280. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Sudan1

190. Reference Mogadiscio’s 561 to Dept.2 Reftel being repeated all recipient posts. Desire soonest understanding your host government status acceptance Ethiopian-Somali cease-fire.

For Addis: Your 7783 just received. We welcome IEG acceptance and anticipated immediate implementation. While agreeing your 772 to Department4 that US should not play active role in OAU cease-fire efforts,5 we cannot remain indifferent in view US interests in area, some US identification with Ethiopia and use American equipment by IEG. Desire you continue every appropriate effort enlist IEG cooperation with OAU and Sudanese efforts. Any indication IEG at fault in implementing cease-fire could erode African sympathy for IEG on frontier issue.

For Khartoum: Would appreciate receiving understanding GOS of present cease-fire efforts. If you believe it appropriate, you may say we warmly welcome constructive GOS role this matter.

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For Mogadiscio: Approve your action. Appreciate reserve with which you are handling Somali reports. What is latest word situation Hargeisa area? Re possibility anti-US disturbances, in view what has happened previously in Mogadiscio, Department desires you take all appropriate steps, including if necessary approach to President, to obtain assurances Government will not stimulate anti-US feeling and that US lives and property will be protected.

  1. Source: Department of State, Central Files, POL 32–1 ETH–SOMALI. Confidential; Immediate. Drafted by Newsom and Galanto; cleared by Tasca; and approved by Newsom. Also sent to Dar-es-Salaam, Addis Ababa, and Mogadiscio, and repeated to Nairobi.
  2. In telegram 561 from Mogadiscio, February 16, the Ambassador reported that the Police Commandant had told him that Ethiopian troops were attacking all along the border and recommended that all Americans remain home. Torbert said that he had called a “class B alert” until he received confirmation that the cease-fire was actually in effect. He also stated that he did not intend to comment on the rumor that unexploded shells would be publicly exhibited with prominent “made in USA” labels unless he was officially instructed to do so. (Ibid.)
  3. Dated February 16. (Ibid.)
  4. Dated February 14. (Ibid.)
  5. The OAU Council of Ministers, meeting in extraordinary session in Dar-es-Salaam, adopted a resolution calling for an immediate cease-fire on February 14. Both sides agreed to a truce on February 16, but border skirmishes continued. For text of the resolution, see American Foreign Policy: Current Documents, 1964, pp. 745–746.