What contradiction! Liberia has been under attack by rebels for three-and-a-half years, and the UN still does not want the government to acquire arms to defend the country.

Author:Bafalikike, Lokongo
Position:Around Africa: Liberia - Brief Article

The UN Security Council yet again extended in early December the arms ban imposed two years ago on the Liberian government, even though the country is still under rebel attack as it has been since August 1999. The latest setback for President Charles Taylor came as he was holding discussions in Monrovia with the ECOWAS chairman, the Senegalese president, Abdoulaye Wade, for ECOWAS to initiate peace talks with the LURD rebels. Ironically, President Taylor had just called on the Security Council, while meeting President Wade, to end "all the external support that is fuelling the war" in his country, as the hands of his government had been tied by the UN arms ban.

He also called for an end to other UN sanctions because of their "negative impact" on the people. But soon after making the call, the news broke that the UN expert panel on Liberia had submitted its latest report to the Security Council in New York, and had recommended that the sanctions and the arms embargo be maintained. The sanctions were imposed because of what the UN called "Liberia's support for the RUF rebels in Sierra Leone". But the war in Sierra Leone ended two years ago. Elections have since been held there last year, in which the RUF rebels ran their candidates. In effect, the rebels have become part of the body politic in Sierra Leone. But don't tell that to the Security Council which has a completely different agenda. Despite the obvious hardships in Liberia at the moment, the UN experts shockingly described the impact...

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