Events Leading To UN Sanctions On Liberia Under The Taylor Regime

April 8, 1999...Major General Felix Mujakperuo, head of the West African peacekeeping force in Sierra Leone, issued a warning to Liberia and Burkina Faso to stop their arms support for the Sierra Leone rebels.

April 9, 1999 …Major General Felix Mujakperuo,  accused the Taylor government of supplying the rebels in Sierra Leone with weapons and using Liberia’s territory to transport them.  Joe Mulbah, who was then the Taylor regime Minister of Information, dismssed the claim as an empty alarm, and charged that General Mujakperuo had scant knowledge about the geography of Liberia.

April 28, 1998 ..The Nigerian-led intervention force in Sierra Leone  accused Liberia again of supporting remnants of the ousted military junta. A statement issued from defense headquarters in Lagos, said intelligence reports showed that Liberian troops were fighting side-by-side with the rebels along the border between the two countries. The Taylor regime has repeatedly denied similar charges

June 6, 2000: The British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook has accused Liberia of helping Sierra Leonean rebels smuggle diamonds to fuel the war in that country.  Mr. Cook said the relationship between the Liberian government and the Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone should cease.

July 19, 2000 : A secret Sierra Leone police files, obtained by the British Broadcasting Corporation, contained evidence linking the Taylor government to guns running and diamond smuggling trade. Liberia’s ruler Charles Taylor dismissed the reports saying he needed evidence such as photos. He was quoted as saying .. “These people have satellites focused on Sierra Leone. Could somebody please bring me one photograph of a convoy going to Sierra Leonefrom Liberia.”

July 31, 2000: Britain warned the Taylor regime that it faces international sanctions unless it ends its support for anti-government rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone. The British Foreign Office minister, Peter Hain, said there was clear evidence linking Liberia’s ruler Charles Taylor to rebels of the Revolutionary United Front -- a charge the Liberian ruler has denied.  Mr Hain also called on Liberia to halt its involvement in the illicit diamond trade.

August 1, 2000:  The United States threatens sanctions against Liberia and Burkina Faso if they do not end their involvement in illegal diamond and arms trafficking, which Washington says is fuelling the civil war in Sierra Leone. The US Ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, says there is evidence that Liberian ruler Charles Taylor has personally been taking large commissions for his role as a facilitator of The Taylor regime once again dismissed the charges, and  said that neither the US not the UK had presented any clear-cut evidence that the government in Monrovia was directly involved in the smuggling. Liberian Foreign Minister Monie Captan told the BBC that illicit diamond trading had been going on since the 1950s and had nothing to do with the current war. Burkina Faso's representative said rumors were easy to spread but his country's accusers had not provided any proof.

August 6, 2000:  The US and the UK took new steps to halt diamond exports from rebel-held regions of Sierra Leone by presenting the UN with evidence that Liberia and Burkina Faso are involved in the trade.

December 22, 2000: The Taylor government reacted angrily to the new United Nations report alleging it's involved in the sale of diamonds smuggled from Sierra Leone.  The report, published that week accused Liberia of helping rebels in Sierra Leone sell diamonds to buy weapons. A government statement issued in Monrovia repeated previous denials of the allegations: it described them as a deliberate attempt by the United States and Britain to destabilize the Liberian government and bring about the overthrow of President Charles Taylor.

January 23,2001: Liberia's ruler Charles Taylor Offers to resign if anyone can prove he Taylor has profited from the guns for diamonds sale.In order to avoid sanction, the Taylor government offered the grounding of all Liberian registered aircraft .

January 25, 2001: UN began debating to impose sanctions on Liberia. British deputy Ambassador to the UN, Stewart Eldon,said "there can no longer be a shadow of a doubt that President Charles Taylor has been callously prolonging the conflict in Sierra Leone for personal gain". Monie Captan, the Taylor regime Foreign Minister said "we feel Liberia is being demonised", and added that sanctions are not the way to solve the problem.

February 13, 2001: A group of West African countries called for two months delay for the imposition of sanctions on Liberia to give the Taylor regime time to withdraw all support from the Sierra Leone rebels.

March 7, 2001: The UN Security Council votes to ordered sanctions be imposed on Liberia for the Taylor regime involvement in the Sierra Leone Crisis, but agreed to a two months delay, and requested urgent actions from the Taylor regime to show theyhave cut off support for the RUF.

May 4, 2001: UN Security Council members concluded that there was no enough evidence that the Taylor regime has ceased all of its support for the rebels in Sierra Leone, so the sanctions took effect.

Research Done By P Nimely-Sie Tuon