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Liberia free from all UN sanctions after 24 years

Liberia free from all UN sanctions after 24 years

Liberia

The UN security council on Wednesday lifted the last international sanctions against Liberia as a sign of support for the government’s effort toward peace after two civil wars.

The resolution adopted by the UN terminated an arms embargo on armed groups and dissolved the council committee and its panel of experts that monitored the country’s sanctions, VOA reports.

The council has been progressively terminating the targeted measures that were imposed at the end of Liberia’s civil war in 2003.

The sanctions regime contributed, in large measure, to stabilization of the country and also stimulated post-conflict economic recovery.

In 2009, a ban on timber export, which along with diamonds had helped finance the conflict was lifted.

In September, the council ended a travel ban and asset freeze on designated individuals and entities. And on Wednesday, it took the final step, unanimously voting to lift an arms embargo on non-state actors.

The country’s U.N. representative, George S. W. Patten said targeted sanctions in the context of Liberia have been very constructive.

“The sanctions regime contributed, in large measure, to stabilization of the country and also stimulated post-conflict economic recovery.”

US envoy David Pressman said the sanctions targeting the West African natural resources were “well tailored” and addressed unconventional sources of conflict financing.

“We would do well to consider similar measures targeting the funding and fueling of conflict in other situations we are facing today,” he said.

In November last year, the United States lifted its unilateral sanctions against Liberia, which targeted former top Liberian government officials and family and close allies of former President Charles Taylor.

Taylor had set off Liberia’s civil war in 1989, leading to an uprising that toppled then-President Samuel Doe. Taylor was elected president in 1997, leading to a second civil war that ended when Taylor fled the country.

He was sentenced to 50 years in prison in 2012 for instigating war and atrocities in neighboring Sierra Leone.