28 February 2002
Security Council Re-Establishes Panel Investigating Liberia Sanctions, Requests Follow-Up Assessment by 8 April
Unanimously Adopts Resolution 1395 (2002)
NEW YORK, 27 February (UN Headquarters) -- The Security Council this afternoon decided to re-establish, for a further five weeks, the Panel of Experts that investigated compliance with measures it imposed against Liberia in March last year by resolution 1343 (2001), including an embargo on arms and import of unofficial rough diamonds from Sierra Leone.
Unanimously adopting draft resolution 1395 (2002), the Council requested the Panel to conduct a follow-up assessment mission to Liberia and neighbouring States to compile a brief independent audit of the Government of Liberia's compliance with a number of demands made by the Council and to report not later than 8 April.
By the terms of the Council's March 2001 resolution, the Government of Liberia was, among other things, to: immediately cease its support for the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of Sierra Leone; expel all RUF members from Liberia; cease all financial and military support to the organization; and cease all import of rough diamonds not controlled through the Certificate of Origin regime of the Government of Sierra Leone.
The Council asked the Secretary-General to appoint no more than five experts for the Panel, possessing as much as possible the same expertise as the previous Panel. The Council called upon all States to cooperate with the new Panel of Experts in the discharge of its mandate.
The meeting, which began at 5:25 p.m., was adjourned at 5:28 p.m.
The full text of resolution 1395 (2002) reads as follows:
"The Security Council,
"Reaffirming its resolution 1343 (2001) of 7 March 2001,
"Noting that the next six-monthly review by the Security Council of the measures imposed by paragraphs 5 to 7 of resolution 1343 (2001), is scheduled to take place on or before 6 May 2002,
"Recognizing the importance of monitoring the implementation of the provisions contained in resolution 1343 (2001),
"1. Takes note of the report of the Panel of Experts on Liberia dated 26 October 2001 (S/2001/1015) submitted pursuant to paragraph 19 of resolution 1343 (2001);
"2. Expresses its intention to give full consideration to the report;
"3. Decides, in the meanwhile, to re-establish the Panel of Experts appointed pursuant to paragraph 19 of resolution 1343 (2001) for a further period of five weeks commencing no later than 11 March 2002;
"4. Requests the Panel of Experts to conduct a follow-up assessment mission to Liberia and neighbouring States, in order to investigate and compile a brief independent audit of the Government of Liberia's compliance with paragraph 2 and of any violations of paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 of resolution 1343 (2001) and to report to the Council through the Committee established by paragraph 14 of resolution 1343 (2001) no later than 8 April 2002 with the Panel's observations and recommendations in relation to the tasks set out herein;
"5. Requests the Secretary-General, upon the adoption of this resolution and acting in consultation with the Committee established by paragraph 14 of resolution 1343 (2001), to appoint no more than five experts, drawing as much as possible and as appropriate on the expertise of the members of the Panel of Experts appointed pursuant to paragraph 19 of resolution 1343 (2001), and further requests the Secretary-General to make the necessary financial arrangements to support the work of the Panel;
"6. Calls upon all States to cooperate fully with the Panel of Experts appointed under paragraph 5 above, in the discharge of its mandate;
"7. Decides to remain actively seized of the matter."
When the Security Council met this afternoon it had before it a letter dated 26 October 2001 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1343 (2001) concerning Liberia addressed to the President of the Council, conveying the report of the Panel of Experts (document S/2001/1015).
The report states that when the Panel embarked on its mandate in April 2001 there were active hostilities in the three Mano River Union countries (Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia). Six months on, there are significant signs of improvement in the region. There has been a proliferation of the use of non-State actors in those conflicts. Those groups obtain weapons from State supporters, from their trade in diamonds, alluvial gold, cocoa and coffee, or from their military action. The junction of the borders of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone has been the fault zone where those groups have thrived.
The report contains recommendations on illegal aircraft registrations; weapons and end-user certificates thereof; Liberian Government expenditure; logging and wood processing; diamonds; the Liberian corporate and maritime registry; and the travel ban imposed by the resolution. It also contains recommendations for the continued monitoring of the resolution.
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