21 May 2012

Liberia: UN Dashes Sanction Victims Hope

Photo: Musue N. Haddad
Former President Charles Taylor and his ex-wife, Senator Jewel Howard Taylor.

The hopes of several former allies of convicted war crime criminal, ex-President Charles Taylor, among them his estranged wife Senator Jewel Howard Taylor were dashed over the weekend when visiting United Nations Security Council officials here said, the world body was still studying the traveling ban placed on them years ago.

Following the conviction of Taylor on April 26, last month on "aiding and abetting" the Sierra Leonean war and the announcement of the visit of the UN Security Council officials here the sanction victims may have anticipated a relief.

But the UN delegation co-Chair, Susan Rice said during a press stakeout said the UN is still studying the travelling ban placed on the former Taylor officials. "We are continuously studying the sanction lists." Rice, the American Ambassador to the UN to journalists Saturday.

Amb. Rice's interaction with reporters came shortly after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and other national security stakeholders and government officials held indoor talks with the UN Security Council members' delegates at the Foreign Ministry.

Following their indoor discussions, Rice told reporters that Liberia's security situation is more stable. She further appreciated the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) for the progress made in Liberia.

In 2003, Taylor was forced to resign the Liberian presidency after an ECOWAS broker peace deal and went into exile in Nigeria before being arrested and transferred later for prosecution by the UN backed Special Court for Sierra sitting The Hague and is now awaiting sentencing.

Thus following his resignation and exile, the UN placed travel ban on several of his former officials for what it said was the strong tide being maintain with Taylor. The UN Sanction has been at the center of discussions in the country, especially since the conviction of Taylor.

Some Liberians including those on travel bans are questioning as to what becomes their fate following a decade long travel ban, now that their former leader has been found guilty of war crimes.

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