88. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in the Soviet Union1

60448. Subject: Horn of Africa: Somali Withdrawal.

1. Secretary sent oral message to Siad Barre March 8 strongly urging Somali announcement of withdrawal from all of Ogaden. Siad informed our Ambassador Loughran2 late that same day he accepted President’s appeal and would be making announcement of all Somali troop withdrawal shortly. Announcement has not been made at this point.

2. Deputy Secretary informed Dobrynin at midnight tonight of Siad’s decision and appealed to Soviets to take steps to urge prompt ceasefire on Ethiopians in order to facilitate peaceful withdrawal and avoid further bloodshed. Dobrynin made no substantive comment but indicated he would inform Moscow immediately.

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3. We expect to be in touch with Dobrynin again during the day on March 9 to pursue this line, as well as seeking Soviet cooperation in obtaining Ethiopian agreement to outside observers to supervise ceasefire, help forestall any reprisals against ethnic Somalis in the Ogaden, and ensure the integrity of the Somali-Ethiopian border. Should Soviet officials take the initiative to raise this issue with you, you may draw on above information.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840176–1381. Secret; Niact; Exdis; Distribute as Nodis. Sent Niact Immediate to U.S. Interest Section, Havana. Drafted by Paul Kreisberg (S/P); cleared by Shulman, Anthony Lake (S/P), and Sydney Goldsmith (S/S–O); approved by William C. Harrop (AF).
  2. John Lewis Loughran, U.S. Ambassador to Somalia.