184. Memorandum From Roger Harrison of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Scowcroft)1 2


  • The Uganda-Kenya Situation in the Aftermath of Entebe

Intelligence reports over the last two weeks have indicated that General Amin has been talking about an invasion of Kenya following the conclusion of the OAU summit. The Entebe events probably increase the possibility that Amin will initiate hostilities, although perhaps on a limited scale. The Uganda-Kenya border will therefore bear close watching over the next several weeks.

CIA has tended to discount reports of Amin’s invasion plans, because the Ugandan Army is both incapable and unreliable, and because the reported plan to enlist the Somalis in a simultaneous attack was likely to be rejected by President Siad. Nevertheless, tensions have been increasing. On June 30, Uganda issued a “final warning” to Kenya stemming from an alleged Kenyan attack on an Uganda police outpost; a Ugandan spokesman reportedly said that border soldiers would henceforth be authorized to strike without seeking headquarters approval. The Kenyans expressed fears that invasion groundwork was being laid. There was also intelligence that Amin was furious that the highjacked plane had been brought to Entebe, since it forced him to delay his invasion plans.

Now that Amin’s hopes to play the successful negotiator before a world audience have been disappointed, and—after embracing the highjackers—he has been made to appear rather foolish, his reasons for moving against Kenya will be stronger than before. Indeed, once Kenya’s role in the events becomes known, Amin may feel that his hand has been forced. This may not lead him to order an all-out attack, which could easily fail without Somali support on Kenya’s eastern flank; but some action must now be expected.

  1. Source: Ford Library, National Security Adviser, Presidential Country Files for Africa, Box 7, Uganda. Secret. Israel staged its Entebbe rescue mission of hijacked Israeli citizens from Kenya.
  2. Harrison reviewed the tense situation between Uganda and Kenya in the aftermath of the Israeli rescue in Entebbe, Uganda. He explained that Amin’s humiliation at Entebbe and his eventual knowledge of Kenya’s role in the raid might force him to act against Kenya.