82. Summary of Conclusions of a Special Coordination Committee Meeting1


  • Horn of Africa


  • State

    • Secretary Cyrus Vance
    • Richard Moose, Asst Scy for African Affairs
  • Defense

    • David E. McGiffert, Asst Scy for ISA
  • OMB

    • Randy Jayne, Assoc Dir for Ntl Scy and Intl Affairs
  • USUN

    • Ambassador Andrew Young
  • JCS

    • Lt. Gen. William Y. Smith
  • CIA

    • Frank Carlucci, Deputy Director
  • [name not declassified],

    • Near Eastern Division, DDO
  • White House

    • Zbigniew Brzezinski (Chairman)
    • David Aaron
  • NSC

    • Gary Sick (Notetaker)



The SCC felt that the present levels of economic assistance were about right. There was agreement that we should move cautiously in establishing a military supply relationship with Siad in view of reports of renewed support for Ogaden separatism. However, Secretary Vance and Dr. Brzezinski felt that we should send the military survey team in order to retain our bargaining leverage and to avoid sending negative signals to the regional states. It was agreed to proceed with the survey team but not to go forward with other steps leading to a Presidential Determination on FMS at this time. The DoD recommendation to limit the survey team to discussion of communications, transportation items and light anti-tank weapons was accepted. It was agreed that prior to the survey team visit the Ambassador should go in one more time to Siad to express our concerns about what is happening in the Ogaden.2

[Page 212]


At Ambassador Young’s request, it was agreed that our Ambassador in Mogadiscio would also raise our concerns about Kenya when he sees Siad, since there is a danger that Somalia might shift its attention at some point from the Ogaden to Djibouti and Kenya. We should also prevent any appearance that our aid to Somalia is getting out ahead of our program for Kenya. Our aid levels to Kenya will be considered when the results of the survey team are reviewed in the next few days and Secretary Vance will raise the question of financing the Somali and Kenyan packages with Prince Saud later in the week.


All agreed we should continue to maintain our non-involvement in supporting Eritrean insurgency. Secretary Vance noted that the list of non-aligned states which are prepared to take a strong position on the Cuban issue is not encouraging. It was decided to target 10–12 countries where an approach could be most beneficial in bringing pressure on Cuba. State would prepare this list with inputs from CIA and the U.S. Mission at the UN.


The need to be responsive to Sudan’s economic plight was recognized; however, all agreed that there was little the U.S. could do until the Sudan qualifies for an IMF loan, which means devaluation. In view of the importance of Sudan and the implications for Sadat of any setback there, it could be helpful to raise the problem privately with the IMF, particularly if the Saudis could be persuaded to increase their offer of assistance as an incentive for prompt remedial action by the Sudanese. It was proposed that this subject be raised with Saudi Foreign Minister Saud in his forthcoming visit. With regard to the F–5s for Sudan, there was little we could do to accelerate delivery short of diverting from other countries. Defense is still looking at it, however.


The approaching deadline for reprogramming AID funds may provide some pressure on the Ethiopian Government to sign the pending AID projects agreements. The Ethiopians will be notified in the very near future that Secretary Vance will raise with the Foreign Minister in New York the implications of the Hickenlooper and Gonzalez amendments with respect to Ethiopian actions on expropriation and human rights.3 This should remove some of the pressure for Treasury [Page 213] to invoke either of those amendments in the immediate future while serious discussions are underway. Our new Ambassador will not arrive in Ethiopia until late May or early June.4

Political Situation in Eritrea and Ethiopia:

There is no evidence to date of Cuban participation in combat activities in Eritrea, although they are doing some planning. Ambassador Young suggested raising this subject directly with the Cubans. He was willing to take it up with the Cuban mission in New York, but felt that it would be more effective to approach the Cubans at a high level in Washington. The possibility of a limited covert action program in Ethiopia was considered but was rejected as being of only marginal significance.

[Omitted here is discussion unrelated to the Horn of Africa.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Council, Institutional Files 1977–1981, Box 185, SCC 077 Horn of Africa, 5/15/78. Secret. The meeting was held in the White House Situation Room. No minutes of the meeting were found; however, a detailed draft description of the meeting is in the National Security Council, Carter Intelligence Files, Box 20, Minutes/SCC/1978.
  2. Loughran met with Siad on May 18 to deliver a note proposing a military survey mission to Somalia. “The Somali leader expressed considerable disappointment with the delay in the development of the military relationship.” (Telegram 1122 from Mogadiscio, May 18; National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780209–0758)
  3. In telegram 135964 to Addis Ababa, May 27, the Department reported on Vance’s May 24 meeting with Feleke. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D780225–0019) The 1962 Hickenlooper Amendment was a rider on the 1961 Foreign Assistance Act that denied foreign aid to any country that expropriated U.S. property without compensation. The 1972 Gonzalez Amendment was a rider on three bills that authorized funding to international lending institutions in 1971. It required that the United States delegate to these international institutions vote against loans to any country that expropriated U.S. property.
  4. Ambassador Frederic L. Chapin presented his credentials on July 21.