important bridgehead for communism in Africa. But all is not clear sailing for Moscow, as this dispatch, second of a series on the Congo today, discloses. By LYNN HEINZERLING LEOPOLD VILLE, the Congo (AP) — The Soviets have been given another chance in'the Congo, but they may be bungling it again. Patrice Lumumba, the power- hungry Congolese leader of last year's independence disaster, gave them their first chance. He invited them to help him crush all resistance to his high-handed rule. The Russians responded enthusiastically. They sent in 10 Hyushin planes to fern* his troops around the country. They sent 100 trucks to move the ammunition, plus a horde of propagandists disguised as technicians. Lumumba was delighted. Two of the trucks stood in front of his house for a day or two. A special Byushin stood available for his use for months. The Soviets pumped money into the country to create confusion and doubt, but they overdid it. Col. Joseph Mobutu, then a 29- year-old army officer, climbed on a barroom table in a downtown hotel and announced he had given the Soviet, Czech and Polish embassies 48 hours to close down and evacuate their personnel. They went out in the Ilyushins, leaving the trucks behind. Now, the Russians, Czechs and Poles are back at government invitation. They came here from Stanleyville, where they had been recognizing and supporting the rump government of Antoine Gi- zenga. Gizenga claimed to be Lumumba's heir. But in August he gave up this pretension and agreed to join the central government as second vice premier. The Soviets would like to see Gi- poldville long when Congolese officials noted that huge sums of money were being distributed. The Soviets would lik eto see Gi- zcnga, a moody, malleable man, or some other Lumumbist back in power. The Communists have spent a .great deal of money trying to create an image of Lumumba as the first Congolese martyr. They have named streets, libraries, universities and youth clubs after him. Operating under his name, their potentialities for creating trouble are endless. To millions of.bjack Africans, who understand ' trie events in the Congo only dimly, Lumumba is a martyr and the greatest Congolese. Even in the moderate Western- oriented countries of Africa, Lumumba is accepted as the father of the Congo Republic and an authentic martyr to the cause of black progress. This belief is carefully nurtured by left-wing organizations. First order of business for the Communists in the Congo, therefore, must be to get Lumumba's National Congolese movement back in power. With apprehension, veteran diplomats, old Belgian residents and United Nations officials watch the Cyrille Adoula government's efforts to prevail and rule. While they think the moderate, Western- oriented Adoula is firmly in control, something bizarre always happens in the Congo to change the course of events. Left-leaning Christophe Gbenye, interior minister, controls the police. He is a powerful Lumum- bist and many believe he would become prime minister if the Adoula government should topple. Riots and trouble could bring about Adoula's fall. Riots and trouble appear to be what the Communist-supported Lu- mumbists are seeking. Everything seems to point to a large Communist operation in Leopoldville. But the intense be- hind the scenes trouble-making already observed could put a crimp in the plans. None of the Communist diplomatic missions has been. recognized by the Adoula government. Too much enthusiasm by the Soviets could cool off the government's earlier decision to accept the Red diplomats. Two East German Communist diplomats, who came here from Stanleyville, were ordered to leave the Congo within 48 hours. Some of the Congolese who attended the Belgrade conference went on to Berlin afterward and had a look at the wall erected there by the East Germans. Russian, Czech and Polish representatives were advised to re- turn to their capitals and apply for accreditation through normal channels. The formal channel of approach for accreditation would be through Foreign Minister Justin Bomboko, and Bomboko does not like Com jnunists. Gen. Mobutu, who moved the Communist missions out of the country last year, has made no public statement about their return. His disapproval seems obvious. Adoult also may want to inquire why the Communist governments are so eager to be accredited when they have contributed not one dollar to the United Nations effort to put the Congo on its feet. Once installed in the Congo, the Soviets and satellites would have a wide field of operations. No other country in Africa is so ideally located for Soviet purposes. 12 THE OTTAWA HERALD Wednesday, October 25, 1961 The Congo has borders with eight other African states or territories. These include such tense racial trouble spots as Angola and Northern Rhodesia. As yet the Soviets have no formal relations with any of these territories. A foothold in the Congo would provide a convenient backdoor to them. Next: Life in Ihe Congo today. DIVERSIFIED SERVICES, INC. FOUNDED 1894 •xdus/ve notional distributor for • FIVE MUTUAL FUNDS • ONE FACE-AMOUNT CERTIFICATE CO. • Pension and profit sharing plan services For a prospgcfut-book/af and information write or call Hazen L. Richardson Zone Manager 1438 S. 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