Update Report

Posted 15 December 2005
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Update Report No.2: Liberia

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The Council is expected to renew the sanctions regime and the mandate of the Panel of Experts on sanctions in Liberia before the end of December.

This decision comes amidst a deterioration of the situation on the ground, with the eruption of riots organised by supporters of presidential candidate George Weah, who refuses to concede defeat. The UN-organised poll in which Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected and the Presidential inauguration in January 2006 will mark the end of the transitional period in Liberia. However, UN involvement, both with the UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the sanctions regime, will continue.

The decision to renew the sanctions results from the conclusion that insufficient progress had been made in meeting the benchmarks set forth in resolution 1521 (2003). This conclusion is also expressed in the report of the Panel of Experts issued last week (S/2005/745).

The draft resolution currently being finalised envisages the renewal of the arms embargo, and the travel ban against peace spoilers, for 12 months. It also renews the sanctions over diamond and timber exports from Liberia for six months.

The 12-month time frame for the arms embargo and the travel ban and the six-month frame for diamonds and timber reflect precedents in the Council vis-à-vis the Liberian sanctions regime. We understand that they also coincide with a specific request from the Liberian government.

The draft resolution is also likely to express the Council’s readiness to review the sanctions should that be requested by newly elected Liberian government.

The Council also received in December the latest report of the Secretary-General on UNMIL (S/2005/764). The report concluded that the Government of Liberia had achieved mixed progress in ascertaining control over diamond and timber production. It also stressed the challenges ahead, in particular vis-à-vis the need to carry on with governance programmes and security sector reform, and the dangers posed by former combatants, Weah’s supporters and the situation in Côte d’Ivoire.
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UN Documents

Selected Security Council Resolutions

  • S/RES/1638 (11 November 2005) mandated UNMIL to apprehend Charles Taylor should he return to Liberia.
  • S/RES/1626 (19 September 2005) authorised a temporary increase in UNMIL and requested a downsizing plan by March 2006.
  • S/RES/1579 (21 December 2004) and S/RES/1607 (21 June 2005) renewed sanctions and the Panel’s mandate until 21 December 2005.
  • S/RES/1532 (12 March 2004) imposed an assets freeze against former President Charles Taylor and associates.
  • S/RES/1521 (22 December 2003) imposed sanctions.
  • S/RES/1509 (19 September 2003) established UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL).
  • S/RES/1497 (1 August 2003) authorised the deployment of a Multinational Force.

Selected Secretary-General’s Reports

  • S/2005/764 (07 December 2005) was the latest report.
  • S/2005/376 (07 June 2005) noted not enough progress towards benchmarks.
  • S/2003/1175 (15 December 2003) detailed the DDRR program.
  • S/2003/875 (11 September 2003) detailed the establishment of UNMIL.

Reports of Council Missions to West Africa

 

Reports of the Sanctions Committee and Final Reports of the Panel of Experts

Historical Background
November 2005 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf was elected President after second ballot in presidential elections.

October 2005 The first ballot took place.

September 2005The Council enlarged UNMIL to provide security for the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

March 2004The Council imposed sanctions on Charles Taylor and his associates.

December 2003The Council imposed the current sanctions regime.

October 2003 The National Transitional Government of Liberia was inaugurated.

September 2003 UNMIL was established.

August 2003 Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and US troops arrived; Taylor went in exile in Nigeria and the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed.

July 2003 Insurgents intensified fighting.

June 2003 Taylor was indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone.

2001 The Council re-imposed an arms embargo to pressure Taylor.

2000 Insurgents invaded Liberia from Guinea.

1999 ECOWAS’ Monitoring Observer Group (ECOMOG) left Liberia.

1997 Taylor was elected President.

1992The Council imposed an arms embargo on Liberia.

1991 Fighters entered Sierra Leone with Taylor’s support.

1990ECOWAS established ECOMOG.

1989 Taylor entered Liberia.

Other Relevant Facts

Special Representative of the Secretary General

Alan Doss (United Kingdom)

Size and Composition of Mission

Total authorised strength: up to 15,250 military personnel and 1,115 police.
Strength as of 30 September 2005: 14,881 military personnel and 1,093 police.
Key troop contributors: Bangladesh, Pakistan, Ethiopia and Nigeria.

Cost

1 July 2005 – 30 June 2006: $760.57 million

Duration

September 2003 to present.