Global Witness Says Liberian Sanctions Must Stay

December 8, 2004

Global Witness Says Liberian Sanctions Must Stay

Fearful the United Nations Security Council might amend its sanctions on Liberian timber and diamond industries on socio-economic grounds, human rights group Global Witness released a briefing today saying such talk is premature. "The UN's own requirements for the lifting of sanctions have not been met, and any moves toward altering them will be in direct opposition to the expressed wishes of Liberian civil society," Global Witness says.

The briefing highlights the many links the group says remain between Liberia's timber and diamond industries and regional instability, and concludes that lifting or otherwise weakening sanctions on Liberia will undermine peace and security in Liberia and neighboring countries. "Dangerous Liaisons: The ongoing relationship between Liberiašs natural resource industries, arms trafficking and regional insecurity" details Liberia's lack of interior and border security. The Liberian government has also failed to implement basic reforms to ensure control over industry revenue, the report says.

The Liberian government lacks control over its diamond producing areas and is not in compliance with the Kimberley Process, says Corinna Gilfillan from Global Witness. "Liberia must demonstrate that it has the political will and capacity to enforce rigorous controls to meet Kimberley Process requirements and help ensure that diamonds no longer fuel conflict and terrorism."

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