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Top U.N. officials here to assess the security situation in the country say they have received no “documented” reasons to lift U.N. sanctions imposed on certain individuals perceived as threat to Liberia.
“We have not yet received, from the various segments we met, including civil societies and others, something more documented on this (the lifting of the travel ban and asset freeze). If we get that, we will certainly consider it in the light of that,” said Ambassador Abdullah Hussain Haroon, head of the visiting U.N. Sanctions Committee.
Mr. Haroon, who is Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the UN, spoke at the Capitol following a closed door meeting with the leadership of the House Thursday on the review of UN sanctions imposed on certain individuals in Liberia.
Several individuals listed on sanctions include confidants of former President Charles Taylor, convicted by the U.N. backed special court of ‘aiding and abetting’ rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone.
In response to whether the U.N. would act against Liberia for its ‘non-compliance’ with the assets freeze sanction imposed several years ago, Amb. Haroon said his committee is reviewing reasons explained to its members by the Justice Ministry for not implementing the UN mandate.
“We are looking at the reasons given to us by the Justice Ministry. But the asset freeze ban was initiated nine years ago. We will review its context of what we see here in terms of progress or lack of progress,” he explained.
But members of the House have denounced continued sanctions on individuals in the country.
Deputy Speaker of the House, Rep. Hans Barchue told reporters Wednesday: “We informed the U.N. Sanction committee at a meeting that those individuals placed on the list are no longer “threat to the peace and stability” of Liberia.
“We are of the view that the imposition of the sanction had an objective which was to put an obstacle in the way of those perceived to be promoters of the war. The question now is, do we still have that situation today? No.
“The sanctions should be removed. The travel ban should be removed because those who were placed are no longer threats to our peace process,” Rep. Barchue said.