Liberia - EP 2

Duration: 07-Mar-2001 to 06-May-2003

The original (UNSCR 788) sanctions were lifted and immediately (in the same resolution, UNSCR 1343) replaced with the imposition of secondary sanctions on Liberia to reduce its support of the RUF forces in Sierra Leone. UNSCR 1343 re-authorized the arms embargo, added individual sanctions, a ban on diamond exports, and established a Panel of Experts to monitor implementation.

The war in Sierra Leone effectively came to an end in January 2002, less than a year after the secondary sanctions went into effect. The Taylor government mounted a campaign to give the appearance of compliance with the sanctions, but sanctions were held in place after the end of the war in Sierra Leone (to stabilize the peace process).


Coerce Liberia to cease support of RUF forces in Sierra Leone.


Constrain the government of Liberia from being able to support the RUF.


Signal (and stigmatize) the government of Liberia for its support of the RUF.


Ongoing arms imports embargo on all parties to the conflict was re-imposed.

Newly imposed ban on exports of rough diamonds, travel ban on anybody providing support to armed rebel groups in countries neighboring Liberia, and diplomatic travel ban on senior members of the Liberian government and the military (including their spouses).

No individual targets specified.

Potential scope of impact


UN sanctions can have some non-discriminating impact on the general population, since they include arms embargoes, diplomatic sanctions, and/or restrictions on the conduct of particular activities or the export of specific commodities.

Sanctions were imposed for a limited time period and periodically renewed. Imposition of rough diamond exports and travel ban (for 1 year) was deliberately delayed by 2 months, arms embargo was (re-)imposed for 14 months, effective immediately. Panel of Experts was created and Sanctions Committee dissolved and re-established under a new mandate. Designation criteria were specified and targets designated. Enforcement authorities specified.



Policy outcome

Liberia began to distance itself from the RUF, but much of this was apparently window dressing; Monrovia's grip on the RUF was gradually loosened and sanctions on Liberia contributed to the RUF's decision to reaffirm its ceasefire agreement in May 2001 (British forces were also present in Sierra Leone from September 2000); the conflict in the Sierra Leone effectively came to an end in January 2002; however, Liberia intervened in the affairs of Côte d'Ivoire during this episode.

Sanctions contribution

Sanctions on their own did not achieve the RUF ceasefire; use of military force and diplomatic pressure were also significant.



Policy outcome

UN sanctions stopped some deliveries of ammunition and heavy equipment, but significant amounts of arms and ammunition continued to be delivered to Liberia during the episode; there is insufficient information in panel of expert reports to indicate whether Liberia was constrained from supporting the RUF during this episode, though there is strong evidence of severe economic and budgetary crisis in Liberia (high levels of unemployment, increased taxes to pay for military operations).

Sanctions contribution

Sanctions contributed to the disappearance of Liberia-labeled rough diamonds from official markets; at the same time, the regime was also under military challenge on two fronts and the government had difficulty in accessing some diamond producing areas.



Policy outcome

Secondary sanctions were very clearly articulated in UNSCR 1343; Liberia and individual targets in the government were strongly stigmatized.

Sanctions contribution

The principal target's own actions (destabilizing the entire region) also contributed to his stigmatization.



Increase in corruption and/or criminality, increase in human rights violations, increase in international regulatory capacity in different issue domains, increase in international enforcement capacity in different issue domains, humanitarian consequences, reduction of local institutional capacity, widespread harmful economic consequences.



  • Terminates UNSCR 788 arms imports embargo.
  • (Re-)imposes arms imports embargo, including technical training and assistance related to provision, manufacture, maintenance or use of arms and related materiel (14 months), and specifies exemptions for humanitarian and protective use (pending prior Committee approval), and UN exported protective clothing for media and humanitarian and development workers.
  • Imposes rough diamond exports ban from Liberia (1 year).
  • Imposes travel ban on senior members of Government of Liberia, its armed forces, their spouses, and anybody providing financial and military support to armed rebel groups in countries neighboring Liberia, in particular RUF in Sierra Leone (1 year).
  • Specifies humanitarian, religious, and peace travel ban exemptions, exempting also transit of representatives of Government of Liberia to UN Headquarters to conduct UN business, or participate in official meetings of Mano River Union, ECOWAS, and Organization of African Unity.


  • Delays rough diamond exports and travel ban sanctions imposition (by 2 months).
  • Dissolves UNSCR 985 Sanctions Committee.
  • Establishes new Sanctions Committee and specifies its mandate.
  • Establishes Panel of Experts (6 months) and specifies its mandate.
  • Sets sanctions review (60 days, then every 6 months)
  • Requests MS reporting.



  • Re-establishes Panel of Experts (for 5 weeks, starting before 11.03.2002) [not under Chapter VII].



  • Renews UNSCR 1343 arms imports embargo, diamond exports, and travel ban (1 year).
  • Adds UNSCR 1343 diamond exports ban exemption for rough diamonds controlled by Government of Liberia through Certificate of Origin regime (when Committee reports the regime is fully operational).


  • (Re-)establishes Panel of Experts (3 months) and specifies its mandate.
  • Sets sanctions review (before 07.11.2002, then every 6 months).
  • Requests MS reporting.



  • Re-establishes Panel of Experts (for 3 months, starting before 10.02.2003) [not under Chapter VII].