14. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter1


As we had anticipated, the Ethiopian Government told us today to terminate the activities of NAMRU (a Navy research facility), MAAG, United States Information Service, Kagnew Station, and the Consulate General in Asmara, which means our evacuating roughly 200 Americans within four days. They did not mention reducing the staff of the Embassy itself.

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Assistant Secretary Schaufele has organized a Working Group of State, USIA, Defense, CIA, AID and NSC that is functioning around the clock in the State Department. We are working on the following items:

1. We will make a strong protest about the 4-day deadline,2 will request an extension and try to enlist the assistance of Tanzania and Kenya to support this request.3

2. We are preparing appropriate guidance for our posts abroad.

3. We are preparing plans for the evacuation of our people and equipment and will probably be requesting Ethiopian Government permission to bring in US Air Force aircraft for that purpose.

4. We may have to destroy some sensitive equipment in Kagnew if we are unsuccessful in getting an appropriate extension of time.

5. We are examining whether to reduce the size of our Embassy staff, on our own initiative, after we have completed the evacuation of other personnel.4

6. We are informing leading members of Congress.

[Omitted here are items unrelated to the Horn of Africa.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, Plains File, Subject File, Box 12, State Department Evening Reports, 4/77. Secret. Carter initialed the memorandum and wrote, “Cy.”
  2. In telegram 92279 to Addis Ababa, April 23, the Department instructed the Embassy to “protest strongly to the Ethiopian Government the unreasonable time frame given us.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770142–1105)
  3. In telegram 5050 from Nairobi, April 24, Marshall reported that the Kenyan Foreign Minister would instruct the Kenyan Chargé d’Affaires in Addis Ababa to approach Mengistu on the behalf of the United States, but doubted that it would be effective. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770142–1162)
  4. Carter wrote “ok” in the left margin.