402. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Uganda1

1546. For Deming. You should inform Obote following:

(1) On basis evidence which has come to attention USG in past 48 hours, we reasonably sure that Congolese planes violated Ugandan airspace and attacked Nyapea on Feb 22 and may have attacked Goli, probably without overflying Uganda, on Feb 13.

(2) Therefore, in accord Secretary’s assurance to Obote, US Amb Leo has been instructed support GOU protest delivered to GDRC Chargé in London.

(3) At same time, USG has equally good evidence that Ugandan troops have crossed Congo frontier and participated with Congolese rebels in actions against Mahagi and Kasindi.

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(4) USG believes that, with hostile acts being committed both sides (whether by error, initiative local commanders, or whatever), GDRC and GOU should do everything in their power to control border area more strictly and thus avoid further incidents which can only exacerbate situation. USG therefore most strongly urges that GOU and GDRC enter into direct negotiations to arrive at some mutually acceptable arrangement for border control.2 US Amb Leo instructed make same suggestion to GDRC.3

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1964–66, POL 31–1 THE CONGO–UGANDA. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by McElhiney, cleared by McIlvaine and MacKnight, and approved by Tasca. Also sent to Leopoldville and repeated to Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Brussels, Paris, Lusaka, Dar es Salaam, and London.
  2. In telegram 1508 from Kampala, February 26, Deming reported that he presented the substance of the Department’s telegram to Prime Minister Obote and Acting Foreign Minister Onama in the form of a first person note. (Ibid.)
  3. Telegram 2101 to Leopoldville, February 24, instructed Godley to inform Tshombe of U.S. support of the Ugandan protest and to urge Tshombe to take a conciliatory line, such as attributing the incident to pilot error, expressing regret, and proposing bilateral negotiations to avoid further incidents. (Ibid.)