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H.Doc.104-220 STATUS REPORT ON ACTIVITIES IN BANGUI, CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC ...


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104th Congress, 2d Session - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 104-218


 
                       STATUS REPORT ON LIBERIA

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

AN UPDATED REPORT ON THE CONTINUED DEPLOYMENT OF U.S. FORCES, INCLUDING 
    THE RESPONSE BY THOSE FORCES TO SEVERAL ISOLATED ATTACKS ON THE 
      AMERICAN EMBASSY COMPLEX ON APRIL 30, 1996, AND MAY 6, 1996

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


May 21, 1996.--Referred to the Committee on International Relations and 
                         ordered to be printed
                                           The White House,
                                          Washington, May 20, 1996.
Hon. Newt Gingrich,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: On April 11, 1996, I reported that U.S. 
military forces equipped for combat had entered Monrovia, 
Liberia, for the purpose of evacuating American citizens and 
certain third-country nationals from that strife-torn city. 
This letter is provided, consistent with the War Powers 
Resolution, to update the Congress on the continued deployment 
of U.S. forces, including the response by those forces to 
several isolated attacks on the American Embassy complex on 
April 30, 1996, and May 6, 1996.
    As of this date, U.S. forces have evacuated over 2,300 
persons from Monrovia, including over 470 American citizens. 
The U.S. Special Operations and U.S. Army Europe forces that 
conducted the initial evacuations have been replaced by U.S. 
Marines assigned to a Marine Amphibious Ready Group offshore in 
the immediate vicinity of Monrovia. Approximately 280 Marines 
and other U.S. military personnel from the total U.S. force of 
2,500 are currently ashore at the American Embassy complex. In 
addition to protecting American lives and property at the 
Embassy complex, the mission of these forces is to maintain the 
capability to conduct further evacuations if circumstances 
warrant.
    On April 30, 1996, three separate attacks occurred against 
the American Embassy complex reportedly involving fighters from 
several factions. In the first encounter, a U.S. Marine was 
grazed by a round fired by one of the attackers. The Marines 
did not return fire, and the injured Marine was able to return 
to duty on the same day. In the second attack, a Marine was 
struck by plywood splinters dislodged by an incoming round. 
During this attack, the Marines returned fire, killing two or 
more attackers. During the final encounter, approximately 40 to 
50 attackers, while apparently engaged in a pursuit of fighters 
from another faction, fired on the Marines. After the Marines 
returned fire, one of the attackers fired again. The Marines 
again returned fire, this time killing two or more attackers.
    Separately, on May 6, 1996, unknown factional forces fired 
upon the Embassy complex. The Marines returned fire with 
machine guns and automatic weapons, driving off the attackers. 
No U.S. forces were killed or injured in this encounter. One 
member of the attacking force may have been wounded.
    Finally, on May 11, 1996, a U.S. Marine walking on the 
Embassy compound was struck by a stray round. The Marine was 
slightly injured. He was treated and returned to full duty. 
This incident was the result of stray fire between warring 
factions and appears not to have been directed at the Marines 
or the Embassy.
    The Marine commander reported that during these attacks, 
U.S. forces opened fire only upon persons who fired upon the 
Embassy complex. In the judgment of U.S. military commanders, 
these attacks are sporadic incidents and do not represent an 
intent to mount a concerted or deliberate attack against the 
American Embassy or the Marines. We do not intend that U.S. 
Armed Forces deployed to Liberia become involved in 
hostilities. Nonetheless, our forces are equipped and prepared 
to defend American lives and property if necessary.
    Our goal is to redeploy U.S. forces once there is no longer 
a need for enhanced security at the Embassy and a requirement 
to maintain an on-scene evacuation capability.
    I have directed the continued deployment of U.S. forces to 
Liberia 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 concerning this important 
deployment of U.S. forces. I appreciate the support of the 
Congress in this action to protect American citizens and our 
Embassy complex in Monrovia.
            Sincerely,
                                                William J. Clinton.

                                <greek-d>

Pages: 1

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