2. Telegram From the Department of State to Secretary of State Vance 1

37810. Tosec 20118. Subject: Text of Ambassador Young’s Report on His Mission to Africa, Dated February 13, 1977. Ref: Secto 2039.2 Following is the text of Ambassador Young’s report to the President concerning his visit to Africa:3

Qte To: President Carter, Vice President Mondale, Secretary Vance, Mr. Brzezinski.

From: Ambassador Young.

Subject: Recommendations for Discussion Resulting From African Tour.

1. Divisions among the Front Line Presidents, liberation movements require early meeting with British and U.S. observers to develop consensus on process and details of transition period.4

—specific composition of Patriotic Front

—timetable for elections

—nature and purpose of Zimbabwe development fund

—plan for civil order during transition

—constitutional safeguards for minority protection

Such a meeting should occur shortly after U.S.–U.K. meeting and Callaghan visit.

2. U.S.–U.K. meeting with Rhodesia and South African representatives.

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—to restrain Smith from expanding pre-emptive strikes into Zambia, Botswana, thereby avoiding an escalation which might bring in Cuban-Nigerian or South African participants.

—to define specific guarantees for white settlers.

—to interpret British proposal for majority rule and clarify the African understanding of transition details.

Prior to such a meeting, there should be a U.S.–RSA meeting to develop an understanding of roles and relationships regarding Namibia and S.A. internal situation (possible assistance but no compromise on internationally acceptable majority rule).

Schaufele and I might meet with Botha and Connie Mulder in Washington. Meeting should be lengthy working session. Mulder as a hard liner and Vorster’s number two man will be in a better position to give concessions than “moderate” Botha.

Meeting should be held as soon as possible, and should be publicly acknowledged as a continuation of “listening process” of the administration.

Namibia and the U.N. mandate for independence should be a major item on agenda with efforts made to convene a Geneva or New York conference including SWAPO and RSA under U.N. auspices.

3. Critical situation in Horn of Africa requires strengthening U.S. ties with Somalia. Somalia is strongly expansionist in its concept of restoring Somali Kingdom. In their thinking this includes not only FTAI, which they call French Somalia, but also sections of Ethiopia and Kenya as well.

President Siad Barre claims to want an improvement in U.S.-Somali relations. He complained of food shortages which claimed 22,000 deaths by starvation. He can’t eat Russian weapons and needs other kinds of development assistance.

A strong, preferably black, U.S. Ambassador would be an excellent counter to the Soviet influence (Bryant George of Ford Foundation is a strong, savvy guy who could handle a development program and would relate well to Siad Barre).

4. Kenya is one country that relates to Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia very well and is economically strong enough to influence trade and market development in the area. They need military assistance in view of the uncertainties to their north. (I opposed arm sales to Kenya while in Congress because I saw their influence being damaged by possible instability following Kenyatta’s death. Kenyatta remains strong, and the Kenyan civil servants and top political leadership seem strong enough to carry on without him, though they may have a rather turbulent transition.)

5. Nigeria’s inclusion in the Southern African equation is the only way that some discipline can be brought to bear on the liberation [Page 4] movements. Nigeria provides the “cash” for much of the armed struggle (Soviets supply guns) and also has extended loans to Mozambique and Angola.

Nyerere and Kaunda are philosopher-statesmen. Garba and Head of State Obasanjo (engineer; former Public Works Commissioner) are military men who have a sense of discipline, and they have the clout to bring Nkomo, Mugabe and Nujoma in line. Nigeria is increasingly disturbed about the liberation leaders traveling around the world “playing president” and neglecting their people’s needs.

Nigeria is interested in the leadership being assumed by Africans not Cubans, Soviets or Chinese. They want closer U.S. ties and a joint economic commission similar to those we have with Egypt, Israel and Iran.5

6. The British still have a colonial attitude toward Africa which produces constant clashes with African leaders. They resent Nyerere’s intellect and independence; they fear Nigeria’s power and arrogance and they are intimidated by the crude, blunt manner of the liberation leaders.

At the same time, they are liberals who can’t cope with the unprincipled racism of Smith or the political maneuvering of Vorster (a Daley-type politician).

The Labor government is extremely anxious about the outcome of the Rhodesian situation and their economic relations with South Africa. There is a feeling that Kissinger led them into this, promising U.S. support which has not materialized.

In spite of these difficulties the British must be kept in the driver’s seat on Rhodesia, but they need a lot of help. Ivor Richard seems their most able negotiator but Anthony Duff should be brought in to assist. An American team should also be designated to work closely with them.

Obvious U.S. leadership might serve to make the Russians nervous and encourage them toward a disruptive role. Africans also do not want the U.S. to get credit for solving African problems. They do want our support, especially in relation to South Africa.

End quote.

  1. Source: National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, P840072–1488. Confidential; Nodis; Cherokee—For the Secretary only. Drafted by Bunge; cleared in IO and S/S; approved by Christopher. Vance was traveling in Egypt, Lebanon, and Jordan to review the Middle East peace process.
  2. In telegram Secto 2039 from the Secretary’s aircraft, February 18, Vance requested the text of Young’s report on his Africa visit. (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770058–0489)
  3. In telegram 19603 to Dar es Salaam, Lagos, London, and USUN, January 28, the Department reported that Young would “represent the United States at celebrations in Tanzania and Nigeria during the next 10 days.” He also “plans to meet with the leaders of Tanzania and Nigeria and other African leaders at the celebrations to discuss African problems and U.S.-African cooperation at the United Nations.” (National Archives, RG 59, Central Foreign Policy File, D770030–0862)
  4. The Presidents of the Front-Line States, Tanzania, Mozambique, Zambia, Botswana, and Angola, worked together to end apartheid and white minority rule in South Africa and Rhodesia. Documentation on the U.S. response to the aspirations of the liberation movements in Rhodesia, South Africa, and Namibia is in Foreign Relations, 1977–1980, vol. XVI, Southern Africa.
  5. For Young’s meeting with Obasanjo, see Document 20.