(Rapaport…November 27, 2002) The United Nations Security Council has decided to leave sanctions against Liberia in place, citing evidence of continued trade in weapons. The council reiterated its demand that Liberian President Charles Taylor expel all members of Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (RUF) from his country and cease all financial and military support for the rebel group. It said the weapons embargo still applies to all groups including the rebel organization Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD).
Council members said Taylor should stop blaming the sanctions for the humanitarian crisis in Liberia and called on the international community to ease suffering there. They also said Liberia should commission independent audits of timber and shipping revenues to ensure those are not used wrongly. Diamonds are not the only resource experts cite as fueling recent African wars.
The Security Council reviews the effect of sanctions on Liberia every six months. Members pledged to continue working toward establishing peace and stability in Liberia and surrounding countries. They also renewed the mandate of a panel charged with monitoring the situation there.