262. Memorandum From the Executive Secretary of the Department of State (Eliot) to the Presidentʼs Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2

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  • United States Policies in Uganda

As a result of discussions with Ambassador Melady during his consultations in Washington, the Department and other agencies have reached the following conclusions regarding our immediate and future policies toward Uganda.

In view of the vagaries of President Aminʼs actions and the uncertainty of how the situation will develop in the months ahead, we have concluded that no long-term decisions should be made at this time. We have decided that in the absence of any serious changes in the political or internal security conditions in Uganda, our official activities will be maintained at roughly their current levels for the immediate future. We have a commitment to confer with the Congress before undertaking any new aid programs in Uganda. After Congress reconvenes in January, we can determine what our longer term role should be and whether such consultation is necessary. Our technical assistance and training programs, which are of direct benefit to the Ugandan people and which already are funded, will be maintained. No action will be taken on the $3-million livestock loan which has been under discussion. The Peace Corps office in Kampala will remain open until early next year to offset any possible adverse reaction from Amin resulting from the recent withdrawal of all of the 114 volunteers.

We are continuing to work closely with the United Nations and other internationa1 bodies in trying to ensure that all non-citizen Asians may leave Uganda [Page 2] as rapidly and safely as possible and have somewhere to go. The stateless parolees coming to this country were flown out by the November 8 deadline. Nearly all of the 1,200 other stateless Asians who were not out by that date are now at or on their way to temporary transit centers outside Uganda, where they will await further word on permanent new homes. There had been signs that those overstaying the deadline, as well as the estimated 6,000–8,000 Asians who were exempted or who are Ugandan citizens, might be subjected to some harassment, but no serious incidents have been reported thus far. Nonetheless, the fate of those Asians staying on in Uganda remains highly uncertain.

The British position in Uganda also is continuing to deteriorate. The British Government now seriously doubts that it will be able to have satisfactory dealings with Amin, and its presence there, including technical assistance, is being wound down. Half of the 7,000 British residents have already left. The U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office has told us that it does not regard Uganda as sufficiently important to its vital interests to attempt to arrest the deteriorating situation by active diplomatic or economic measures.

As part of their contingency planning, the British have asked whether we would assume the protection of their interests if a break in relations with the Ugandan Government should occur. We have expressed our willingness to do so.

Theodore L. Eliot, Jr.
Executive Secretary
  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Files 1970–73, POL 1 Uganda-US. Confidential.
  2. 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.