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The BBC's Mark Doyle in Abidjan
"The UN sanctions... are the result of months of negotiations"
 real 28k

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

Sunday, 6 May, 2001, 14:26 GMT 15:26 UK
Taylor: Liberia sanctions 'unjust'
Rebel in Sierra Leone
Liberia is accused of backing rebels in Sierra Leone
Liberian President Charles Taylor has described the sanctions on his country due to be put in place on Monday as "unjust and unfair".


The world should know that these actions against us are unjust

President Taylor
UN sanctions will be put in place because of Monrovia's apparent failure to sever ties with rebels in Sierra Leone.

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

Mr Taylor said that Liberia has done everything to sever ties with the rebel Revolutionary United Front (RUF) but the international community has not checked this.

Thousands of people took to the streets of Monrovia on Saturday to protest against the sanctions.

Second chance

The UN authorised the sanctions on 7 March but delayed their implementation for two months to give 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 UN 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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