64. Memorandum From Harold Horan of the National Security Council Staff to the President’s Assistant for National Security Affairs (Kissinger)1 2
- US Policy Toward Burundi
In November, 1972, subsequent to a massive reprisal by the Government of Burundi against the Hutu tribe, which had attempted a takeover, the President ordered that our bilateral relations should be minimal until there were a clear change of policy with respect to human rights in that country. General Haig conveyed these instructions orally to the Department’s Executive Secretary (Tab B)—orally to avoid leakage lest we be criticized for waiting so long to convey our outrage.
The Department of State now considers that the Burundi Government has made progress in coping with its internal tribal conflict and that it is appropriate to re-examine our policy toward that country (Tab C). In the Department’s view, shared by Ambassador Yost, our ability to influence further improvements in the situation, as well as our ability to advance other US interests in Burundi, now depends on normalization of our bilateral relations. In this context, there is evidence of major new mineral discoveries in Burundi, and the US Government will want to be in a position to support the efforts of American corporations seeking concessions to exploit these discoveries.
In view of the foregoing, the Department now requests NSC concurrence in the normalization of relations with Burundi. I concur in the Department’s view, and recommend General Scowcroft inform Mr. Pickering orally that the Department is authorized to begin the normalization of relations with Burundi, with the understanding this step is predicated on continued evidence the Government of Burundi is following a national policy that respects human rights.
In view of the President’s personal interest in Burundi and our policy toward it during the crisis in 1972, you may wish, alternatively, to obtain his instructions. I have prepared a memorandum to him from you for that purpose (Tab A).[Page 2]
That General Scowcroft orally inform Mr. Pickering that the Department is authorized to begin the normalization of relations with Burundi with modest allocations of resources in areas such as self help assistance, population projects and cultural exchanges, with the understanding these steps are predicated on continued evidence the Government of Burundi is following a national policy that respects human rights.
That you sign the memorandum for the President at Tab A.
- Source: National Archives, Nixon Presidential Materials, NSC Files, Box 735, Country Files, Africa, Burundi. Secret. Sent for action. Tabs A and C are not published. Tab B was not attached.↩
- Horan noted that the Department of State favored normalizing relations with Burundi following progress on coping with its internal conflict. Horan recommended that Deputy Assistant for National Security Affairs Scowcroft authorize the Department to begin normalization. Kissinger approved the recommendation.↩