161. Telegram From the Department of State to the Embassy in Tanzania1

60705. Subject: Uganda Situation. Refs: A) Dar 1124; B) Nairobi 4400.2

(S) Entire text.

1. Before instructing Ambassador Le Melle to meet with President Moi, we believe we should make clear to President Nyerere the nature of the message we are prepared to deliver from him to Moi. In that regard, we are not rpt not prepared to raise specific issues which Nyerere identified for discussion or to ascertain whether Moi will cooperate in the manner Nyerere desires. We are willing to tell Moi that Nyerere wants to discuss the Ugandan situation, but we will [Page 422] specifically note that the USG has no rpt no relationship to or involvement in anything that Nyerere may propose in this discussion.

2. Request that you see Nyerere to make the following points:

—We have queried our Embassy in Nairobi concerning your request and our Ambassador believes he can make an approach on your behalf but we believe the approach should be limited as follows: Quote

—Pres. Nyerere told Amb. Spain in Dar es Salaam that he believes it would be useful to have a discreet discussion with you on ways in which your two governments might cooperate to resolve the Uganda situation.

Nyerere asked Spain if U.S. would be willing to relay this message in the interest of bringing an early end to the Tanzania-Uganda conflict.

—We agreed to do so for that reason, but as you are aware we have tried not to become involved in this dispute and have hoped that an African solution could be reached.

—Further, we are merely seeking in this matter to assist communication between two of our friends; we do not have, nor do we seek, any relationship to or involvement in the topics to be discussed.

—If you desire to talk to Nyerere about Uganda, we assume you will wish to arrange that through your own channels. If you desire, we will also advise Ambassador Spain to tell President Nyerere that you are interested in talking with Nyerere about Uganda and will welcome a direct communication from him. Unquote.3

—We feel strongly that events going on in East Africa and communication between African leaders is an African matter in which we do not believe we can appropriately be involved.

—If this limited approach is satisfactory to you, we will proceed with it promptly.

3. We are willing of course to accept minor modifications by Nyerere to our proposed representation to Moi, but we could not accept amendments which would tend to involve us any more directly in this matter.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840171–1776. Secret; Immediate; Exdis. Drafted by Beyer (AF) and Berry (AF); cleared by Harrop; approved by Newsom. Sent for information Immediate to Nairobi and the White House.
  2. In telegram 1124 from Dar es Salaam, March 10, the Embassy reported that Nyerere had asked for U.S. assistance to convince Kenya to help him with the Uganda situation. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840171–1779) In telegram 4400 from Nairobi, March 11, the Embassy reported on Kenyan attitudes toward the Tanzania-Uganda conflict and the unlikelihood that Moi would want to intervene; however, the Embassy noted that Moi would likely be open to a conversation with Nyerere on the subject. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840150–2141)
  3. In telegram 1142 from Dar es Salaam, March 13, the Embassy reported on Spain’s meeting with Nyerere. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840171–1774)