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Key UN Documents | Key NGO Documents

Articles on the Conflic from:
2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002


Articles on Sanctions from:
2005 | 2004 | 2003 | 2002

Key UN Documents

Report of the Panel of Experts on Liberia (March 17, 2005)

This report investigates the implementation of UN sanctions on Liberia and sets out to uncover any violations of the sanctions. Liberia still serves as a transit point for illicit diamonds and the panel cites its concern over reports that the National Transitional Government of Liberia has signed a 10-year contract with the West Africa mining Corporation. The deal would create "a de facto monopoly over much of Liberia's diamond producing regions" and prevent diggers from receiving a fair price for their goods.

Security Council Resolution 1549 (June 17, 2004)

The Security Council re-established a UN Panel of Experts assessing the progress of the ceasefire between the Liberian government and rebel forces. The Council asked the Panel to investigate violations of international trade embargoes on arms, diamonds and timber.

List of Individuals and Entities Subject to the Measures Contained in Paragraph 1 of Security Council Resolution 1532 (2004) Concerning Liberia (June 14, 2004)

In compliance with Security Council Resolution 1521 (2003) the Council approved the "assets freeze list." The list freezes funds, other financial assets and economic resources of former President Charles Taylor and his associates.

Report of the Panel of Experts Pursuant to Paragraph 22 of Security Council Resolution 1521 (2003) Concerning Liberia (June 1, 2004)

This UN expert panel's report on Liberia finds no evidence of weapons smuggling into, or diamond and timber smuggling out of, the country since August 2003. Yet the report opposes lifting sanctions on Liberia because "international smuggling networks remain in place and could be reactivated at any time." It further notes that the same sanctions that contributed to ending the country's conflicts also led to mass unemployment and poverty.

Security Council Resolution 1532 (March 12, 2004)

Security Council Resolution 1532 calls on member states to freeze the funds and assets of former Liberian President Charles Taylor and his associates. The measures aim at preventing these individuals, specifically named on an "asset freeze list" approved by the Security Council, from using their economic resources to undermine peace and stability in Liberia.

Progress Report of the Secretary-General on the Mission in Liberia (December 15, 2003)

This report charts the progress of peacekeeping mission UNMIL. It highlights the status of the fragile ceasefire and plans for a program to demobilize and rehabilitate former combatants.

Letter from the Secretary General to the President of the Security Council (November 6, 2003)

Resolution 1408 calls for a twice-yearly report on conditions in Liberia. This brief letter explains that UN staff evacuation and the ongoing UNMIL deployment has pushed back the report release date to 2004.

Resolution 1509 (September 19, 2003)

This resolution establishes a peacekeeping force for Liberia (UNMIL) and provides for up to 15,000 military personnel.

Report of the Secretary General to the Security Council on Liberia (September 11, 2003)

This frank and comprehensive report covers issues including the crisis of internal displacement and its ramifications for development, and plans for the disarmament of combatants.

Report of the Secretary General in Pursuance of Paragraph 19 of Resolution 1478 (2003) Concerning Liberia (August 5, 2003)

This report examines the socio-economic impact of timber sanctions imposed on Liberia. The Secretary General notes that sanctions may affect access to health care, as timber companies providing it to their workers may no longer have the means to do so.

Resolution 1497 (August 1, 2003)

This resolution authorizes the deployment of a multinational force to Liberia. Indicative of US arm-twisting, the resolution exempts peacekeeping personnel from potential prosecution by the International Criminal Court.

Report by UN Expert Panel on Liberia (April 19, 2002)

A comprehensive UN report on Liberia's continuing violation of the arms embargo. The report investigates the Liberian government's compliance with UN Security Council Resolution 1343 of March 2001 under which sanctions were imposed on Monrovia for its links with the former rebel Revolutionary United Front in neighboring Sierra Leone.

Report of the Panel of Experts pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1343 (2001), paragraph 19, concerning Liberia (October 26, 2001)

This "name and shame" report reveals ongoing arms trafficking and sanctions violations in Liberia, and recommends additional sanctions on its "flag of convenience" shipping register and certain types of logging.

Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to paragraph 13(b) of Security Council Resolution 1343 (2001) concerning Liberia (October 11, 2001)

SC Committee List on Liberia [SC/7068] (June 4, 2001)

The Security Council has drawn up the list of the 130 people affected by the UN sanctions, including Charles Taylor, RUF leaders, Liberian government officials and their spouses.

First Report of the Secretary-General pursuant to Security Council Resolution 1343 (2001) Regarding Liberia S/2001/424 (April 30, 2001)

One week before the deadline for the sanctions against Liberia, the Secretary General comments on compliance with the requirements of the Security Council.

UN Resolution 1343 Imposing Sanctions Against Liberia (March 7, 2001)

This resolution condemns Liberia's support of the RUF in Sierra Leone. The sanctions will come into effect on May 7, 2001 if Liberia does not fulfill its requirements.

UN Expert Panel Report on Sierra Leone (December 20, 2000)

A UN panel uncovers the role of Liberia's Charles Taylor and many others in diamond and arms trafficking in Sierra Leone.



Key NGO Documents

Timber, Taylor, Soldier, Spy (June 2005)

Though the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has prevented renewed violence in the country, its thinly-spread forces have not been able to control resource-rich areas—thus ensuring only an uneasy stability throughout West Africa. In this report to the UN Security Council, Global Witness discusses diamond and timber exploitation, the unfortunate influence of ex-President Charles Taylor, and gaps that cause regional insecurity, concluding with idealistic but necessary recommendations on strengthening UNMIL's effectiveness.

Global Witness Open Letter to the UN Security Council, Regarding Conflict Resources and Peacekeeping in Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo (March 18, 2005)

Global Witness criticizes the UN Security Council for insufficiently addressing the nexus between the illegal exploitation of natural resources and armed conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Liberia. In particular, this letter argues that the Council should expand UN peacekeepers' mandate in the DRC to allow for monitoring and protection of natural resources and should deploy more troops to resource-rich areas of Liberia. Global Witness recommends that the Council "mainstream into the mandate of all peacekeeping missions a monitoring and reporting component related to natural resource exploitation."

Dangerous Liaisons (December 8, 2004)

This Global Witness report examines how "armed nonstate actors" in Liberia use diamonds and timber profits to undermine security and fuel conflict throughout the region. The Liberian government lacks control over its natural resources and has yet to implement industry reforms. In addition, the government police force and UN peacekeepers have failed to monitor Liberia's borders effectively, allowing traffickers to repeatedly violate sanctions. Global Witness calls for continued embargoes on natural resources, better border controls, as well as industry reforms and independent monitoring practices.

Rebuilding Failed States (December 8, 2004)

This International Crisis Group (ICG) report calls for a "fresh strategy" for peacebuilding missions in Liberia and Sierra Leone. ICG says the two nations risk renewed conflict because peacekeeping interventions "treat peacebuilding as implementing an operational checklist, involving fixes to various institutions and processes, without tackling underlying political dynamics." ICG recommendations envisage a long-term commitment from the international community that promotes the rule of law, civil society and civil rights.

Diamonds Without Maps: Liberia, the UN, Sanctions and the Kimberley Process (June 7, 2004)

Arguing that the diamond trade retains its "enormous potential for national and regional destabilization," this Partnership Africa Canada report recommends that the Security Council maintain its embargo on Liberian diamonds "until the country has an effective diamond control mechanism in place."

Liberia: Back to the Future (May 2004)

This Global Witness report investigates the role the logging industry plays in fueling the Liberian conflict. It recommends that the Security Council maintain the embargo on timber trade in Liberia until such trade no longer contributes to national and regional insecurity.

Rebuilding Liberia: Prospects and Perils (January 30, 2004)

This International Crisis Group report argues local politicians in Liberia are deliberately jeopardizing the peace process for the sake of jobs, causing near-paralysis in its corrupt transitional government. UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) deployment and operational mistakes have also compromised disarmament efforts and further delayed the peace process.

Liberia: Guinea Flouts Arms Embargo (November 5, 2003)

In June and July 2003, the Liberian rebel group LURD indiscriminately shelled civilian areas of the capital city Monrovia. This Human Rights Watch briefing paper charges Guinea's Ministry of Defense for providing the group with mortars and other weapons in violation of UN arms sanctions.

Liberia: Security Challenges (November 3, 2003)

Liberian peacekeeping operation UNMIL works in a country with shattered infrastructure and innumerable light weapons. This report from International Crisis Group details the challenges facing UNMIL and provides recommendations.

Tackling Liberia: The Eye of the Regional Storm (April 2003)

This report by International Crisis Group asks for continued international action to halt a civil war that destabilizes several West African states. The authors argue that a successful resolution to the crisis requires good coordination between external players such as the EU and key Security Council members.

The Key to Ending Regional Instability (April 26, 2002)

Liberian President Charles Taylor fuels much of the regional instability in Liberia and bordering countries. "A peace agreement itself will not bring sustainable change to Liberia," and the time before the end of Taylor's term must be used to promote "change from within," reports the International Crisis Group.

The Role of the Liberia's Logging Industry on National and Regional Insecurity (January 2001)

This Global Witness report briefs and urges the Security Council to expand the embargo to include Liberian timber. There is also a link to the updated report from May 2001.

Rearmament in Sierra-Leone: One Year After the Lomé Peace Agreement (December 2000)

This report by Eric Berman from Small Arms Survey examines the supply chain of small arms and light weapons into Sierra Leone - from Burkina Faso and Liberia for the RUF and from the UK for the Sierra Leonean government.




Articles on the Conflict

Liberia's Top Two Face Off (October 11, 2005)

In the days leading up to the Liberian presidential election, world-famous soccer legend George Weah and former World Bank Loan Officer Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf emerged as the top two candidates. Gibson Jerue, news editor at the Analyst newspaper in Monrovia, worried about how the high-school drop-out football star could help bring peace and democracy in the country. But critics expressed greater concerns about Johnson-Sirleaf's former ties with exiled President Charles Taylor, who has been indicted for crimes against humanity by the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone. (Christian Science Monitor)

The Butcher and the Ballot (October 6, 2005)

Though living in exile in Nigeria, former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor continues to meddle extensively in Liberian affairs. His involvement in the run-up to the October 2005 Liberian elections is especially blatant. He maintains private military forces, and funds at least nine of the twenty-two Liberian presidential candidates. As a result, Taylor's ongoing freedom adversely affects the chances for true Liberian democracy, argues this International Herald Tribune op-ed.

High Stakes for the Region as Liberians Prepare to Vote (October 5, 2005)

Liberia faces a 'make-or-break' situation as voters go to the polls for the first presidential and legislative elections since the 14-year civil war ended in 2003. Former Special Presidential Envoy for Liberia Howard Jeter fears that the international community will lose interest in helping Liberia if the West African country fails to hold credible elections devoid of corruption and fraud. "Liberians need to realize that this is their one shot at peace and development." (allAfrica)

Liberia: UN Extends Peacekeeper Mandate but Wants Plan for Troop Drawdown (September 20, 2005)

The Security Council unanimously voted to extend the mandate of the peacekeeping operation in Liberia (UNMIL) until March 2006, rejecting a request from Secretary General Kofi Annan for a one-year renewal. Annan had asked for a year-long extension, saying that although Liberia was stable, many challenges remained. But the Security Council asked the UN chief to provide "recommendations on a drawdown plan for UNMIL, including specific benchmarks and a tentative schedule, in his March 2006 report." UNMIL is the world's most expensive UN peacekeeping operation. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

UN Force Plans Tough Action to Guard Liberia Polls (August 25, 2005)

The new head of the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia Alan Doss says his force will "act robustly" to ensure security during the October 11 presidential elections. The increased peacekeeping jurisdiction comes amid fears that Liberian rebels have held onto "sizeable stores of weapons despite a UN disarmament process." Doss also expects that Liberia will need an international presence well beyond election time to reinforce peace and stability. (Reuters)

UN Security Council: Ensure Justice in West Africa (May 24, 2005)

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urges the UN Security Council to "work towards the prompt surrender of former Liberian President Charles Taylor" to the Special Court of Sierra Leone, which has indicted him for war crimes and crimes against humanity. HRW argues that Taylor continues to meddle "in the internal political affairs of Liberia," and thus "poses a risk to stability in West Africa." According to HRW, Taylor's surrender to the Court is essential for promoting security in the region.

UN Investigating Recruitment of Liberian Mercenaries in Cí´te d'Ivoire (March 30, 2005)

Deputy Head of the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) Abou Moussa has announced that UNMIL and the UN mission in Ivory Coast (UNOCI) are trying to track down recruiters of former combatants in Liberia. Moussa reported that ex-combatants have been crossing the border into Ivory Coast to join armed groups on both sides, leading to a significant increase in violence in the west of the country, near the Liberian border. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Dutch Arrest Suspected Arms Trader for War Crimes Committed in Liberia (March 21, 2005)

Dutch authorities have charged arms trader Guus van Kouwenhoven with war crimes for breaking the international arms embargo against Liberia. In 2000, the UN identified van Kouwenhoven as "part of then Liberian President Charles Taylor's inner circle" by coordinating the logistics of many of the arms deals. According to Global Witness, the Dutchman supplied arms to Liberian militia working for his timber companies and was a "key player in the regional instability in Liberia and Sierra Leone." (Agence France Presse)

Elections Set for 11 October (February 7, 2005)

Liberia's Chairwoman of the National Elections Committee Frances Johnson-Morris announced that nationwide presidential and parliamentary elections will take place on October 11, 2005. Johnson-Morris hopes the 500,000 internally displaced Liberians will be back in their home communities for the commencement of voter registration, but stresses that only people living in Liberia will be eligible to vote. The decision puts pressure on the UN-led effort to repatriate approximately 350,000 Liberians who fled the country during the 1989-2003 civil war. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)



Liberia Disperses Warring Factions but Violence Persists in Capital (November 4, 2004)

Liberia has disarmed its warring factions, but the rehabilitation and reintegration phases of the process remain underfunded, leaving ex-combatants out of work and restless. Even as Liberia announced completion of disarmament, violence erupted in the capital. Ethnic tensions and an 80 percent unemployment rate fuel violence and there are reports of arms caches in Liberia and neighboring countries. (Agence France Presse)

Fewer Guns, but Tensions Persist in Liberia (October 28, 2004)

The UN pays each demobilized fighter $300 through its disarmament program, but the money fuels "corruption among former commanders and… resentment among ordinary Liberians." Commanders extort money from soldiers who disarm and from civilians they force to pose as former combatants, highlighting the control they still exert in Liberia. Meanwhile, US development policies favor hiring ex-combatants over civilians in an attempt at reintegration. Instead, the policies are leaving civilians increasingly frustrated as they feel that ex-fighters are being privileged for their crimes. (Christian Science Monitor)

Liberia: Leadership Battle in LURD Leads to Fighting On Streets of Monrovia (August 4, 2004)

The United Nations Mission in Liberia sent peacekeeping troops, backed by tanks, into the streets of Monrovia to control clashes between factions of the rebel movement Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy. The UN Secretary General's Special Representative Jacques Klein warned that political violence could make potential donors and investors hold back pledged reconstruction funds. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Peace at Last? (August 4, 2004)

This article calls attention to the weaknesses of the UN's disarmament program in Liberia and recommends that it make greater efforts to "vet" ex-combatants participating in the program. Although the situation is improving, the reintegration of ex-combatants into an already-poor society and the "dismal fragmentation of the political class" still obstruct Liberia's path to lasting peace and democracy. (ZNet)

Where Are the Weapons? Is Disarmament Really Working? (July 28, 2004)

The Secretary General's Special Representative Jacques Klein insists that the UN is making "fantastic" progress in its disarmament programs in Liberia. Yet the number of weapons collected lags far behind the number of combatants supposedly disarmed. Vast tracts of Liberian countryside are inaccessible to UN peacekeepers and the country's borders remain permeable to arms smugglers. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

IDPs Begin to Move Home Spontaneously (July 20, 2004)

Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees are spontaneously returning to their homes in Liberia, because of an increased sense of security at home and poor living conditions in refugee camps. However, the journey home is often long and arduous, and neither the UN nor governmental authorities have declared these destinations "safe for resettlement." (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

UN Ties Al Qaeda Figure to Diamonds (June 28, 2004)

The Wall Street Journal reports that al Qaeda surveyed potential diamond-trading operations in Liberia and acquired diamonds from war-torn Sierra Leone. UN war crimes prosecutors believe that conflict diamond trading in West Africa might have been a "central component of al Qaeda's finances."

Bring Out Hidden Weapons, Says UN Force Commander (April 26, 2004)

The commander of the UN Peacekeeping force in Liberia has appealed to the fighters of the warring parties to hand over all their weapons, warning that any attempt to hide weapons would constitute a criminal offence. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Liberia-UN Hints at Further Delay to Start of Disarmament (February 13, 2004)

The UN has suggested a further delay for the Liberian disarmament campaign until "sufficient troops are in the country and deployed all over to ensure security during the disarmament." This safety measure, says the Force Commander of UNMIL, also serves to ensure UNMIL is in a better position to curb illegal smuggling of natural resources, which have in the past fuelled many violent conflicts in the country. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)




Fighters Want to Disarm, Rebel Official Demands Incentives (December 11, 2003)

Liberian peacekeeping force UNMIL offers cash installments to rebel fighters in exchange for arms. Some fighters demand a lump sum, but other war-weary combatants have a different opinion. Said one commander for rebel group LURD, "if our chief cannot find ways for us to go school to learn for the future, we will tell the UN to come collect our arms." (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)

UN Hopes Disarmament Campaign Will Light a Fire Under Liberian Peace (December 1, 2003)

Liberian peacekeeping force UNMIL will urge all former combatants to hand over their weapons, especially encouraging child soldiers to trade their guns for school supplies. (Agence France Presse)

UN Will Seek $300 Million for Reconstruction of Liberia (November 23, 2003)

The US seems poised to pledge $200 million in aid to war-shattered Liberia. Yet analysts worry that aid levels may fall short in a donor conference scheduled for 2004. The continuing crisis in Iraq commands both attention and aid money. (New York Times)

Charles Taylor: Exiled, But Still Pulling Strings (October 12, 2003)

UN envoy to Liberia Jacques Klein accused the former Liberian president of exercising influence on the interim government in the shattered country. According to Klein, Taylor has frequent phone contact with the government. He also meets with high-ranking officials in Nigeria, where he has political asylum. (Agence France Presse)

UN Seeks to Transform Liberia from Failed State to Nation at Peace (October 6, 2003)

Inter Press Service reports on the UN initiatives to stabilize Liberia. But Liberians remain uneasy. A schoolteacher complained, "The disarmament that is supposed to bring about free movement of people remains illusive. What is there to show that we will not be molested or even killed when we return to our villages?"

UN Takes Over Liberia Peacekeeping Operation (October 1, 2003)

The UN special envoy to Liberia expressed gratitude to the Security Council for giving UNMIL the "strongest possible mandate" to restore stability to the war-torn country. UNMIL will have 15,000 military personnel to protect civilians, assist with disarmament and facilitate delivery of humanitarian aid. (allAfrica)

The English Lesson (September 27, 2003)

UK intervention in Sierra Leone demonstrated a commitment to ending atrocities against civilians even at the risk of sustaining UK casualties. This opinion piece argues that the US shows a disturbing lack of resolve in Liberia that may do the country more harm than good. (New York Times)

Liberia: Greater Protection Required for Civilians Still at Risk (September 9, 2003)

Peacekeepers have calmed the capital city of Monrovia, but rebel groups elsewhere continue looting and engaging in forced recruitment. This Human Rights Watch briefing paper assesses the situation in anticipation of a 15,000-strong UN peacekeeper deployment.

Hurtful Hand on Liberia (August 31, 2003)

An African affairs analyst argues that the US government and industry bear significant responsibility for Liberian instability. Firestone, a US-based multinational corporation, "all but owned the nation as a rubber colony." (Los Angeles Times)

US Pullback Brakes Momentum, Experts Say (August 27, 2003)

Intrastate conflict experts bemoan Washington's decision to remove marines from peacekeeping duties in Liberia. According to one, the decision is "a slap in the face to the UN and the whole peace effort" and exemplifies Bush administration apathy toward the conflict. (Inter Press Service)

Liberia's Postwar Leader Seen as Unifier (August 21, 2003)

The man who united six political parties in an unsuccessful bid to unseat Charles Taylor will lead Liberia's interim government. Gyude Bryant identified the disarmament of young soldiers as his first priority. (Associated Press)

Liberia: In Search of Leadership (August 20, 2003)

Representatives from political parties and civil society have submitted the names of candidates to head the Liberian interim government. Speaking with the Perspective, candidates discuss the obstacles of moving Liberia beyond an era of political corruption and intimidation.

An Evolving Idea for Liberia Envisions UN Trusteeship (August 17, 2003)

Despite its uncomfortable colonialist connotations, the word "trusteeship" creeps back into the vocabulary of international organizations. Diplomats and others in the international community speak cautiously of a UN-backed effort to construct a viable government for Liberia. (New York Times)

Liberia Peace Force Secures Food Supplies (August 14, 2003)

Rebel presence at key Liberian ports has stopped food distribution from UN warehouses and prevented reorders of crucial supplies. US troops arrived on Liberian soil to help Nigerian peacekeepers secure the port and deliver desperately-needed aid to famished refugees. (BBC)

Rebels Agree to Ease Grip on Liberia (August 12, 2003)

"We were responsible for the downfall of Charles Taylor," remarked the spokesman of a principal rebel group. "We want to serve in the highest capacity." Foreshadowing a host of new problems, rebel groups reject the authority of new President Moses Blah and intend to head the interim government. (New York Times)

Peace Plea to Liberian Rebels (August 12, 2003)

Moses Blah, former Vice President of Liberia under Charles Taylor, became President for an interim period while a power-sharing government takes shape. Accepting an offer of asylum from Nigeria, Taylor left his country in a state of dire food shortage and fragile peace. (BBC)

UN Returns to Kick-Start Relief As Taylor Departs (August 11, 2003)

Secretary General Kofi Annan appealed to all parties in the Liberian conflict to allow safe passage of aid workers. Despite the political neutrality of UN relief agencies, UN workers had been specifically targeted by government forces in retribution for sanctions imposed on Liberia. (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)

US Must Not Fail Liberia Again (August 6, 2003)

If enabled by the Bush administration, US troops in Liberia could offer crucial security and logistical provisions to a vanguard force of Nigerian peacekeepers. Yet the authors of this Los Angeles Times editorial worry that George W. Bush will drop the ball on Liberia, as his father did when he was President in 1991.

First Peacekeepers Arrive in Monrovia (August 4, 2003)

A contingent of Nigerian peacekeepers arrived in Liberia soon after the Security Council endorsed the deployment of a multinational force to the war-torn country. UN peacekeepers will supplement the vanguard force supplied by West African states. (Associated Press)

New Hope for Weary Liberians (July 31, 2003)

The BBC reports that violence in Liberia has abated with the arrival of peacekeepers. However, dwindling food and fuel supplies pose an immediate threat the health of the population.

Warning of Looming Catastrophe, Annan Urges Security Council to Authorize New Force in Liberia (July 29, 2003)

This allAfrica article provides a transcript of a letter from Secretary General Kofi Annan to the President of the Security Council about the situation in Liberia. The strongly-worded letter reacts to "a grave humanitarian and security situation with massive potential for exacerbating regional instability."

Wanted: UN Peace Force (July 29, 2003)

The Guardian bemoans the "messy, unsatisfactory compromises" surrounding the proposed peacekeeping aid to Liberia.

Liberia's Rebels Tighten Noose Around Taylor (July 28, 2003)

Rebel factions seized the Liberian port city of Buchanan following sustained attacks that have claimed 1,000 lives. "Right now we are completely encircled," exclaimed one civilian. "The sooner the peacekeepers come the better it will be for us." (Reuters)

Still Waiting in Liberia for Peacekeepers (July 27, 2003)

Washington, the Security Council and West African leaders hesitate to send peacekeepers into Liberia in the face of sustained rebel violence. The Vanguard reminds these groups of the claim by President Charles Taylor that he will not cede power until peacekeepers arrive.

A Worthwhile Risk (July 24, 2003)

Ongoing violence in Liberia highlights the need for a UN rapid deployment force to conflict-torn areas. The US objects to this multilateral approach, but it also appears shamefully reluctant to provide exclusive assistance to its former colony. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Ceasefire in Liberia is Shattered by Rebel Attack (July 24, 2003)

770 UN peacekeepers assigned to Sierra Leone will re-deploy to neighboring Liberia after a ceasefire among rebel groups unraveled. The international community considers Liberia as a US protectorate, but responsibility falls to the UN as Washington remains ambivalent about US involvement. (Independent)

Marines Arrive Amid Fighting to Guard Embassy in Liberia (July 21, 2003)

Rebels attacked the Liberian capital of Monrovia for the third time in six weeks with gunfire that sent civilians crowding into fields and school compounds. Lacking a mandate to intervene, a small contingent of US Marines stood by to evacuate the US Embassy if necessary. (New York Times)

US Drafts Liberia Troop Plan (July 17, 2003)

A UN resolution drafted by the Bush administration encountered a delay in submission to the Security Council when the Pentagon insisted on US peacekeeper immunity from the International Criminal Court. The modified draft ensures trial in US courts for US personnel. (Washington Times)

Peace Talks at Preliminary Stage as Deadline Looms (July 17, 2003)

West African mediators work under a tight deadline to secure a peace agreement between the Liberian government, rebel groups and civil society organizations. A document purportedly issued by the US State Department provides a framework for a transitional government. (UN Integrated Regional Information Network)

Bush Says US Troops Will 'Participate' in Liberia (July 15, 2003)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and US President George Bush have "more or less agreed to a general approach" on troop deployment to Liberia. However, experts worry that the Bush administration's preference for limited involvement will have negative repercussions for Liberians. (Washington Post)

Liberia: Ripe for Colonizing? (July 9, 2003)

Self-interested motives may impel the US administration to offer humanitarian aid to the troubled West African country of Liberia. The region has plentiful reserves of natural gas, a key commodity in President George Bush's proposed clean energy program. (Village Voice)

Liberian President Accuses United States of Backing Rebels (July 7, 2003)

Liberian President Charles Taylor insists that rebel groups, not his government, present the greatest threat to Liberia. He also dismisses a UN-backed court indictment for crimes against humanity, calling it "politically motivated." (New York Times)

Liberian President Offered Asylum (July 7, 2003)

Liberian president Charles Taylor accepted an offer of exile to Nigeria despite his indictment for war crimes issued by Sierra Leone's war crimes court. Nigeria's provocative offer may have been made under pressure from the US. (Guardian)

US Soldiers Arrive in Liberia for Humanitarian Mission (July 7, 2003)

The first part of a US military assessment team arrived in Liberia to examine humanitarian conditions. The US ambassador to Liberia declined to speculate about the likelihood of deploying a larger US peacekeeping force. (New York Times)

US Willing to Send Troops to Help Liberia (July 3, 2003)

Against the wishes of the Pentagon, the Bush administration seems poised to deploy a small contingent of troops to Liberia. (Los Angeles Times)

Nigeria to Host Liberia Talks (July 2, 2003)

Nigeria, the "big brother" of West Africa, will host a Liberian presidential envoy to discuss plans for peace in violence-plagued Liberia. The Security Council mission in Africa responded favorably to regional dialogue, but reaffirmed the need to punish human rights violators. (BBC)

Rescuing Liberia (July 1, 2003)

A New York Times editorial argues that longstanding economic and political links provide justification for US intervention in Liberia. A multinational force, led by the US and including up to 800 US ground troops, offers the best way to aid the million refugees currently crowding Monrovia.

UN Ambassadors Push for Peace Force in Liberia (June 29, 2003)

Former US slaves founded Liberia. The state served as an intelligence-gathering base for Washington throughout the Cold War. Despite appeals for help by the UN Secretary General, the US remains unconcerned by the current crisis. (Associated Press)

Liberia in Crisis: The Structure and Underlying Causes of a National Failure (June 26, 2003)

President Charles Taylor enjoys an overwhelming share of power compared to the judicial system and other sources of influence from civil society. Multiple centers of decision-making offer the only hope for sustainable peace in Liberia. (Perspective)

Ugly Stepfather (June 23, 2003)

The US has remained indifferent to the brutality of Liberian President Charles Taylor for more than a decade. The New Republic asks the US to intervene in Liberia as Britain and France have intervened in their troubled former colonies of Sierra Leone and Cí´te d'Ivoire.

Liberia Truce Key to Regional Peace (June 19, 2003)

Humanitarian aid agencies welcome the promised resignation of President Charles Taylor, but worry about his potential successor to power. Key rebel groups LURD and MODEL have no discernable political agenda beyond ousting Taylor. (Christian Science Monitor)

Crisis in Liberia: A Call to Action (June 10, 2003)

The International Crisis Group welcomes the indictment of Liberian President Charles Taylor as a step toward peace, but warns that without strong backing from the international community Liberia will achieve neither peace nor justice.

Endgame? (June 9, 2003)

Under the reign of President Charles Taylor, Liberia became the epicenter of instability in West Africa. The Economist explores alleged and documented atrocities committed by Taylor and speculates that a UN-backed indictment for war crimes may end his presidency.

A Post-Colonial Storm, and America's Blind Spot (May 21, 2003)

While Sierra Leone benefits from international intervention, its neighbor Liberia languishes in poverty and civil war. Somini Sengupta calls on West Africa's former colonizers to work for peace in Liberia to stabilize the volatile region. (New York Times)

‘The Usual Suspects: Liberia's Weapons and Mercenaries in Cote d'Ivoire and Sierra Leone' (March 31, 2003)

The Liberian government continues to rely on timber to finance its weapons and mercenaries, while President Charles Taylor uses Swiss and Burkinabé banks to hide embezzled funds. This new Global Witness report details the Liberian government's illegal activities and reveals the major individuals and companies involved.

30,000 Flee Gbarnga, Villages - As Defense Calls for Opened Corridors (March 24, 2003)

More than 30,000 residents have fled their homes in Gbarnga after rebels of the LURD retook the town. Liberian Government troops prepare a massive counter-offensive to repel the rebels. (Allafrica)

Liberian Conflict Could Engulf All West Africa in Crisis, Annan Warns (February 28, 2003)

With elections approaching in Liberia, concern about the country's rebel group grows. The international community should discourage the external support that LURD enjoys in its conflict with President Charles Taylor's government, says UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. (Allafrica)

Taylor Accuses Guinea to Security Council for Aiding Lurd (February 25, 2003)

Liberia complains to the UN arguing that its neighbor, Guinea, is supporting the rebel Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD.) Liberian President Charles Taylor says that the government of Guinea is facilitating the establishment of LURD by permitting the recruitment, training and arming of Liberian refugees living in the territory of its country. (Allafrica)

Rebel 'Massacres' in Liberia (February 7, 2003)

While government troops and Lurd rebels are clashing, the military are continuing to gun down innocent civilians in Liberia. (BBC)

Liberians, US Prefers Dictatorship (January 29, 2003)

As Liberia shows us, US officials have sometimes designed and supported undemocratic and dictatorial leaders to the benefits of market-dominant minorities. Struggle for political and economic power between the poor and wealthy minorities is a global phenomenon. (Perspective)




Al-Qaida Tied to Africa Diamonds Trade (December 30, 2002)

Recent investigations reveal that Liberian diamonds financed al-Qaeda. The news comes as no surprise, given that investigators have been aware of al-Qaeda's diamond connection for over a year. (Washington Post)

Liberia Threatens Stability (December 14, 2002)

In Sierra Leone, corruption, greed, widespread poverty, a crisis of confidence among international donors has perpetuated a long-standing conflict. This report of the International Crisis Group (ICG) focuses on the difficulties faced by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), a transitional justice mechanism in the country.

Liberia Threatens Stability (December 14, 2002)

The UN Security Council expresses great concern about the situation in Liberia and considers sending a mission to the region. (News24)

Liberia - Eye of the Hurricane (December 13, 2002)

As Liberia remains a source of conflict and instability for the region, the UN should not ease the sanctions regime against President Charles Taylor. (The Perspective)

The Liberian Government Finally Admits Support to RUF (November 27, 2002)

Less than a month before the formal opening of the Special War Crime Tribunal in Sierra Leone, Liberian president Charles Taylor clearly admits his support for the RUF. This article in the Perspective encourages the Liberian people and the international community to impeach Mr. Taylor.

Open Letter to Members of the United Nations Security Council (November 13, 2002)

As the human rights situation in Liberia continues to deteriorate, Amnesty International calls for strengthening the United Nations Peace-building Support Office in Liberia (UNOL).

The Sierra Leone Special Court And Charles Taylor's Possible Indictment (November 11, 2002)

The Sierra Leone Special Court may bring Liberian President Charles Taylor to justice, ending his brutal and barbaric impunity. Peace and stability in Liberia will also require the deployment of an international peacekeeping force, an election commission, a Supreme Court and respect for human rights. (The Perspective)

The UN, LURD Taylor and Kaddafi (November 8, 2002)

A UN report says Liberian President Charles Taylor and the rebel group LURD exchange plundered diamonds, gold and timber for arms and ammunition, fueling war, human rights violations, and a refugee crisis. (The Perspective)

UN Boss Reports On Liberia --Calls for Non-Violent Engagement (November 4, 2002)

The UN report on Liberia says that a sustainable solution to Liberia's multiple problems cannot be found through military means. The UN must remain engaged "with the Liberian Government and its people." (The News)

Fresh Fighting in Liberia Drives 3,000 into Sierra Leone (October 7, 2002)

New arrivals of refugees from Liberia threaten to destabilize Sierra Leone, creating an urgent need for food, shelter and medical assistance. (Sierra Leone News)

Logging Off (September, 2002)

The Liberian timber industry is integrally involved in the illicit trade of arms that threatens international peace and security in Sierra Leone and West Africa. This new Global Witness report calls on the UN Security Council to impose a total embargo on Liberian timber exports.

The July Monrovia "Peace" Conference: True Reconciliation or Another Fiasco? (July 9, 2002)

The Monrovia "Peace" Conference will not bring the expected peace to Liberia. Charles Taylor's regime thrives on the continuation of the conflict and will not seek meaningful solutions. Bringing war criminals to justice will best serve the cause of peace and national reconciliation. (The Perspective)

Liberia's Search for Peace is Again Starting on the Wrong Note (July 4, 2002)

History seems to repeat itself with chief Liberian warlord, Charles G. Taylor "determined to outfox the beleaguered Liberian political opposition." The climate of insecurity and intimidation created by Taylor's regime jeopardizes any national effort of reconciliation. (The Perspective)

Liberian Conflict Tops Instability Sources in MRU Sub-Region (July 1, 2002)

Ambassador Adolfo Zinser, representing Mexico in the UN Security Council, has concluded that violence in Liberia remains the top danger to peace in Sierra Leone. He also draws attention to extreme socio-economic conditions, and humanitarian and human rights situations as additional threats. (The News (Monrovia))

An Ethnic Divide Or an Image Factor? (May 27, 2002)

The UN saw the May 14th elections in Sierra Leone as a peace-building strategy but some analysts suggest that they created ethnic divides. The Standard Times opposes such view and argues that political parties lost in some regions not because of the parties' ethnic character but due to their poor image. (The Standard Times (Freetown)



Articles on Sanctions

Annan Appoints New Panel of Experts (August 1, 2005)

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has appointed an expert panel to assess UN sanctions, specifically on diamonds and timber, in Liberia. The announcement follows the June 2005 extension of existing sanctions, when the Security Council urged the transitional government to establish control over the diamond and timber areas of the country. The panel, which will report to the Council in December, will also monitor the impact of sanctions on the local population and the implementation of the arms embargo. (Liberian Observer)

UN Extends Sanctions on Timber and Diamond Exports (June 22, 2005)

Citing the Liberian transitional government's failure to improve transparency, the UN Security Council has extended the ban on Liberian diamond and timber exports until December 21, 2005. The Council also questioned a deal granting one British-backed company an effective monopoly over Liberia's diamond industry, and suggested that the government use international companies to enforce logging and mining regulations. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)



UN Won't Lift Sanctions on Liberia (October 8, 2004)

The Security Council has decided not to lift diamond and timber sanctions on Liberia although it recognized that Liberia has made some progress in meeting its conditions. The Council pushed Liberia to implement an international diamond certification system and to ensure that timber revenues are used properly. Sanctions will come under review in December 2004. (Associated Press)

Liberia Needs More Help to Rebuild After War (September 15, 2004)

UN officials have called for more international aid, particularly foreign capital, to help rebuild Liberia's broken economy one year after launching a Liberian peacekeeping mission. Sanctions remain in place as the UN is not convinced that revenues from natural resources will not be used for conflict or corruption. (Reuters)

Liberia: Bryant Pleads for End to Timber And Diamond Ban (June 7, 2004)

The Chairman of Liberia's transitional government Gyude Bryant appealed to the Security Council to lift the economic sanctions on Liberia's diamond and timber sectors, arguing that the government has made great progress in restoring control over the two industries. (Integrated Regional Information Networks)



UN Council Extends Liberia Sanctions Another Year (December 22, 2003)

Following UN envoy Jacques Klein's recommendations, the Security Council unanimously extended sanctions on Liberia. The peace deal signed with the rebels in August 2003 has not yet brought stability to the war-torn region. Addressing the Security Council, Klein also deplored the slow pace of peacekeepers' deployment. (Reuters)

Chaos in West Africa: Unending Wars (May 5, 2003)

Sanctions against the Liberian government remain in place despite ongoing rebel and foreign-backed mayhem. The International Crisis Group encourages the Security Council to investigate Liberia's neighbors for their role in its continuing instability. (New York Times)

Security Council Backs KP, Panel to Monitor Liberia (January 29, 2003)

In support of the Kimberley Process, the UN Security Council decided to re-instate an expert panel of five members to monitor Liberia's compliance with sanctions. The Council decided that Liberia has failed to halt the sale of "conflict diamonds." (Diamonds Net)



Al-Qaida Tied to Africa Diamonds Trade (December 30, 2002)

Recent investigations reveal that Liberian diamonds financed al-Qaeda. The news comes as no surprise, given that investigators have been aware of al-Qaeda's diamond connection for over a year. (Washington Post)

Liberia - Eye of the Hurricane (December 13, 2002)

As Liberia remains a source of conflict and instability for the region, the UN should not ease the sanctions regime against President Charles Taylor. (The Perspective)

UN Leaves Sanctions on Liberia Another Six Months (November 27, 2002)

The Security Council extends for another six months sanctions on Liberia, accusing the government of President Taylor and Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) of violating council's demands. (News24)

Registers - Liberia Sanctions Unlikely to Be Lifted (November 25, 2002)

Liberia has not responded to a UN request for information on funds from the Liberian ship registry. This exacerbates the UN's concern with Liberia, and the Security Council is unlikely to lift the sanctions. (Lloyd's List)

Embargo on Taylor Must Continue, Says UN Panel (November 5, 200) interviews one of the four members of the UN Panel, Johan Peleman, a Belgian arms and transportation expert. Discussing the panel's finding, he explains how Taylor is evading the international arms embargo.

LURD, UN Sanctions and Elections 2003 (October 15, 2002)

As demonstrated in Libya, Iraq, North Korea, and Cuba, sanctions rarely lead to regime change, says The Perspective. The Guinea-backed rebel group LURD and the UN sanctions cannot be the solution for changing the Taylor regime, because they prevent peace and reconciliation in Liberia.

Liberia Violating Sanctions (October 14, 2002)

A UN report states that Liberia continues violating UN sanctions. According to the panel of experts, the country has smuggled more than 200 tons of military equipment from Yugoslav Army stocks, infringed the travel ban and persisted in illegally exporting diamonds. (Associated Press)

Liberia Reacts Angrily to UN's Renewal of Sanctions (May 7, 2002)

The Security Council's decision to extend sanctions against Monrovia angers Liberian government officials who claim they have done all possible to comply with UN demands. (Agence France Presse)

Security Council to Review Sanctions By Early May (April 23, 2002)

The Security Council plans to hold discussions with the UN Sanctions Committee on Liberia to review existing sanctions against the country. A recent UN investigation in Liberia provided "credible evidence that the government was buying weapons in violation of the restrictions." (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)

Liberia Sanctions Reviewed (April 19, 2002)

The panel of UN experts for Liberia recommends the extension of sanctions against Monrovia after documenting the government's blatant violation of the travel ban and arms embargo. However, the weapons ban may not worry the government of Charles Taylor too much "since it is obvious he is able to get round it anyway." (BBC News)

UN Panel Says Liberia Continues to Buy Arms in Spite of Sanctions (April 17, 2002)

A panel of UN experts accuses Liberia of violating UN sanctions by continuing to purchase arms with funds from its lucrative shipping industry. (Reuters)

The United Nations Sanctions on Liberia: Myths and Truths (March 8, 2002)

This article shows that the humanitarian suffering caused by the UN sanctions in Liberia is far less than in Iraq. While the sanctions on Iraq apply to all imports originating in this country, the sanctions in Liberia only prohibit rough diamonds. (The Perspective)

Liberia Sanctions 'Unjustified' (January 25, 2002)

The Liberian government declares Sierra Leone's civil war over and wants UN sanctions on the country lifted. UN sanctions were imposed on Liberia because of the country's involvement with rebels in Sierra Leone. (BBC News)



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