Patrice Lumumba

From a telegram to the President of the Security Council

August 1, 1960

Source: Patrice Lumumba: Fighter for Africa’s Freedom, Moscow, Progress Publishers, 1961, p 48f.
Written: by Patrice Lumumba;
Transcribed: by Thomas Schmidt.

It has come to my knowledge that resorting to insidious manoeuvres and using Tshombe as its instrument, the Belgian Government is taking recourse to blackmail in order to prevent the arrival of United Nations troops in Katanga. All of Tshombe's actions are dictated by Belgian officers, whom the Belgian Government has placed at his side as advisers.

Clearly, the Belgian Government is torpedoing the fulfilment of the decisions of the United Nations.... The Security Council has virtually authorised you to take, in consultation with the Government of the Republic of the Congo, the necessary steps in order to provide us with whatever military assistance we may need. With the purpose of keeping its troops in Katanga and thereby consolidating the secession of Katanga, which it instigated, the Belgian Government alleges that these troops were sent into Katanga at Tshombe's request. With this statement the Belgian Government admits that it instigated the secession of Katanga.

By placing its troops and military advisers at Tshombe's disposal in order to facilitate the splitting up of the Congo and hinder the actions of the United Nations, the BelgianGovernment is obviously opposing the restoration of legality and order in the Congo and the exercise of authority by the Government of the Congo.

I reaffirm my demand to you that United Nations troops be sent into Katanga immediately. Any delay in the strict fulfilment of the Security Council's decisions may seriously affect the prestige of the United Nations, as well as the security of the Congo, which will be a threat to peace in Africa. In the event United Nations troops are not brought into Katanga by Saturday, August 6, in conformity with the obligations undertaken by the United Nations, by you and by my Government, I shall be compelled to re-examine my position. I continue to hope....