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The BBC's Mike Donkin
"The sanctions will initially apply for twelve months"
 real 28k

Information Minister Reginald Goodridge
"We are a little bit confused"
 real 28k

Friday, 4 May, 2001, 19:54 GMT 20:54 UK
UN imposes sanctions on Liberia
Rebel in Sierra leone
Liberia is accused of backing rebels in Sierra Leone
United Nations sanctions against Liberia will come into effect on Monday, because of Monrovia's apparent failure to sever ties with rebels in Sierra Leone.

We have got to bring peace to Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. We have a policy on that, that policy is to force the RUF to stop fighting

British UN ambassador
The sanctions include a ban on diamond exports and travel restrictions on senior officials. They will remain in effect for 12 months.

British UN ambassador Jeremy Greenstock said that the Security Council had decided to impose the sanctions in order to bring peace to Sierra Leone and stop fighting by the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF).

But Liberian Information Minister Reginald Goodridge told the BBC that it seemed someone was pre-empting the Security Council's decision - which he said was due on Monday - and that a delegation was on its way to New York to address the allegations.

Charles Taylor
Taylor: Given a chance to co-operate
The UN authorised the sanctions on 7 March but delayed their implementation for two months to give Liberian President Charles Taylor a chance to comply with its demands.

West African UN ambassadors argued that they wanted the delay in order to monitor Mr Taylor's willingness to co-operate.

The RUF has been fighting to take control of diamond fields in Sierra Leone since 1991.

Not enough evidence

The original resolution was based on a report from December last year by an independent UN panel that accused Liberia of training the rebels, giving them logistical support and providing a staging ground for warfare against the Sierra Leone Government.

Monrovia says it has been expelling RUF leaders, freezing the organisation's assets and has banned the import of all diamonds without proper certification.

But Security Council members say there is not enough evidence that Liberia has cut ties with the RUF.

Liberia is already under an arms embargo stemming from its 1989-1996 civil war.

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See also:

16 Feb 01 | Africa
UN delays Liberia sanctions
25 Jan 01 | Africa
UN debates Liberia sanctions
15 May 00 | Africa
Diamonds: A rebel's best friend
12 Feb 01 | Africa
Timeline: Liberia
10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Liberia
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