Soon after his arrival on a visit to Coquilhatville, Congo Republic, Dec 20, President Kasavubu addressed a large crowd of supports in the local stadium.
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Background: Soon after his arrival on a visit to Coquilhatville, Congo Republic, Dec 20, President Kasavubu addressed a large crowd of supports in the local stadium. He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Bomboko.
Earlier President Kasavubu and Colonel Mobutu took the salute at a thirty minute march past of five hundred very smart troops, many of whom had travelled with Mobutu by riverboats from Leopoldville. Following the troops came groups of youth organisations, and small children from local missionary schools.
When questioned earlier in the day on his intentions towards the defiant Orientale Province, Colonel Mobutu said he did not take threats of Communist intervention too seriously. He said no immediate military action was planned against the rebels, "We do not wish to shed Congolese blood un-necessarily." The colonel said a blockade had been imposed, and with their supply lines cut the rebels could not last for long. "If the eastern nations intervene, then we shall have to reconsider our position," he ended.