[Marxism] White Man's Burden - Liberia: UN Extends Sanctions, US Threat...

David Quarter davidquarter at sympatico.ca
Wed Dec 22 16:49:14 MST 2004

 A Catalyst For New War ...]

From:           	Rick Rozoff 

1) Fifteen Months After Western-Engineered 'Regime
Change' In Liberia, UN Extends Crippling Sanctions
2) Nigeria: US's $2 Million Ransom For Charles Taylor
A Catalyst For Resurgence Of War In Liberia


Agence France-Presse
December 22, 2004

UN extends sanctions on Liberia

-[US envoy Stuart] Holliday said the United States was
working with Bryant's government to restructure the
timber and diamond sectors "as a means to expedite and
not retard the eventual lifting of sanctions." 

United Nations - The UN Security Council voted
unanimously on Tuesday to renew sanctions on Liberia
as the struggling west African nation tries to rebuild
after years of civil war. 

Liberia's transitional government had been hoping for
a lifting of the sanctions it inherited from indicted
former president Charles Taylor, saying it urgently
needs revenue from timber and diamond sales. 

But the council voted 15-0 to keep in place a ban on
timber exports for one year and diamond exports for
six months - measures adopted over concern Taylor's
regime was using the money to fund wars and unrest in
the region. 

"Premature lifting of sanctions at this time would
threaten the re-emergence of armed conflict," US envoy
Stuart Holliday said after the vote. 

"It is essential that these key resources and the
revenue dervied from their export be used responsibly
in the future to improve the lives of the Liberian
people, and not perpetuate the conflict as in the
past," Holliday said. 

Taylor took exile in Nigeria last year, bringing an
end to 14 years of civil war and clearing the way for
the establishment of a power-sharing, transitional
government headed by Gyude Bryant. 

A report by UN experts this month criticised the
government, saying there was "no semblance of
budgetary control" and calling for an enquiry into
funds that had gone missing. 

Bryant's government has made "only limited progress"
in ensuring timber revenues are not being used to fuel
conflict or otherwise diverted from the country's
development needs, the council said. 

US working to restructure timber and diamond sectors 

Holliday said the United States was working with
Bryant's government to restructure the timber and
diamond sectors "as a means to expedite and not retard
the eventual lifting of sanctions." 

Liberia, founded by freed US slaves, is rich in
natural resources but remains hobbled by both its long
years of war and the corruption that was rampant under
Taylor's chaotic rule. 

Taylor is under indictment by a UN court for alleged
war crimes in connection with the brutal civil war in
neighbouring Sierra Leone, which he is said to have
funded in part from the timber and diamond sales. 

The Security Council, which also renewed an arms
embargo and travel ban on Taylor's family and
associates, said it would review the diamond sanctions
in three months. 

Vanguard (Nigeria)
December 22, 2004

U.S. Ransom on Charles Taylor

-The United States should not be a catalyst to another
resurgence of war in Liberia.

The clause in an emergency funding bill for Iraq and
Afghanistan signed by President George Bush,
allocating $2 million for a reward for the capture of
“an indictee of the Special Court for Sierra Leone”
has been subject of intense public discourse. 

The indictee of that special court is the former
president of Liberia, Charles Taylor, who was granted
asylum by the Nigerian government. The $2-million
ransom has threatened the exiled Liberian
[president's] stay in Nigeria. 

Nigeria has reiterated her resolve to protect the
former Liberian leader with all her might and
described the universal offer by the United States as
tantamount to state-sponsored terrorism. 

The U.S. Embassy has denied attempt to take “any
illegal action against the Nigerian government.” The
embassy further stated that the ransom will give the
“U.S. government an additional tool they [might] need
in future.” 

We deprecate the covert attempt by the U.S. government
to compel Taylor to be brought before the U.N. Special
Court in Sierra Leone. Before stepping down from
power, it became obvious that unless Taylor went into
exile, there might never be a resolution of the
Liberian crisis. It took the collective decision of
leaders within the subregion before President
[Olesegun] Obasanjo [of Nigeria] agreed to allow
Taylor into Nigeria. President Bush also encouraged
Nigeria to take Taylor then. The sudden U-turn of the
United States from this rational decision taken in the
interest of peace in Liberia cannot be understood. 

We are not deluded by the fragile peace that currently
reigns in Liberia. The tap roots of peace have not
been firmly entrenched in that country and whatever
treatment is meted out to exiled Taylor will play a
crucial role in the firm establishment of permanent
peace in the country. The United States, which acts as
the number-one policeman of the world, should not
through her ransom provoke Taylor’s loyalists. This
might exacerbate the conflict in Liberia. 

The United States should not believe she can violate
Nigeria’s territorial sovereignty and integrity. The
United States must subject herself to minimum rules of
international standards as espoused in the various
articles and conventions of the United Nations. 

We acknowledge that Charles Taylor, while in the
saddle in his country, created upheavals that affected
not only his country but the West African subregion as
well. In spite of this, it only makes sense that the
ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States]
peace initiative that is yielding some positive
results in Liberia must not be stalled by the
kidnapping of the central figure in the crisis,
Charles Taylor. 

The United States should not be a catalyst to another
resurgence of war in Liberia.


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