230. Memorandum From the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger) to President Nixon1 2


  • World Bank Loan to Burundi

Secretary Rogers has sent you the attached memorandum (Tab I) informing you that the United States Government does not plan to object to a $4.5 million World Bank road improvement loan to Burundi. He notes that the loan in question would not represent an endorsement of the Burundi Governmentʼs persecution of Hutus [which led to possibly 200,000 deaths] and that it would be unusual for the United States to oppose a multilateral loan on political grounds. An abstention is not possible in the World Bank, where votes are taken by consensus unless someone objects.


That the United States raise no objections to the World Bankʼs proposed $4.5 million road improvement loan to Burundi.

Approve______ [checkmark here] Disapprove________

Flanigan recommends approval.

Tab I

Memorandum From Secretary of State Rogers to President Nixon

[Page 2]


  • IBRD Loan to Burundi

I am planning to interpose no objection on political grounds to a forthcoming loan to Burundi by the IBRD. I believe that multilateral assistance of this type does not represent endorsement of the Micombero persecution of the Hutu population of his country.

The proposed loan of $4.5 million of IDA funds is for improvement of an important north-south road link within Burundi. AID helped finance some improvement of this road between 1962 and 1965. In 1970, however, an IBRD survey of Burundiʼs roads indicated serious deterioration of this artery to tourism, fishing, cotton and coffee production, in one of Africaʼs poorest countries. The area was further devastated by the rebel Hutu incursion in late April of this year. Thus, the project now resembles more a rehabilitation project than a development project.

It is unusual for the United States Executive Director to oppose a loan in the IBRD Executive Board, particularly on political grounds. I do not believe such opposition is warranted in this instance. Under the circumstances the loan is expected to be approved routinely in December without objection.

William P. Rogers
  1. Source: Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, Kissinger Papers, Box CL 296, Memoranda to the President, December 1972. Confidential. Sent for action. The memorandum is stamped: “The President Has Seen.” The President checked “Approve” and added the following note: “But with a strong statement by the U.S. disapproving Burundiʼs genocide. The statement is to be broadly publicized. Say our not objecting to the loan does not reflect approval of their policy. K—I consider this an opportunity to get out the horrible story of what happened there.”
  2. Kissinger forwarded Rogersʼ memorandum stating that the United States did not plan to object to a World Bank loan to Burundi. The President approved on condition that a strong statement be issued condemning the genocide in Burundi.