The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity of the United States Government. The Historian of the Department of State is charged with the responsibility for the preparation of the Foreign Relations series. The staff of the Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs, under the direction of the General Editor, plans, researches, compiles, and edits the volumes in the series. Secretary of State Frank B. Kellogg first promulgated official regulations codifying specific standards for the selection and editing of documents for the series on March 26, 1925. Those regulations, with minor modifications, guided the series through 1991.

Public Law 102–138, the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993, which was signed by President George H. W. Bush on October 28, 1991, established a new statutory charter for the preparation of the series. Section 198 of P.L. 102–138 added a new Title IV to the Department of State’s Basic Authorities Act of 1956 (22 U.S.C. 4351, et seq.).

The statute requires that the Foreign Relations series be a thorough, accurate, and reliable record of major United States foreign policy decisions and significant United States diplomatic activity. The volumes of the series must include all records needed to provide comprehensive documentation of major foreign policy decisions and actions of the United States Government. The statute also confirms the editing principles established by Secretary Kellogg: the Foreign Relations series is guided by the principles of historical objectivity and accuracy; records should not be altered or deletions made without indicating in the published text that a deletion has been made; the published record should omit no facts that were of major importance in reaching a decision; and nothing should be omitted for the purpose of concealing a defect in policy. The statute also requires that the Foreign Relations series be published not more than 30 years after the events recorded.

Structure and Scope of the Foreign Relations Series

This electronic-only volume is part of the subseries of the Foreign Relations series that documents the most important decisions and actions of the foreign policy of the administration of Richard M. Nixon. This is the fourth Foreign Relations volume to be published in a new format, that of electronic-only publication. Approximately 25 percent of the volumes scheduled for publication for the 1969–1976 subseries, covering the Nixon and Nixon-Ford administrations, will be in this format. The decision to institute this change was taken in full consultation with the Department’s Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation, which was established under the Foreign Relations statute. The advantages of this new method of presenting documentation are evident in this volume: the format enables convenient access to more key documentation on a broader range of issues, all or any portion of which can be easily downloaded. Annotation—the value added element of documentary editing—is still present in limited form, but not to the scale of a Foreign Relations volume. This electronic-only publication results in substantial savings in cost and time of production, thus allowing the series to present a fuller range of documentation, on a wider range of topics, sooner than would have been possible under a print-only format. These advantages compensate for the fact that this Foreign Relations volume is not an actual book bound in traditional ruby buckram. The Department of State, the Historian, the General Editor, and the Historical Advisory Committee are all dedicated to publishing the great majority of the volumes in the Foreign Relations series in print form; these are also posted in electronic format on the Department of State’s website. While the future of research in documentary publications is increasingly tied to the ease of use and availability of the Internet, the Department of State will continue to use both print and electronic-only versions to make the Foreign Relations series available to the widest audience possible. In that sense, this innovation is in keeping with the general principles of the series begun by President Lincoln and Secretary of State Seward and continued by subsequent presidents and secretaries of state for more than 140 years.

Focus of Research and Principles of Selection for Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, E–6

This volume documents the foreign policy of the Nixon-Ford administration towards sub-Saharan Africa, 1973–1976, with the exception of policy towards the Republic of South Africa, Angola, Mozambique, Rhodesia, and Namibia, which are covered in print volume Foreign Relations, 1969–1976, Vol. XXVIII, Southern Africa. In addition, chapters on U.S. policy towards North Africa will be included in this electronic-only volume when they are declassified. This volume does not attempt to cover all countries in sub-Saharan Africa, but instead concentrates on those areas where U.S. interests and concerns were greatest. Countries or regions not covered in specific chapters are included, if significant, in the chapter on general U.S. policy towards Africa, which provides the widest scope of coverage.

The Africa regional chapter presents the NixonFord administration approach to Africa as a whole. Some of its documents refer to events in Southern Africa, which are covered in greater detail in print volume XXVIII. President Nixon’s main interest in Africa was Sahel drought relief, and he and his Special Assistant for National Security Affairs, Henry Kissinger, resisted Department of State efforts to reappraise U.S. policy towards Africa. When Gerald Ford replaced Nixon as President, U.S. high-level interest in Africa increased dramatically. The Black Caucus in Congress put pressure on the Ford administration to focus more on Africa. As President Ford’s Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger increasing dealt with broader African issues. The Department of State engineered interagency reviews of U.S. military assistance to Africa and general U.S. African policy as well as specific policy issues. In April and May of 1976, Kissinger made his first trip to sub-Saharan Africa. The trip—and his report afterwards—make up a key section of this chapter. Another principal theme is renewed U.S. interest in the economic development of sub-Saharan Africa.

The aftermath of the 1972 massacres of Hutus by Tutsis in Burundi is the focus of the second chapter on U.S. relations with Burundi. The Department minimized relations with Burundi to show its disapproval of the killings and suggested that African leaders take the lead in resolving the ethnic conflict. As tensions eased in Burundi, the Department successfully argued that to have any positive impact on the ethnic tension, the United States should resume normal relations with Burundi. President Nixon approved.

The third chapter on the Horn of Africa is the largest chapter in the volume, and primarily focuses on Ethiopia and the ongoing revolution that occurred there. In 1973, Ethiopia had a traditional and conservative monarchy, closely associated with the United States. However, by the end of 1976 this was replaced by a radical revolutionary military government, which was moving towards Marxism. How the United State dealt with this extreme change is the main theme of the volume. Ethiopia—whether under Emperor Haile Selassie or the Provisional Revolutionary Government—felt threatened by the pro-Soviet Somali and the ongoing insurgency in its province of Eritrea. The question of U.S. military sales or grants to Ethiopia continues throughout the whole chapter. A complicating factor in the policy equation was the U.S. Kagnew communications facility in Ethiopia. Should it be shut down, reduced in size, or maintained in its current state. This chapter also includes documentation on whether U.S. relations with Somali could be improved, what should be the U.S. policy on the independence of the French Territory of Afars and Issas, and on the Eritrean independence movement.

U.S. relations with Nigeria, which were such a large part of the previous 1969–1973 volume on Africa, are a small chapter since the civil war was over. The main theme of the chapter is U.S.-Nigerian attempts to repair relations, which had deteriorated during the war. Another emerging theme is the growing U.S. dependence on Nigerian oil.

While U.S. policy towards the independence of the Portuguese African territories of Angola and Mozambique are in included in print volume XXVIII, Southern Africa, 1969–1976, there is a chapter on how the United States reacted to the declaration of independence by an African nationalist resistance group in Guinea Bissau. This action complicated relations with Portugal until a new Portuguese government recognized the country’s independence and encouraged the United States to do the same.

The chapter on Kenya relates primarily to the threat that that nation faced from Soviet-supplied Somali and from an increasingly belligerent Idi Amin of Uganda. The chapter documents how the U.S. Government increased military support for Kenya and came to view it as a pro-Western bulwark against Soviet influence in East Africa.

The major event that dominated U.S. relations with Sudan was the Black September’s killing of two U.S. diplomats in Khartoum. When the Sudanese Government commuted the killers’ sentences and released them into the custody of the Palestine Liberation Organization, the Nixon administration responded by downgrading relations. After President Nixon’s resignation, the Ford administration began a step-by-step process of normalization of relations with the Sudan, which resulted in the reestablishment of relations in May 1976, followed by a visit of President Nimeiri to Washington.

The chapter on Uganda revolves around the mercurial and increasingly erratic behavior of President for Life Idi Amin, and documents how the United States reacted by reducing its presence in Uganda without actually breaking relations, and rebuffed any Ugandan feelers for reconciliation. President Nixon himself made the decision to reduce the U.S. official presence in Uganda to a minimum and denied a Department of State appeal for a larger presence.

The final chapter on Zaire provides documentation on U.S. relations with the pro-American Government of President Mobutu. Although there were some ups and downs in the relationship, the principal theme of the chapter is increased U.S. support of Zaire through economic and military assistance. Aid for Zaire was a difficult issue to sell to some in Congress, and the strategy of how to do that is the second major theme of the chapter.

Editorial Methodology

The documents are presented chronologically according to Washington time. Memoranda of conversation are placed according to the date and time of the conversation, rather than the date the memorandum was drafted.

Editorial treatment of the documents published in the Foreign Relations electronic-only volumes follows Office style guidelines, supplemented by guidance from the General Editor and the Chief of the Declassification and Publishing Division. The original text is reproduced exactly, including marginalia or other notations, which are both visible on the facsimile copy of the document and described in the source note. There is also a text version of the document. The editors have supplied a heading, a summary, and a source note with additional relevant information, as required, for each document included in the volume. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are retained as found in the original text, except that obvious typographical errors are silently corrected in the text file. Abbreviations and contractions are preserved as found in the text, and a list of abbreviations, persons, and sources accompanies the volume.

Bracketed insertions in roman type are used on the facsimile copy and in the text file to indicate text omitted by the editors because it deals with an unrelated subject. Text that remains classified after declassification review is blacked-out on the facsimile copy and a bracketed insertion (in italic type) appears in the text file. Entire documents selected for publication but withheld because they must remain classified are accounted for by a heading, a source note, and a bracketed note indicating the number of pages not declassified. These denied documents are listed in their chronological place in the volume.

Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation

The Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation reviews records, advises, and makes recommendations concerning the Foreign Relations series. The Historical Advisory Committee monitors the overall compilation and editorial process of the series and advises on all aspects of the preparation and declassification of the series. The Historical Advisory Committee does not necessarily review the contents of individual volumes in the series, but it makes recommendations on issues that come to its attention and reviews volumes, as it deems necessary, to fulfill its advisory and statutory obligations.

Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act Review

Under the terms of the Presidential Recordings and Materials Preservation Act (PRMPA) of 1974 (44 U.S.C. 2111 note), the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has custody of the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The requirements of the PRMPA and implementing regulations govern access to the Nixon Presidential historical materials. The PRMPA and implementing public access regulations require NARA to review for additional restrictions in order to ensure the protection of the privacy rights of former Nixon White House officials, since these officials were not given the opportunity to separate their personal materials from public papers. Thus, the PRMPA and related implementing public access regulations require NARA to notify formally the Nixon estate and former Nixon White House staff members that the agency is scheduling for public release Nixon White House historical materials. The Nixon Estate and former White House staff members have 30 days to contest the release of Nixon historical materials in which they were a participant or are mentioned. Further, the PRMPA and implementing regulations require NARA to segregate and return to the creator of files private and personal materials. All Foreign Relations volumes that include materials from NARA’s Nixon Presidential Materials Staff are processed and released in accordance with the PRMPA.

Declassification Review

The Office of Information Programs and Services, Bureau of Administration, Department of State, conducted the declassification review of all the documents published in this volume. The review was undertaken in accordance with the standards set forth in Executive Order 12958, as amended, on Classified National Security Information, and applicable laws.

The principle guiding declassification review is to release all information, subject only to the current requirements of national security as embodied in law and regulation. Declassification decisions entailed concurrence of the appropriate geographic and functional bureaus in the Department of State and other concerned agencies of the U.S. Government. The declassification review of this volume, which began in 2004 and was completed in 2006, resulted in the decision to withhold 4 documents in full, to excise a paragraph or more in 2 documents, and to make minor excisions in 21 documents. The editors are confident, on the basis of the research conducted in preparing this volume and as a result of the declassification review process described above, that this volume is an accurate record of the foreign policy of the Nixon-Ford administration towards sub-Saharan Africa, 1973–1976.


The editors wish to acknowledge the assistance of officials at the Nixon Presidential Materials Project of the National Archives and Records Administration (Archives II), at College Park, Maryland, Sandra Meagher of the Department of Defense, who facilitated access to Defense records, and historians at the Center for the Study of Intelligence, who assisted in access to relevant records of the Central Intelligence Agency. The editors would like also to thank the staff of the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library, in Ann Arbor, Michigan, especially Helmi Raaska and Donna Lehman, for their help and cooperation in our research in their records of the Ford administration.

Peter Samson did the research, initial selection, and initial annotation of the volume, under the supervision and with the assistance of Laurie West Van Hook, Chief of the Middle East and Africa Division. Laurie Van Hook and Edward C. Keefer, General Editor of the Foreign Relations series, reviewed the volume. Chris Tudda compiled the list of abbreviations, names, and sources. Susan C. Weetman, Chief of the Declassification and Publishing Division, and Chris Tudda coordinated the declassification review. Renée A. Goings and Jennifer Walele performed the copy and technical editing. Carl Ashley, Edmond J. Pechaty, and Chris Tudda scanned the documents and prepared them for on-line publication.

Marc J. Susser
The Historian
Bureau of Public Affairs
June 2006