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H.Doc.105-94 DEVELOPMENTS CONCERNING THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO THE ...


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105th Congress, 1st Session  - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 105-93


 
                        STATUS ON SIERRA LEONE

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

   A LETTER NOTIFYING CONGRESS THAT ON MAY 29 AND MAY 30, DUE TO THE 
   UNCERTAIN SECURITY SITUATION AND THE POSSIBLE THREAT TO AMERICAN 
 CITIZENS AND THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN SIERRA LEONE, APPROXIMATELY 200 
    U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL, INCLUDING AN 11-MEMBER SPECIAL FORCES 
 DETACHMENT, WERE POSITIONED IN FREETOWN TO PREPARE FOR THE EVACUATION 
     OF CERTAIN U.S. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES AND PRIVATE U.S. CITIZENS


<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


June 5, 1997.--Referred to the Committee on International Relations and 
                         ordered to be printed


                                           The White House,
                                      Washington, DC, May 30, 1997.
Hon. Newt Gingrich,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: On May 25, soldiers from the Republic of 
Sierra Leone Military Forces (RSLMF) mutinied against the 
country's democratically elected President, Ahmed Tejan Kabbah. 
Battles between the mutineers and the President's Nigerian 
security guard resulted in several rocket propelled grenade 
rounds hitting the U.S. Embassy. In addition, the RSLMF 
soldiers have engaged in looting, rape, armed robbery, and 
carjackings throughout the city. Sporadic gunfire and looting 
diminished with the arrival of additional Nigerian military 
forces that attempted to restore order. However, the security 
situation is deteriorating as tensions rise between Nigerian 
troops on the one hand and the mutineers and their supporters 
on the other hand. While there is no evidence that Americans 
are being directly targeted, the disorder and violence in 
Freetown subjects American citizens to continued risks ranging 
from criminal acts to random violence.
    On May 29 and May 30, due to the uncertain security 
situation and the possible threat to American citizens and the 
American Embassy in Sierra Leone, approximately 200 U.S. 
military personnel, including an 11-member special forces 
detachment, were positioned in Freetown to prepare for the 
evacuation of certain U.S. Government employees and private 
U.S. citizens. Evacuation operations began on May 30, as U.S. 
military helicopters transported U.S. citizens and designated 
third-country nationals to immediate safety aboard the U.S.S. 
Kearsarge from where they will be taken to Conakry, Guinea, for 
further transportation. In addition to those evacuated by 
helicopter, 18 U.S. citizens departed Sierra Leone on May 29 
via a British charter airline flight.
    The Marines involved in this operation are from the Marine 
Expeditionary Unit currently embarked aboard U.S.S. Kearsarge, 
operating off the west coast of Africa. Special forces 
personnel are from the U.S. Army Third Special Forces Group, 
Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Although U.S. forces are equipped 
for combat, the evacuation has been undertaken solely for the 
purpose of protecting American citizens and property. United 
States forces will redeploy as soon as evacuation operations 
are complete and enhanced security at locations in and around 
Freetown is no longer required.
    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 and the American Embassy in 
Freetown, Sierra Leone.
            Sincerely,
                                                William J. Clinton.

                                <greek-d>


Pages: 1

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