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105th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - -- - House Document 105-13


 
          RWANDA AND THE GREAT LAKES REGION OF EASTERN ZAIRE

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              Transmitting

  A REPORT ON THE UNITED STATES PARTICIPATION IN RWANDA AND THE GREAT 
 LAKES REGION OF EASTERN ZAIRE--RECEIVED IN THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF 
                    REPRESENTATIVES DECEMBER 3, 1996

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


January 7, 1997.--Referred to the Committee on International Relations 
                       and ordered to be printed


                                           The White House,
                                      Washington, December 2, 1996.
Hon. Newt Gingrich,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: The humanitarian situation in Rwanda and 
the Great Lakes region of eastern Zaire has been a continuing 
source of international concern. Although approximately 600,000 
refugees have recently returned to Rwanda from Zaire, the 
situation remains uncertain. An estimated 200,000 or more 
refugees and displaced persons remain scattered in eastern 
Zaire likely without adequate food, water, shelter, or medical 
care. Repatriation is expected to continue in the foreseeable 
future. Urgent action may still be required, however, to supply 
essential relief to refugees and displaced persons still 
located in eastern Zaire and to assist those refugees that have 
returned to Rwanda.
    In response to United Nations Security Council Resolution 
(UNSCR) 1080 (1996), the United States plans to participate in 
a multinational effort, led by Canada, to facilitate the 
delivery of humanitarian assistance and to facilitate the 
voluntary, orderly repatriation of refugees by the United 
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other humanitarian 
aid organizations as well as the voluntary return of displaced 
persons. Pending final consultation with our allies, I expect 
the United States to contribute personnel and equipment to the 
headquarters, civil-military affairs and psychological 
operations units, and other support elements as required.
    In furtherance of UNSCR 1080 and the aim of the 
multinational effort, the United States has already positioned 
personnel and equipment in furtherance of ``Operation Guardian 
Assistance'' (approximately 400 personnel are currently in the 
region) to conduct non-combat missions, including airlift, air 
control, and related services in support of ongoing 
humanitarian efforts by Rwanda and private relief 
organizations.
    Part of the U.S. assistance to the region has been helping 
locate groups of refugees and displaced persons to ascertain 
their movement and condition. The United States has used 
aircraft and other means in an effort to gain accurate and 
complete information. Although there has been sporadic fire 
from unknown sources at aircraft over-flying the Great Lakes 
region, including U.S. Navy aircraft, it is not clear that this 
fire was intentionally directed at U.S. personnel. This past 
weekend the United States also deployed an AC-130U aircraft to 
the area to facilitate this effort through the use of aerial 
surveys. Although its primary mission is aerial surveys, the 
aircraft is fully mission-capable and will be available for 
search and rescue or other force-protection missions, if 
required. The aircraft will be based in Entebbe Airfield, 
Uganda, and will conduct aerial surveys throughout the Great 
Lakes region. The aircraft will remain in the area as long as 
aerial survey efforts are required by relief efforts.
    The United States recognizes that the return of peace and 
security to the region will ultimately rest on the resolution 
of long-standing political and social differences and an end to 
the fighting. The United States is actively supporting the 
United Nations and the international community to achieve those 
ends. Humanitarian concerns, however, require that the United 
States take immediate action to relieve the suffering of 
innocent victims of the regional instability until those long-
term political and social differences can be resolved.
    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 in accordance with my desire that the Congress be 
fully informed, consistent with the War Powers Resolution. I 
appreciate the support of the Congress in this action to assist 
the international community in its humanitarian relief efforts 
in Central Africa.
            Sincerely,
                                                      Bill Clinton.

                                <greek-d>


Pages: 1

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