Lift sanctions now! (Liberia).

Author:Lokongo, Antoine
Position:Brief Article

Ordinary Liberians are caught between sanctions, LURD rebel attacks and the continued instability in the Mano River basin. But their plight is far from over as "the international community" has completely turned a blind eye to the instability in Liberia, and focusing instead on Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Perhaps the international community has forgotten that given the porous nature of the borders of the Mano River states, the tribal and ethic affiliations and the immediate past relationships between the warring factions in the region, the security situation in Sierra Leone and Guinea could still unravel once the international peacekeepers depart.

What is troubling Liberians is the fact that the same "international community" even seems oblivious to efforts by the leaders of the Mano River states (Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea) to normalise relations and bring peace to the sub-region as evidenced by the recent meeting in Rabat, Morocco, and by the follow up meetings of their respective ministers of foreign affairs.

To ensure that the democratisation process in Liberia embarked upon in 1997 remains on course, the National Campaign for Liberia's Survival (NACALS), a non-governmental organisation, has called on the UN Security Council to lift the sanctions imposed on Liberia -- now!

The chairman of NACALS; Frederick Dey, said: "The UN sanctions imposed imminent danger for the survival of the Liberian people and the holding of the 2003 general and presidential elections."

In response, the UN Security Council, at the end of March, despatched its "panel of experts" on Liberia headed by Harjit Singh Sandhu, to verify the Liberian government's compliance of the UN sanctions.

On arrival, Sandhu said: "We will determine any cases of violations of the UN sanctions which will be reviewed by the UN Security...

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