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H.Doc.104-197 VETO OF H.R. 1561 ...


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104th Congress, 2d Session - - - - - - - - - -  House Document 104-196


 
                       STATUS REPORT ON LIBERIA

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

   A REPORT ON THE EVACUATION FROM LIBERIA OF PRIVATE UNITED STATES 
 CITIZENS AND CERTAIN THIRD-COUNTRY NATIONALS WHO HAVE TAKEN REFUGE IN 
               THE U.S. EMBASSY COMPOUND WISHING TO LEAVE

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


 April 15, 1996.--Referred to the Committee on International Relations 
                       and ordered to be printed
                                           The White House,
                                        Washington, April 11, 1996.
Hon. Newt Gingrich,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: On April 4, 1996, small arms and mortar 
fire broke out in Monrovia, Liberia, apparently as the result 
of renewed fighting between factions led by Charles Taylor and 
Roosevelt Johnson involved in the civil war in that country. On 
April 5, groups of angry civilians set up make-shift 
checkpoints near the international airport and within the city 
to protest the destruction of their property by the warring 
factions. On April 6, the American Embassy began receiving 
calls from American citizens reporting weapons fire and the 
movement of large groups of armed individuals in the city. 
Further violence, including reported hostage-taking, has 
continued.
    On April 9, due to the deterioration of the security 
situation and the resulting threat to American citizens, I 
ordered U.S. military forces to conduct the evacuation from 
Liberia of private U.S. citizens and certain third-country 
nationals who have taken refuge in the U.S. Embassy compound 
wishing to leave. U.S. military security assessment and 
enhancement teams deployed to Monrovia the same day in order to 
reinforce and assist the American Embassy. Evacuation 
operations commenced shortly thereafter. The evacuation, 
designated Operation Assured Response, is being carried out 
using MH-53 helicopters staged from Freetown, Sierra Leone. A 
small number of U.S. military aircraft are supporting this 
operation from Dakar, Senegal. Approximately 140 military 
personnel from the U.S. European Command's Special Operations 
Command are involved in this operation and are backed up by 
forces from the Southern European Task Force, U.S. Army, 
Europe. I have also ordered the deployment of U.S. Navy 
amphibious forces to the region to transport evacuees, if 
required.
    Although U.S. military forces participating in the 
evacuation are equipped for combat, the evacuation is being 
undertaken for the purpose of protecting American citizens and 
is not intended to alter or preserve the existing political 
status quo in Liberia. I therefore expect that this operation 
will be of limited duration. A number of our helicopters have 
been fired upon, but have not been hit.
    I have taken this action pursuant to my constitutional 
authority to conduct the foreign relations of the United States 
and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive.
    I am providing this report as part of my efforts to keep 
the Congress fully informed, consistent with the War Powers 
Resolution. I appreciate the support of the Congress in this 
action to protect American citizens.
            Sincerely,
                                                William J. Clinton.

                                <greek-d>


Pages: 1

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