What's In Blue

Posted Tue 11 Dec 2012

Liberia Sanctions & Panel of Experts Renewal

The Council looks set to adopt tomorrow afternoon (12 December) a resolution renewing both the sanctions regime on Liberia and the mandate of the Panel of Experts (PoE) assisting the 1521/Liberia sanctions committee for a period of 12 months. The draft which was circulated among Council members in early December is now in blue. Besides extending the sanctions regime and the PoE’s mandate, the draft resolution asks the PoE to conduct two follow-up assessment missions to Liberia and neighbouring states in order to investigate and compile a midterm and a final report on the implementation of the measures, including any violations.

While there had been some discussion of modifying the sanctions regime, it seems that there was general agreement that given the instability of the region this was not the time to ease up on sanctions, particularly the arms embargo. Like the last resolution renewing the Liberia sanctions (S/RES/2025 of 14 December 2011), the draft resolution requests a midterm PoE report followed by a final PoE report in December, with the possibility of modifying or lifting some or all of the measures. Once again it also signals Council’s willingness to review any of the measures at the request of the Liberian government if Monrovia can prove that the conditions for terminating the measures have been met.

A new element in this draft is that the tasks mandated for the PoE to perform are to be undertaken in close collaboration with the government of Liberia and the Côte d’Ivoire Group of Experts. It seems that this addition may be a result of the increasing awareness of the need for better information on cross-border activities between Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire.

The draft also strengthens language on the need for the Liberian government to complete implementation of the recommendations of the 2009 Kimberley Process review team, calling on Liberia to improve the governance of its rich natural resource sector.

In negotiating the draft text, one area where there appears to have been some disagreement was whether to include language commending the government and people of Liberia for the successful conduct of elections in late 2011. It seems that some members preferred to be more cautious with their praise given indications that President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s government has failed to sufficiently clamp down on corruption and alleged nepotism.

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