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

[Omitted here are items unrelated to East Africa.]

3. Uganda—You may have seen Jack Anderson’s column this morning reporting that a group of Uganda police helicopter pilots are being trained by Bell in Texas.2 The column is accurate and highlights a growing problem which we face concerning our relations with Uganda.3

Visas for the Bell trainees were routinely issued by our Embassy in Nairobi. Although issuance of such visas is not illegal, we have now initiated a special screening procedure for official Uganda visa applications which would prevent this from happening again.

The Anderson Column and recent events related to South Africa will focus Congressional attention once again on Uganda as the Black African State with the most notorious human rights record.

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I have recently recommended to Commerce that applications to export three Bell helicopters and a used Boeing 707 to Uganda be denied on human rights grounds, and we are exploring the question of restricting “grey area” exports to Uganda as we now do to South Africa. We must expect growing Congressional pressure for stronger measures against Uganda. Three bills recently introduced by Congressman Pease of Ohio and co-sponsored by a broad group of House liberals and conservatives would effectively embargo all US trade with Uganda.4

I will soon forward to you a memorandum outlining my suggestions for steps which could be taken against Uganda.5

[Omitted here are items unrelated to East Africa.]

  1. Source: Carter Library, National Security Affairs, Brzezinski Material, Subject File, Box 17, Evening Reports (State), 11/77. Secret. Carter wrote “Cy, J” in the upper right corner.
  2. A reference to Jack Anderson and Les Whitten, “Ugandans Get Pilot Training in U.S.,” Washington Post, November 7, 1977, p. C27.
  3. Carter wrote “Unbelievable!” in the left margin.
  4. These measures introduced by Congressman Pease on September 20 became part of Public Law 95–435, signed by Carter on October 10, 1978. See Document 154.
  5. Carter wrote “ok” in the left margin.