Security Council re-establishes compliance panel

The Security Council has re-established for a further three months the expert panel to investigate compliance by the Liberian government with sanctions imposed on the country in 2001 and renewed in May 2002, the UN reported on Tuesday.

The sanctions include an arms embargo, travel ban for some officials, and a ban on the import of its rough diamonds.

The Council asked the Secretary-General to appoint up to five experts to the Panel and to make the necessary financial arrangements to support its work. The Panel will commence its work not later than 10 February and will report to the Council by 16 April.

The expert panel, the Council said, should conduct a follow-up assessment mission to the region to investigate any violations of the measures against Liberia, including any involving of rebel movements, and to review the audits by the Liberian Government to ensure that revenue derived from the Liberia Shipping Registry and the timber industry was used for legitimate social, humanitarian and development purposes.

The extension of the sanctions for a year in 2002 followed a Council decision that Liberia had not fully complied with demands that it halt its support for the now-defunct Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel group in Sierra Leone and other armed rebel groups in the region. It had also asked the Secretary-General to establish, within three months, a panel of experts and called on the Liberian Government to establish transparent and internationally verifiable audit regimes.