141. Memorandum From Secretary of State Vance to President Carter 1

[Omitted here are items unrelated to East Africa.]

3. Uganda Update: We called in the Ugandan Charge at 5:30 p.m. today to ask him about the further postponement of the meeting with Americans scheduled for March 2.2

The Charge answered that he assumed it was due to the tremendous amount of unfavorable publicity and that his government had perhaps decided to postpone the meeting to reduce tension. The Charge also said he had been instructed to pass on assurances that there was no cause for alarm and that the Americans in Uganda were completely safe.

We noted that the Americans were still prohibited from leaving Uganda until the meeting with Amin, now postponed. The Charge said that they were free to leave.

We asked him if he knew it to be the case. He answered that his government was not prohibiting the Americans from leaving. We then suggested that the Government of Uganda itself might help defuse the situation by announcing publicly that the Americans could leave whenever they wished. The Charge agreed this might calm tensions and he said he would telephone Kampala and pass along our suggestion.3 In light of the foregoing, we have delayed making any announcement [Page 374] about sending an emissary to Amin until we hear back from the Charge.4

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 17, Evening Reports (State), 2/11–28/77. Secret. Carter wrote “To Cy, J” in the upper right corner.
  2. In telegram 44683 to Bonn, March 1, the Department of State reported on Schaufele’s meeting with Chepkwurui. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770069–0287)
  3. In telegram 3638 from Bonn, March 1, the Embassy reported that Ellerkmann confirmed the cancellation of Amin’s meeting with the U.S. citizens and that Radio Kampala reported that U.S. citizens were free to leave Uganda. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770069–0999)
  4. Carter initialed “C” in the left margin.