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Annan appoints expert panel to follow-up on Liberia sanctions

Annan appoints expert panel to follow-up on Liberia sanctions

United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today appointed four members of an expert panel that will undertake a three-month follow-up assessment mission to Liberia and neighbouring countries to investigate compliance with international sanctions levied against Monrovia.

The appointments were announced in a letter by the Secretary-General to the President of the Security Council released today at UN Headquarters in New York. The Council had unanimously re-established the expert body late last month, deeply concerned by the situation in Liberia and neighbouring countries, especially in Côte d'Ivoire.

By adopting resolution 1458, the Council asked the Secretary-General to appoint the Panel, which will investigate and compile a report on the Government of Liberia's compliance with the demands contained in resolution 1343, adopted in 2001 in response to concerns about the reported transit of illicit diamonds - which were being traded to fuel the conflict in Sierra Leone - through Liberia.

Along with investigating any violations of the measures referred to in subsequent resolutions adopted by the Council, the Panel was also asked to bring any relevant information collected in the course of their investigations to the attention of the States concerned for prompt and thorough investigation and, where appropriate, corrective action, and to allow them the right of reply.

The Secretary-General says the Panel of Experts, which will be chaired by Atabou Bobian of Senegal, an expert from the International Civil Aviation Organization, will also include Enrico Carisch of Switzerland, an expert in financial links, Damien Callamand of France, an expert from Interpol, and Alex Vines of the United Kingdom, a diamond expert.