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Liberia: Annan names experts to serve on panel for follow-up sanctions mission

20 January United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named five experts to conduct a follow-up mission to Liberia and its neighbours to assess the effectiveness of sanctions against the export of certain natural resources and the import of illicit arms.

Four of the individuals served previously on a UN Liberia sanctions panel: timber expert Arthur Gregory Blundell of Canada, civil aviation engineer Atabou Bodian of Senegal, police captain Damien Callamand of France, and conflict diamonds trade analyst and anthropologist Caspar Fithen of the United Kingdom. Environmentalist Tommy Stephen Garnett of Sierra Leone was named as a new member.

Mr. Bodian will remain the chairman of the panel, Mr. Annan said in a letter to the Security Council.

The previous panel on Liberia reported to the Security Council on the sanctions last October, recommending that they remain in place. The report said that Liberia, ruled then by now-exiled President Charles Taylor, used false end-user certificates to get around the weapons embargo.

There was little evidence of violations of the timber sanctions, the panel said. The decline in the prohibited export of diamonds, however, was due more to sharper internal security than the efficient observance of international sanctions.

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