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Annan appoints experts to monitor Liberia's compliance with sanctions

Annan appoints experts to monitor Liberia's compliance with sanctions

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has appointed a panel of experts to conduct a follow-up assessment mission to Liberia and neighbouring countries aimed at probing their compliance with sanctions levied against the West African nation by the Security Council.

In a letter to the Council President, the Secretary-General names the four experts who will comprise the panel, which will operate for three months. The members are Atabou Bodian of Senegal, an expert from the International Civil Aviation Organization, Johan Peleman, an arms and transportation expert from Belgium, Harjit Singh Sandhu of India, an expert with INTERPOL investigative experience, and diamond expert Alex Vines of the United Kingdom.

The panel will investigate and compile a report on the Liberian Government's compliance with the demands contained in a Council resolution adopted last year and extended for 12 more months on 6 May. Among other requirements, the Council called on Monrovia to stop its financial and military support for the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in neighbouring Sierra Leone.

The report will also cover the potential economic, humanitarian and social impact on the population of the measures - which include an arms embargo, a travel ban for officials and a prohibition on the import of Liberia's rough diamonds - and on any violations of those sanctions.

This is the third time that the Secretary-General has constituted a panel of experts, at the Council's request, on the Liberia sanctions. On both previous occasions, the panel, which had largely the same membership, has recommended maintaining the embargo.