Global Policy Forum

Liberian Government Reaction

Republic of Liberia Press Release
December 21, 2000

The Government of the Republic of Liberia wishes to note its strong reactions to the news reports concerning the Report of the Panel of UN Experts to be submitted to the United Nations Security Council.

The Government of Liberia is again reiterating its strong denial of its alleged involvement in the illicit trade of diamonds and views this move as a deliberate attempt by the outgoing Clinton Administration and the British Government to destabilize the Liberian Government and cause the imminent overthrow of its President. The Government of Liberia has been aware of a campaign on the part of these governments to unduly influence the outcome of the Panel's report, and to sway international public opinion through unilateral actions and the release of unsubstantiated information to the international press.

What needs to be made clear is that the measures in the sanctions proposed do not directly correspond with the allegations against the Liberian Government in that a proposed ban on timber trade and travel of Government officials in no way deals with the problem related to curbing the illicit trade in diamonds.

The Government wishes to intimate to the International Community that it has made several proposals to the Security Council for the deployment of international monitors at all air, land and sea ports of entry. Also proposed was the provision of technical assistance to the Government aimed at developing its monitoring capacity at border points to detect diamond smuggling which the Government of Liberia does not have the capacity to do. Government further proposed an aerial surveillance of the entire border of Liberia.

The Government wishes to also refer to the recent decision of the Summit of Heads of State in Bamako where there was decision to deploy military observers at the borders of the MRU countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

These proposals and decisions apparently did not claim the attention of the Panel of Experts. The tone of the report, as conveyed by the International media appears to be more punitive in intent rather than developing mechanisms of control with regard to the very complex nature of the illicit trade of diamonds and arms.

Liberia notes that the reports also implicated the following countries: Gambia, Guinea, Central African Republic, Burkina Faso, Mali, Cote d'Ivoire, Namibia, Ghana, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Zambia, and finds it unfair that different standards were used for the purpose of selectively targeting Liberia for punitive sanctions.

The Government of Liberia expects that the Panel's reports will not fail to mention that the United Kingdom which has no known diamond deposit, is yet the largest exporter of rough diamonds to Belgium.

The Liberian government hopes that there has not been a reluctance to deal with the substantive issue of the security crisis in the Mano River Union, the state of cross border attacks and the wider implication it has for creating a refugee and humanitarian crisis in the region, and is therefore requesting that the Security Council takes a closer look at dealing with the parties at finding a substantive base for peace and security in the Mano River Union.

Reginald B. Goodridge, Sr.

Deputy Minister of State for Public Affairs

Press Secretary to the President

More Information on Diamonds in Conflict
More Information on Sierra Leone and Liberia
More Information on Sanctions


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