Liberia's Rough Diamonds Banned in Bush America

The Perspective

January 19, 2002

On October 11, 2000, the Taylor government got its first taste of America's policy towards Liberia and his regime, when President Clinton imposed a travel ban on Liberian government officials and their spouses from traveling to the US because of Liberia's involvement in fueling the war in Sierra Leone.

Due to Mr. Taylor’s continued support to the RUF and the use of blood diamonds to foment the war in Sierra Leone, President George W. Bush issued an executive order on May 23rd, 2001, banning the importation of all rough diamonds from Liberia .

Like the first Executive Order of May 23rd, 2001, President George W. Bush has again extended the prohibition of importing all rough diamonds into the United States from Sierra Leone and the Republic of Liberia. In his communication to the leadership of both the House and the Senate, the President wrote on January 15, 2002:

"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, 2002, to the Federal Register for publication. This is the first renewal of the Sierra Leone and Liberia emergency.

"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. The national emergency, as expanded, was declared to deal with the threat posed to United States foreign policy by (1) the insurgent Revolutionary United Front's (RUF) illicit trade in diamonds to fund its operations and procurement of weapons in the brutal, decade-long civil war in Sierra Leone; (2) the RUF's flagrant violation of the Lome Peace Agreement of July 7, 1999; (3) the RUF's attacks on personnel of the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone; and (4) the actions of the Government of Liberia in support of the RUF. 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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