President Joseph Kasavubu addressed some 100 Congolese leaders and 300 observers Jan. 25, in a theatre adjoining Leopoldville Zoo.
LV PAN..from police directing traffic to the Zoological Gardens
SV Armed police check delegates as they enter
LV Armed police line roadway
SV Kasavubu and Mobutu step from car
GV INT..Kasavubu on platform
SV Kasavubu and Mobutu re-enter car
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Background: President Joseph Kasavubu addressed some 100 Congolese leaders and 300 observers Jan. 25, in a theatre adjoining Leopoldville Zoo. Military leader Colonel Mobutu was present as the President called for a united Congo with "a very large measure of autonomy" for the various regions.
He told the delegates - many wearing feathered headdress - that in his opinion the constitution and administrative system of the Congo should be changed, and possibly the borders of the provinces also. "It is no secret that the artificial boundaries - (created by Belgium) do not take sufficiently into account Congolese realities" he said.
Observers thought that his speech was an appeal to President Tshombe of Katanga to assist in a possible compromise between Leopoldville and Elisabethville. The province of Katanga owns about 60 per cent of the Congo's wealth - its contribution to the country's finances would be considerable.
The meeting was to prepare for a larger conference in February.