The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
January 16, 2003

Presidential Letter

January 16, 2003

Dear Mr. Speaker: (Dear Mr. President:)

Section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)) provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless, prior to the anniversary date of its declaration, the President publishes in the Federal Register and transmits to the Congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. In accordance with this provision, I have sent the enclosed notice, stating that the Sierra Leone and Liberia emergency is to continue in effect beyond January 18, 2003, to the Federal Register for publication. The most recent notice continuing this emergency was published in the Federal Register on January 17, 2002 (67 FR 2547).

The national emergency declared with respect to Sierra Leone on January 18, 2001, as expanded on May 22, 2001, with respect to Liberia, has not been resolved. Some 1,500 Revolutionary United Front (RUF) soldiers have crossed into Liberia in the past year, where they remain under arms and continue to pose a threat to the Government of Sierra Leone. They use illicit trade in diamonds to sustain themselves in Liberia and for weapons purchases. The Government of Liberia continues to support these RUF elements and give them sanctuary.

These actions and policies are hostile to U.S. interests and pose a continuing unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States. For these reasons, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared with respect to Sierra Leone and Liberia and to maintain in force the sanctions imposed in response to the threat posed by the actions and policies of the RUF.



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