UN SECURITY COUNCIL LIFTS TRAVEL BAN ON SOME OF EX PRESIDENT TAYLOR’S AIDES
The announcement was made in New York today in a terse statement, which was immediately applauded by the country’s foreign minister, Augustine Naguafan.
Among the 17 beneficiaries of the UN getsure, were Taylor’s ex-wives Agnes Reeves Taylor and Jewel Howard Taylor, who divorced the war criminal in 2006 and is now a senator. Both women had travel bans and asset freezes lifted.
The list also includes former ministers and other Taylor associates who have since rebuilt political careers in the West African country.
Former minister Reginal Goodridge and Taylor’s former economic advisor, Emmanuel Shaw, who was accused of organizing arms deliveries, had a travel ban and assets freeze lifted. John Richardson, a former security advisor, also had a travel ban removed.
Restrictions were also lifted against Belle Dunbar, George Dweh, Edwin Snowe, Tupee Taylor, Myrtle Francelle Gibson, Martin George, Cyril Allen, Randolph Cooper and Victoria Refell. Sampson Gwen and Maurice Cooper were taken off the list because they have died.
“We are very happy to hear that news. We have been waiting for this for so long. Now we can go out there and lobby for the uplifting of our country,” said Edwin Snowe, now a lawmaker.
The asset freezes and travel bans were imposed over a period of years from 2001 in a bid to contain Taylor who is serving a 50-year jail term for war crimes in Sierra Leone’s civil war.
While the list once contained some 55 names of former officials and military commanders, the sanctions were lifted against many of these over the years until only 17 names remained.
All are former allies and associates of Taylor, who sparked a 13-year civil war when he led a rebellion in 1989 to oust President Samuel Doe which deteriorated into one of Africa’s bloodiest conflicts.
His National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) earned a reputation for extreme violence, conscripting child soldiers and terrorising citizens of certain ethnic groups
After taking Monrovia, Taylor was elected as president in 1997, but violence again erupted in 1999 when another rebellion started and he lost control of much of the country, fleeing in 2003 to Nigeria.
Meantime, the Executive Mansion says President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has welcomed the decision by the United Nations Security Council Sanctions Committee to delist 17 Liberian nationals from the lists of individuals subjected to Assets Freeze and Travel Ban.
“We are so glad that yesterday, the United Nations Security Council delisted 17 persons who had suffered from an Assets Freeze and Travel Ban,” President Sirleaf said, noting that the Liberian Government had been instrumental in advocating for their delisting.
The Liberian leader further stated that now that these Liberians can move about freely, in accordance with the rights granted under the Constitution, she hoped that this 165th Independence Anniversary would be a memorable and enjoyable one for them.
According to an Executive Mansion release, based on a request of the Government of Liberia, the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia, on July 20, 2012, decided to delist 17 Liberian nationals from its Assets Freeze and Travel Ban list.
Those delisted from the Travel Ban include: Mr. Adolphus Dolo; Mrs. Belle Dunbar; Mr. George Dweh; Ms. Victoria Reffell; Mr. John T. Richardson; Mr. Sampson Gwen; and Mr. Maurice Cooper.
Delisted from both the Travel Ban and Assets Freeze lists are: Mr. Edwin Snowe; Mrs. Agnes Reeves Taylor; Mrs. Tupee Taylor; Mrs. Jewel Howard Taylor; Mrs. Myrtle Francelle Gibson; Mr. Martin George; Mr. Cyril Allen; Mr. Randolph Cooper; Mr. Reginald Goodridge; and Mr. Emmanuel Shaw.
The Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1521 (2003) concerning Liberia was established on December 22, 2003, to oversee relevant sanctions and to undertake the tasks set out by the Security Council in paragraph 21 of the same resolution.
As set out in paragraph 4 (c) of resolution 1521 (2003), as regards Travel Ban, all States shall take the necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of individuals designated by the Committee for inclusion on its Travel Ban List on the basis of the criteria set out in paragraph 4 (a) of resolution 1521 (2003).
Likewise, as set out in paragraph 2 of resolution 1532 (2004), regarding Assets Freeze, the Council decided that all States shall freeze without delay funds, other financial assets and economic resources owned or controlled by individuals and entities designated by the Committee for inclusion on the Assets Freeze List on the basis of the criteria set out in paragraph 1 of resolution 1532 (2004). These lists are maintained and updated regularly.
Sources: PM News/Executive Mansion, Monrovia, Liberia