Uganda


240. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Eliot reported a military coup in Uganda appeared to have replaced Milton Obote with Idi Amin. Statements by military spokesmen suggested a more conservative government than Oboteʼs both in national and international issues. Robert C. Brewster signed the memorandum for Eliot.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 746, Country Files, Africa, Uganda, Vol. I. Confidential.


241. Telegram 14276 From the Department of State to the Embassy in the United Kingdom

Given the U.S. Governmentʼs serious concern about the disruptive effect the coup might have, the Embassy was asked to explore with the British whether any initiative might usefully be taken to avert further deterioration. In addition, the Embassy was requested, together with Ambassador Ferguson, to raise the following points: whether a mediator would be possible, the effect of the coup on the East African Community, and the U.K. assessment of Ugandan President Idi Aminʼs support and his administrationʼs ability to endure.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 Uganda. Confidential; Limdis; Priority. Also sent to Geneva. Repeated to Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, Kampala, and Nairobi. Drafted by Coote (AF/E), cleared in EUR/BMI, and approved in AF–W.


242. Telegram 800 From the Embassy in the United Kingdom to the Department of State

Ambassador Ferguson, then in London, rejected a mediator concept, expressed his belief that Felix Onama would be the new leader of Uganda, that Onama and Ugandan President Idi Amin were sympathetic to the U.K. and U.S. positions, and suggested that Amin lacked the capacity to govern.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–9 Uganda. Confidential; Exdis; Priority.


243. Africa Staff Note No. 1–71

Entitled “Reflections on the Uganda Coup,” the report stated that the coup appeared to be Ugandan President Idi Aminʼs countermove against former Ugandan President Oboteʼs effort to oust him. Amin was more moderate and pro-Western than Obote but might lack the ability to run the government. Radical African leaders were disturbed at the loss of one of their more vocal and rising stars; this would cause Tanzanian President Nyere and Zambian President Kaunda to become more closely allied. The Kenyans, however, were pleased at Oboteʼs being replaced by Amin.

Source: Central Intelligence Agency Files, Office of National Estimates. Secret; No Foreign Dissem.


244. Telegram 641 From the Embassy in Uganda to the Department of State

Ambassador Ferguson reported that all contacts had been reduced following the coup; he recommended developing contacts at the ministerial level to begin new business relations.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL Uganda-US. Confidential; Priority.


245. Telegram 27102 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Uganda

The Department agreed with the Embassyʼs view, but wanted to delay formal public actions that might prejudice African acceptance of the new Ugandan Government or in any way add to problems threatening the future of the East African community.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL Uganda-US. Confidential. Drafted by Kinter (AF/E); cleared in AF/C, L/AF, AF/E, AID/AFR/ESA, AID/AFR/GC, A/OS, and by Moore; and approved by Newsom.


246. Telegram 33749 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Uganda

Responding to several requests from Ugandan President Amin, the Department instructed the Embassy to tell Amin that the U.S. Government desired to be responsive to overtures of friendship, but wanted to avoid direct involvement in primarily African issues. Therefore, it was not possible to provide military training or equipment. However, the U.S. Government appreciated the orientation of Aminʼs government, and therefore was prepared to provide technical assistance and approve commercial purchase of dual-purpose military equipment.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 746, Country Files, Africa, Uganda, Vol. I. Secret; Exdis; Immediate. Drafted by Beyer (AF/E) and Newsom, approved by Johnson, Eliot and Wright.


247. Telegram 38065 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Uganda

The Department recommended moving toward normal relations in a low key manner, avoiding public statements.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL Uganda-US. Limited Official Use. Drafted by Farnham (AFR/ESA) and Kinter (AF/E); cleared in AF/E, AID/AFR/ESA and L/AF; and approved by Moore. Repeated to Addis Ababa, Dar es Salaam, London and Nairobi.


248. Memorandum From the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs (Newsom) to the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs (Johnson)

Newsom recommended normalizing relations with Uganda through an Agency for International Development (AID) bilateral and a Development Loan Agreement—there would be little or no publicity. Reference telegrams are not published.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL Uganda-US. Confidential. A handwritten note on page 2 of the memorandum states, “tel sent—see attached LDX slip.”


249. Telegram 1154 From the Embassy in Uganda to the Department of State

The Embassy stated that the major thrust of U.S. policy in Uganda was developmental and humanitarian. There was a risk this policy would be frustrated due to the chaotic state of the economy, which might last several years.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 AFR–US. Confidential; Priority.


250. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Eliot reported Ugandan President Aminʼs accusations that the United States was spying in Uganda through tourists, the Peace Corps, and CIA personnel. These statements were made during Ambassador Fergusonʼs farewell call. The chargi was instructed to protest to the Ugandan Foreign Minister. Nicholas Platt signed the memorandum for Eliot.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 746, Country Files, Africa, Uganda, Vol. I. Confidential.


251. Telegram 2695 From the Embassy in Uganda to the Department of State

Ambassador Melady deplored the Asian expulsion activities of Ugandan President Idi Amin, but recommended a strict policy of no public comment. He suggested offering special immigration to a small number of expelled individuals.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–10 Uganda. Confidential. Repeated to USUN.


252. Telegram 157288 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Uganda

The Department agreed its public involvement in the issue of Ugandan President Idi Aminʼs ouster of Asians should be minimal. If asked, the Department would express concern and regret.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–10 Uganda. Confidential.


253. Memorandum of Conversation

During Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs Kissingerʼs meeting with British Foreign Secretary Douglas-Home and British Ambassador Cromer, the issue of where to settle Asians expelled from Uganda was raised. Kissinger doubted that the United States could help very much, and was eager to avoid the issue before November 7.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 62, Folder K/062/06/001. Top Secret; Sensitive; Exclusively Eyes Only. The meeting took place in Home’s office.


254. Memorandum From the Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs (Haig) to President Nixon

Haig reported that an Interdepartmental Task Force had been updating contingency plans for Uganda; a daily update would be included in the Presidentʼs morning brief.

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 295, Memoranda to the President, September 1972. Secret. The memorandum is stamped, “The President Has Seen,” and Nixon wrote “good” on it, and also “K—we must have contingencies for every possible nutty thing which might happen between now election.”


255. Paper on Uganda

Noting that U.S. interests in Uganda were negligible, but that Ugandan President Idi Amin was uneducated, irresponsible, paranoiac, and racist, the paper recommended that a contingency study be prepared on an urgent basis.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 746, Country Files, Uganda, Vol I. Administratively Confidential. The paper was prepared at Kissingerʼs request and was forwarded to him, together with a paper on Burundi, by Fernando Ronden and Richard Kennedy of the National Security Coumcil Staff under cover of a September 20 memorandum. Haig wrote on the memorandum, “Thanks Dick Right on as usual.”


256. Conversation Between President Nixon and the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Nixon wanted stronger action taken in Uganda, such as the evacuation of all Americans, and the recall of Ambassador Melady.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, 7:42–7:43 PM, White House Telephone, Conversation No. 30–17. This transcript was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume. No classification marking.


257. Memorandum of Conversation

During Kissingerʼs meeting with British Ambassador Cromer, Cromer referred to the situation in Ugand as “absolute hell.” He believed the U.S. Ambassador should not be recalled but had no suggestions for actions to take. Kissinger noted that the United States was taking some of the expelled Asians. Tab A is not published.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Kissinger Office Files, Box 62, Folder K/062/06/001. Top Secret; Sensitive; Eyes Only. The meeting took place in Kissingerʼs office at the White House.


258. Conversation Between President Nixon and the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

In their lengthy conversation on Uganda and Burundi, Nixon and Kissinger discussed possible actions to evacuate American and British citizens from Uganda.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, White House Tapes, Camp David Secretaryʼs Table, Conversation No. 154–7. This transcript was prepared in the Office of the Historian specifically for this volume. No classification marking.


259. Memorandum From Denis Clift of the National Security Council Staff to Richard Kennedy of the National Security Council Staff

Clift informed Kennedy that all arrangements and clearances had been made for admittance to the United States of 1,000 Ugandan Asians.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 746, Country Files, Africa, Uganda, Vol. I. Confidential.


260. Telegram 179228 From the Department of State to the Embassy in Uganda

The Department informed the Embassy that up to 1,000 stateless Ugandan Asians would be paroled into the United States.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 23–10 Uganda. Limited Official Use; Immediate. Repeated Immediate to London, Nairobi, Dar es Salaam, Addis Ababa, Geneva, Islamabad, New Delhi, Dacca, and USUN.


261. Memorandum From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Kissinger reported that since his assumption of power Ugandan President Idi Amin had been destroying the elite of all tribes not allied or belonging to his own, and the purge was expected to continue. U.S. interests were limited to protecting U.S. citizens and maintaining a presence in Uganda. An attached CIA report called the purge “raw tribalism at work.”

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 746, Country Files, Africa, Uganda, Vol I. Secret. Sent for information. The memorandum is stamped, “The President Has Seen.”


262. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)

Eliot informed Kissinger that in view of Ugandan President Idi Aminʼs actions, the Department, together with other agencies, had decided that no long-term decisions would be made at this time regarding Uganda and official activities would be maintained at roughly their current levels. Harry G. Barnes Jr. signed the memorandum for Eliot.

Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 Uganda-US. Confidential.


263. Memorandum From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon

Kissinger briefed the President on the current situation in Uganda and recommended that he approve the Department of Stateʼs recommendation not to make long-term decisions concerning Uganda and also Departmentʼs contingency agreement to represent British interests in Uganda. The President approved both recommendations.

Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 746, Country Files, Africa, Uganda, Vol. I. Confidential. Sent for action. Drafted by Rondon. The memorandum is stamped, “The President Has Seen.”


264. Memorandum From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to Secretary of State Rogers

Kissinger informed Secretary Rogers that the President had approved the two recommendations put forward in Kissingerʼs December 4 memorandum.

Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 296, Memoranda to the President, December 1972. Confidential.