Liberia - EP 5

Duration: 16-Jun-2006 to 25-May-2016

The Security Council approved the extradition of Charles Taylor to the Hague on 16 June 2006. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 50 years in prison for war crimes in May 2012). Sanctions were gradually reduced (UNSCR 1689 (2006) terminated timber sanctions; UNSCR 1753 (2007) removed diamond sanctions; UNSCR 1903 (2009) relaxed the arms embargo on the government but continued it for non-governmental entities). The governance of natural resources became the priority, with the introduction of certification schemes for diamonds (Kimberley Process) and timber. The list of targeted individuals gradually declined (some Taylor family members removed in 2012), and PoE was reduced from 5 to 3 members (in 2008).

PoE reports expressed concern that weak natural resources governance (unregulated gold mining, continued trafficking in diamonds, and challenges in agricultural sector - palm oil) threaten to jeopardize post-conflict reconstruction efforts, and the stability and security of Liberia. Notwithstanding political and economic gains, the Government's inability to halt arms violations and cross-border attacks by mercenaries and to implement fully natural resources schemes, reveal the continuing need to strengthen government institutions, including the security sector.

While the 2013 Panel of Experts report continued to document the activity of Liberian mercenaries, the Security Council considered this to be a government capacity problem and continued to transfer responsibilities to the Government of Liberia. For this reason, in line with the drawdown taking place in UNMIL, the Security Council passed Resolution 2128 (December 2013) further scaling back the sanctions by relaxing requirements for weapons transfer notifications from the Government of Liberia and directing the Committee to review the list of designated individuals. The Panel of Experts was reduced to two individuals and no longer had the explicit mandate to monitor the use of natural resources as a potential source of instability.

In 2014 and 2015, the focus of the Sanctions Committee shifted to security concerns, particularly security sector reform and institutional capacity building. The Ebola crisis in 2014 postponed expectations that the Liberian government could implement security sector measures, but after the end of the crisis in 2015, concerns about the border with Côte d'Ivoire and groups of ex-combatants and mercenaries along the border came to the fore. The conflicts were highly localized however, and did not threaten the government. The PoE expressed concern about the pace of security sector reform (Firearms Control Act, military code of conduct, Police Act, arms marking, and the security of storage facilities), but sanctions played a limited role in their analysis of peacebuilding challenges.. On 2 September 2015, all individual sanctions (asset freeze and travel ban) were terminated, keeping in place only the arms embargo on non-governmental entities and the PoE reduced to one expert in charge of investigation violations of the arms embargo on non-state actors and monitoring the government`s progress in arms and border management. After final PoE report on 15 April 2016, the remaining arms embargo was terminated and the Sanctions Committee and PoE dissolved on 25 May 2016 (UNSCR 2288). UNMIL formally ended its mission on 30 June 2016 and Liberia assumed full security responsibilities for the first time since 2003.


Coerce

N/A.

Constrain

Initially, constraining parties who might undermine the peacebuilding process was main purpose, with lifting of sanctions as an inducement to those who might otherwise oppose the peace process.

Signal

Over the course of the episode, the purpose shifted to signaling the government to improve natural resource governance and increase its authority to establish and maintain security in the country.


Mandatory

Ongoing arms imports embargo (since December 2009 on non-governmental entities, previously on all parties with conditional government exemptions).

Timber and diamond exports bans were terminated early in the episode (timber in June 2006, diamonds in April 2007), travel ban and asset freeze were terminated in September 2015.


Sanctions were imposed for a limited time period (1 year, 6 months for diamond exports ban) and periodically renewed. Sanctions Committee and Panel of Experts in place. Designation criteria were specified and targets designated (individual sanctions terminated in September 2015 – 21 individual travel ban designees and 8 individual and 30 entity asset freeze designees at the time of sanctions termination). Enforcement authorities specified, PKO has enforcement role.


Coercion

N/A

Policy outcome

N/A.

Sanctions contribution

N/A.

Constraint

Effective

Policy outcome

No major challenges to the Johnson Sirleaf government from remnants of Taylor's forces or other potential spoilers; peaceful elections held, government entered Kimberley Process, progress on timber sector governance, limited progress on security sector reform.

Sanctions contribution

Sanctions reinforced the peacebuilding efforts of the government of Liberia throughout the episode, but salience has declined over time; international tribunals play a major role in constraining the remnants of Charles Taylor's regime.

Signaling

Effective

Policy outcome

International tribunal's first conviction of a former head of state since WW II sends powerful signal deterring spoilers from destabilizing the government; signal in support of more effective resource management and security sector reform less clear and effectiveness of signal diminishes over time with phase out of PKO and sanctions regime.

Sanctions contribution

Sanctions reinforce the peacebuilding efforts of the Liberian government, but the lifting of sanctions on diamonds and timber and phasing out of PKO and sanctions diminishes the need for the signal.


Increase in international enforcement capacity in different issue domains.


16-06-2006

Substantive

  • Decides Government of the Netherlands shall facilitate implementation of decision of the Special Court to conduct trial of former President Taylor in the Netherlands and the Court shall retain exclusive jurisdiction over him during his transfer to and presence in the Netherlands.
  • Adds UNSCR 1521 (Liberia sanction regime) travel ban exemption for trial-related travel of former President Taylor and any required witnesses.

20-06-2006

Substantive

  • Terminates UNSCR 1521 timber exports ban.
  • Renews UNSCR 1521 diamond exports ban (6 months).

Procedural

  • Extends Panel of Experts mandate (6 months).
  • Sets timber exports suspension review in 90 days and diamond exports ban in 4 months.

20-12-2006

Substantive

  • Renews UNSCR 1521 and 1683 arms imports embargo (1 year) and UNSCR 1683 exemption for Government of Liberia police and security forces vetted and trained since inception of UNMIL.
  • Renews UNSCR 1521 travel ban (1 year).
  • Renews UNSCR 1521 diamond exports ban (6 months).

Procedural

  • Extends Panel of Experts mandate (6 months) and specifies its mandate.

30-03-2007

Procedural

  • Extends and modifies UNMIL mandate (until 30.09.2007) to include support and security for activities conducted in Liberia by Special Court for Sierra Leone.

27-04-2007

Substantive

  • Terminates UNSCR 1521 diamond exports ban.

Procedural

  • Encourages Kimberley Process reporting.

20-06-2007

Procedural

  • (Re-)establishes Panel of Experts (6 months) and specifies its mandate.

19-12-2007

Substantive

  • Renews UNSCR 1521, 1683 and 1731 arms imports embargo (1 year) and decides MS shall notify Committee upon arms and related materiel delivery subject to UNSCR 1521, 1683 and 1731 exemptions.
  • Renews UNSCR 1521 travel ban (1 year).

Procedural

  • Extends and modifies Panel of Experts mandate (6 months).
  • Reconfirms annual UNSCR 1532 financial asset freeze review.

18-06-2008

Procedural

  • Extends Panel of Experts mandate (until 20.12.2008).

19-12-2008

Substantive

  • Renews UNSCR 1521, 1683 and 1731 arms imports embargo (1 year) and UNSCR 1792 exemptions notification obligation.
  • Renews UNSCR 1521 travel ban (1 year).

Procedural

  • Extends and modifies Panel of Experts mandate (1 year).
  • Reconfirms annual UNSCR 1532 financial asset freeze review.

17-12-2009

Substantive

  • Renews UNSCR 1521 travel ban (1 year).
  • Replaces UNSCR 1521, 1683 and 1731 arms imports embargo with new arms imports embargo to Liberia.
  • Imposes arms imports embargo (including provision of assistance, advice, training, financing and financial assistance related to military activities) on all non-governmental entities and individuals operating in territory of Liberia (1 year).
  • Excludes Government of Liberia, UNMIL, protective clothing for personal use of UN, media, humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel, and Committee approved non-lethal military equipment for humanitarian or protective use and related assistance and training.

Procedural

  • Extends and modifies Panel of Experts mandate (until 20.12.2010).
  • Reconfirms annual UNSCR 1532 financial asset freeze review.
  • Requires MS notification of shipments of arms and related material except for those to UNMIL and for personal use of UN, media, humanitarian and development workers and associated personnel.

17-12-2010

Substantive

  • Renews UNSCR 1521 travel ban (1 year).
  • Renews UNSCR 1521, 1683, 1731 and 1903 arms imports embargo (1 year).

Procedural

  • Extends and modifies Panel of Experts mandate (1 year).
  • Reconfirms annual UNSCR 1532 financial asset freeze review.

03-03-2011

Procedural

  • Terminates UNSCR 1626 authorizations to UNMIL with regards to Special Court for Sierra Leone and requests its withdrawal by 07.03.2011.

14-12-2011

Substantive

  • Renews UNSCR 1521 travel ban (1 year).
  • Renews UNSCR 1521, 1683, 1731, 1903 and 1961 arms imports embargo (1 year).

Procedural

  • Extends and modifies Panel of Experts mandate (1 year).
  • Sets sanctions review (4 months, 1 year).

12-12-2012

Substantive

  • Renews UNSCR 1521 travel ban (1 year).
  • Renews UNSCR 1521, 1683, 1731, 1903 and 1961 arms imports embargo (1 year).

Procedural

  • Extends and modifies Panel of Experts mandate (1 year).
  • Sets sanctions review (5 months, 1 year).

10-12-2013

Substantive

  • Renews UNSCR 1521 travel ban (1 year).
  • Renews UNSCR 1521, 1683, 1731, 1903 and 1961 arms imports embargo (1 year) and modifies the associated notification requirement.

Procedural

  • Extends and modifies Panel of Experts mandate (1 year).
  • Directs Committee to review all individuals and entities subject to UNSCR 1532 financial asset freeze and UNSCR 1521 travel ban (within 90 days).
  • Sets sanctions review (6 months).

09-12-2014

Substantive

  • Renews UNSCR 1521 travel ban (9 months)
  • Renews UNSCR 1521, 1683, 1731, 1903, 1961 and 2128 arms imports embargo (9 months).

Procedural

  • Extends and modifies Panel of Experts mandate (10 months).

02-09-2015

Substantive

  • Renews UNSCR 1521, 1683, 1731, 1903, 1961 and 2128 arms imports embargo (9 months).
  • Terminates UNSCR 1521 travel ban.
  • Terminates UNSCR 1532 financial asset freeze.

Procedural

  • Extends and modifies Panel of Experts mandate, requesting its re-establishment (for 10 months).

17-09-2015

Substantive

  • Affirms its expectation that Government of Liberia will assume fully its security responsibilities from UNMIL no later than 30.06.2016 and subsequently consider withdrawal and transition to a future UN presence to assist in consolidating peace.

Procedural

  • Extends and modifies UNMIL mandate (until 30.06.2016) and decreases its personnel.

25-05-2016

Substantive

  • Terminates UNSCR 1521, 1683, 1731, 1903, 1961, and 2128 arms imports embargo.

Procedural

  • Dissolves Panel of Experts and Sanctions Committee.