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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 March, 2004, 11:09 GMT
US targets Liberia leader's funds
Charles Taylor
Liberia's former leader lives in exile in Nigeria
The US has put forward a United Nations resolution seeking to freeze the assets of Liberia's former President, Charles Taylor, his family and his allies.

It says they could be used to undermine peace and stability in Liberia.

The draft resolution, expected to be debated by the Security Council within the next week, calls on all UN members to locate and freeze the funds.

Mr Taylor resigned and fled to Nigeria last year after the Liberian capital Monrovia was surrounded by rebels.

He has been accused of acquiring a personal fortune through illegal trading in diamonds and arms.

His former residences in Liberia have been searched by investigators from a UN-backed war crimes tribunal. The court has indicted the former president for alleged offences during the civil war in Sierra Leone.

According to French news agency AFP, the proposed UN resolution says: "All members shall freeze without delay all such funds, other assets and economic resources."

It stipulates that these should eventually be transferred "to a future democratically elected government of Liberia, once that government has established transparent accounting and auditing mechanisms to ensure the responsible use of government revenue to benefit directly the people of Liberia".

Army funding

In another development, the US has pledged $35m to help rebuild Liberia's army after more than a decade of civil war.

The announcement was made by the US Deputy Under Secretary of State, Pamela Bridgewater, following a meeting with Liberia's transitional leader, Gyude Bryant.

She said the possibility of US officers training the Liberian army was under consideration.

Ms Bridgewater said Washington was prepared to support the cancellation of Liberia's debts, but insisted that transparent economic policies would have to be introduced first.

She added that the US was committed to help rebuild Liberia - a country which was founded by freed American slaves, and has had close ties with Washington.




SEE ALSO:
Taylor appeals war crimes charge
31 Oct 03  |  Africa
Bringing justice to Sierra Leone
17 Jan 02  |  Africa
Taylor 'pulling Liberia strings'
10 Oct 03  |  Africa
Nigeria warns exiled Taylor
17 Sep 03  |  Africa
Nigeria defends Taylor exile
12 Aug 03  |  Africa
Country profile: Liberia
07 Feb 04  |  Country profiles


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