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Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Liberia

Publisher Child Soldiers International
Publication Date 20 May 2008
Cite as Child Soldiers International, Child Soldiers Global Report 2008 - Liberia, 20 May 2008, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/486cb11228.html [accessed 17 September 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Population: 3.3 million (1.8 million under 18)
Government Armed Forces: 2,400
Compulsary Recruitment Age: no conscription
Voluntary Recruitment Age: 18 (see text)
Voting Age: 18
Optional Protocol: signed 22 September 2004
Other Treaties: GC AP I, GC AP II, CRC, ILO 182, ICC


There were no reports of under-18s in the armed forces. There were reports of under-18s and former child soldiers being recruited for use in neighbouring Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire in 2004-5. Several thousand children underwent the official demobilization process, but UNICEF reported that the needs of girls were not being met adequately. By July 2006, according to the UN, there was no known group in Liberia that used or recruited child soldiers, but there was a continuing risk of re-recruitment. Former president Charles Taylor went on trial in The Hague for crimes against humanity, war crimes and other serious violations of international law, including the recruitment of child soldiers, committed in Sierra Leone.

Context:

Following Liberia's first civil war, Charles Taylor, leader of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), became president in 1997. Conflict resumed in 2000 with two armed groups, Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL), trying to overthrow the government. Many members of these armed groups were adherents of factions that had participated in the first civil war. By May 2003 the two armed groups had gained control of much of the country and were threatening to seize the capital, Monrovia. A ceasefire in June 2003 was followed by a Comprehensive Peace Agreement in August which provided for the establishment of a Transitional National Government.1 Charles Taylor handed over power and negotiated his departure to exile in Nigeria. The UN Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) established by UN Security Council Resolution 1509 took up peacekeeping duties on 1 October 2003.2

The security situation remained fragile. There was frustration among unemployed former combatants who had not benefited from reintegration opportunities, and former members of the armed forces who were not satisfied with their demobilization and retirement benefits. The Anti-terrorist Unit, an armed militia created by former president Charles Taylor, who claimed to be entitled to benefits under security sector reforms, threatened to cause problems in the peace process.3

Parliamentary elections and the first round of presidential elections took place in October 2005. There were allegations that former president Charles Taylor, operating from abroad, tried to influence the preliminary stages of the voting.4 Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf won the second round of the presidential elections in November and was inaugurated as president in January 2006.

There were sporadic episodes of violence. At the end of October 2004, 14 people were killed and 200 injured during riots in Monrovia.5 In April 2006 former combatants were involved in riots in Monrovia.6 In February 2007 there were further riots there by about one thousand former combatants demanding pay and demobilization packages.7 In July 2007 the regular police force clashed with the seaport police force over investigations into fuel theft.8

The United States (USA) cancelled US$391 million of debt in February 2007 but the humanitarian situation remained strained.9 By mid-2007 the humanitarian situation was improved but the UN reported that there remained serious challenges in meeting basic needs such as health, education, food and water and sanitation.10

Many aspects of the conflicts in Liberia and in Sierra Leone since the 1990s and in Côte d'Ivoire since 2002 were intricately linked, with operations across borders, including in Guinea, which bordered all three countries, and a complex web of governments and armed groups providing support to factions in neighbouring countries.11 A migrant population of thousands of young fighters, many of them from Liberia, including child soldiers, crossing the borders between Liberia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Côte d'Ivoire, saw conflict mainly as an economic opportunity. Many had first been forcibly recruited as children in one conflict, and then had willingly crossed borders to take up arms in another conflict, often with a different armed group. A 2005 study by Human Rights Watch found that most had been motivated by promises of financial gain, and many could not articulate the political objective of the group they fought with. The risk of re-recruitment was exacerbated by high rates of youth unemployment and corruption and deficiencies in the implementation of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) programs.12 An August 2006 report by the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) noted that high levels of unemployment, particularly youth unemployment, across west Africa posed a risk to stability in the region. This was reiterated in a 2007 report by the UN Secretary-General which highlighted also the importance of reform of the security sector in countries in the region as a means of addressing it.13

Government:

National recruitment legislation and practice

There was no conscription in Liberia.14

The 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement called for the restructuring of the armed forces and for recruits to be screened with regard to, among other things, educational qualifications and prior history with regard to human rights abuses.15 It did not explicitly state a minimum age of recruitment, but according to reports the minimum age of those applying to join the new Armed Forces of Liberia was 18.16

As requested under the terms of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, the USA took the lead in providing technical assistance for restructuring the armed forces. It contracted a US-based private company, DynCorp, for this purpose.17 Initially the force was intended to number 4,000, but lack of funding compelled the government to reduce it to 2,000.18 The demobilization of the former armed forces, which had been plagued by shortfalls in funding, was completed by December 2005 and recruitment to the new Armed Forces of Liberia commenced in January 2006.19 The first 106 recruits graduated in November 2006.20

Armed Groups:

During 2004 and 2005 UNMIL and the Transitional National Government reportedly failed to fully control forest and border areas, which left opportunities for cross-border recruitment of combatants.21

Large numbers of former combatants engaged in illegal gold and diamond mining.22 Former commanders of armed groups operated criminal groups and organized illegal exploitation of plantations, sometimes using violence to retain control.23 In August 2006 the government and UNMIL forces repossessed the Guthrie plantation in north-western Liberia, which was being controlled by former armed groups.24

Recruitment of ex-combatants and child soldiers for use in neighbouring countries

In 2004 and 2005 there was continued recruitment of ex-combatants from Liberia for use in Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire.25 These included children and former child soldiers by then over 18.

Guinea

In the period June 2004 to June 2005 there was reportedly active recruitment of former combatants in Monrovia and in Bong and Nimba counties bordering Guinea for both pro- and anti-government groups in Guinea.26 In August 2004 Guinean embassy officials in Monrovia asked for UNMIL to increase its border patrols following reports of recruitment of Liberian former combatants said to be intent on destabilizing Guinea. Those recruiting for anti-government groups appeared to be supporters of former Liberian president Charles Taylor. Around the same time, LURD commanders were also known to be recruiting for a force to support President Conté. Many of the Liberian former combatants approached by recruiters had previously been recruited as children during the conflicts in Sierra Leone and Liberia.27

In May 2005 there were reports that Liberian armed groups were operating military training camps in Guinea.28 In early 2007 the UN reported that there were rumours of the involvement of Liberian former combatants in the disturbances in Guinea at that time but this could not be confirmed.29

Former armed group commanders were reported to have said that child recruitment was unnecessary, given the number of experienced combatants – many of them former child soldiers – available.30 However, at least 30 Liberian children who claimed to have been recruited were identified and repatriated by a Guinean non-governmental organization (NGO) by July 2007.31

Côte d'Ivoire

Scores, if not hundreds, of Liberian children who had been reunited with their families following their demobilization during the disarmament process were reportedly re-recruited in Liberia between late 2004 and late 2005 to fight in Côte d'Ivoire, both for pro-government militias and for the opposition Forces armées des Forces nouvelles (FAFN).32 Liberian former combatants recruited in late 2004 and early 2005 to fight in Côte d'Ivoire said that one of the factors in their decision to join the Ivorian militia was the failures in implementation of the education and skills-training elements of the Liberian DDR program in regions of Liberia close to the border.33 In late 2004 around 20 children were recruited from the Nicla camp for Liberian refugees in western Côte d'Ivoire by members of the Lima force supplétive, a militia operating alongside Côte d'Ivoire's regular armed forces (Forces armées nationales de Côte d'Ivoire, FANCI).34 In early 2005 five demobilized children were among those included in cross-border recruitment of Liberians. Their demobilization cards issued in the DDR process in Liberia were used to show recruiters that they had experience as fighters.35 Recruitment into pro-government militias in Côte d'Ivoire was reportedly intensified in March 2005, ahead of peace talks in Pretoria.36 Liberian children were again recruited in September and October 2005 into pro-government militias in western Côte d'Ivoire.37 In Côte d'Ivoire child soldiers demobilized from the FAFN in 2005 claimed that they had been trained by Liberian fighters.38

By July 2006, according to the UN, there was no known group in Liberia that used or recruited child soldiers or former child soldiers.39 However, the UN also noted the potential threats to stability in Liberia from the possible movement of armed groups from Côte d'Ivoire into Liberia and recruitment of former Liberian combatants, including children, by Ivorian militia groups and Liberians to fight in Côte d'Ivoire.40

Disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR):

The 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement provided for a program of cantonment, disarmament, demobilization, rehabilitation and reintegration (CDDRR).41 It was run by the National Commission on Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (NCDDRR) in coordination with UNMIL and UNICEF, which co-ordinated the process for under-18s, with input and assistance from other UN agencies and international bodies.42 The program was launched in December 2003.43 It was formally closed in November 2004.44

In May 2004 armed former combatants rioted in Monrovia when told that they would not receive immediate payment in return for their weapons.45 Weapons were reportedly passed from Guinea to Liberia to be "sold" as part of the DDR process with Liberians making several round trips to fetch those weapons. Some former members of armed groups complained that they had not been able to benefit from the program because their weapons had been confiscated by their commanders, who had distributed them to others in exchange for a percentage of the disarmament bonus.46

There were continued delays in providing former combatants with integration opportunities. This meant they were subject to manipulation by elements seeking to disrupt the 2005 elections.47

By early 2006 over 100,000 combatants had been disarmed, with 37,000 still waiting to be placed in reintegration programs.48 By August 2007, 90,000 former combatants had benefited from the reintegration and rehabilitation program, but many of them said that it had failed to provide them with sustainable livelihoods. The majority of former combatants were still unemployed, and thousands had regrouped for the purpose of illegal diamond or gold mining, or on rubber plantations.49

More than 10 per cent of those demobilized were children.50 At the end of hostilities in August 2003, before the commencement of the official program, children came spontaneously to child protection agencies to seek help to be demobilized.51 By October 2004 more than 10,000 children, including over 2,300 girls, had been disarmed and demobilized and more than 9,600 reunited with their families.52

Some of the children demobilized from Liberian former fighting forces were from neighbouring countries – 120 from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire.53 By June 2006 a total of 55 children associated with the fighting forces (11 Ivorians, 29 Guineans and 15 Sierra Leoneans) had returned to their countries of origin. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) was also repatriating Liberian children associated with the fighting forces from neighbouring countries.54

Rape and other acts of grave sexual violence were committed against girls who were recruited or abducted by the former armed forces and other armed groups in Liberia. Approximately 75 per cent of demobilized girls reported having suffered some form of sexual abuse or exploitation.55 Many girls who were under 18 when they were associated with the fighting forces had difficulties resuming their lives away from their commanders and their so-called "bush husbands", especially if they had had children. Those over 18 at the time of the DDR program reportedly received no special protective assistance.56 In 2005 UNICEF reported that the needs of girls were still not being met adequately, and that many had no access at all to the program.57

A particular element of the program was the payment of a US$300 safety-net (demobilization) allowance by UNMIL and the NCDDRR to all former combatants, including children. A UNICEF evaluation of the program indicated that this had a significantly negative impact on children, by exposing them to exploitation by their commanders and impairing their reintegration into their communities.58

According to local child protection agencies, the rapid demobilization failed to break the strong links between former child soldiers and their commanders. The disappointment and frustration experienced by children and communities during the reintegration period led many to seek to re-establish links with their former commanders – not necessarily in an attempt to become soldiers again, but rather to return to the last person who had provided them with food, shelter and protection.59

During 2005 it was reported that commanders expelled children under their "protection" because they were no longer in a position to care for them. This led to an increase in the number of street children and their migration to the cities.60 Child protection agencies highlighted the risks of re-recruitment of children in Monrovia, because of the high concentration of military commanders still active there and the lack of financial and social alternatives for children.61

By March 2007 reintegration opportunities had been provided to over 9,700 of the 11,000 child beneficiaries. About half of these had graduated from or were participating in the education program and about half were undergoing or had graduated from vocational training.62

Developments:

In June 2006 the UN Security Council lifted the arms embargo to the extent of enabling the procurement of arms for the Liberian police and security forces.63

Exploitation of children as labourers was reported, particularly in the north, which was hardest hit by the armed conflict.64

Sexual and gender-based violence, particularly rape of children, continued to be reported.65 In May 2006 it was reported that 12-year-old girls, and in some cases girls as young as eight, were involved in transactional sex in camps for internally displaced people and after being resettled in their communities. Abusers allegedly included camp officials, humanitarian workers, businessmen, peacekeepers, government employees and teachers.66 The UN noted the allegations in the report and stated that 45 cases of sexual exploitation involving UNMIL personnel were investigated in 2005 and around 40 in 2006.67 In January 2007 UNMIL publicly called for an internal UN investigation.68

In October 2004 the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) began its repatriation of refugees from Sierra Leone and Guinea. The return of internally displaced persons began in November.69 The UNHCR repatriation program ended in June 2007 after some 105,000 refugees had been repatriated. About 80,000 Liberian refugees remained in neighbouring countries.70

A key element in rebuilding the economy was for the government to regain control of the country's natural resources including rubber, diamonds, gold and timber, illicit trade in which, particularly in diamonds, had done much to fuel conflict.71 A joint government – UN task force established to assess the situation on rubber plantations reported to the president in May 2006 making recommendations for measures to stop the use of forced and child labour and illegal trafficking in raw rubber.72 The UN Security Council lifted its embargos on the export of timber in June 2006 and of diamonds in April 2007.73 In May 2007 Liberia was admitted to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and in July the government removed the self-imposed ban on diamond mining, paving the way for the official export of diamonds.74

At a February 2007 ministerial meeting in Paris, Liberia and 58 other states endorsed the Paris Commitments to protect children from unlawful recruitment or use by armed forces or armed groups and the Paris Principles and guidelines on children associated with armed forces or armed groups. The documents reaffirmed international standards and operational principles for protecting and assisting child soldiers and followed a wide-ranging global consultation jointly sponsored by the French government and UNICEF.

Truth and Reconciliation Commission

The 2003 Comprehensive Peace Agreement provided for the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was established by an act of the Liberian parliament in June 2005. The nine-member commission began its work in June 2006, having been inaugurated the previous February. It was mandated to investigate gross human rights violations and violations of international humanitarian law as well as other grave abuses that occurred from January 1979 to 14 October 2003. It was to pay "particular attention to gender-based violations, as well as to the issue of child soldiers, providing opportunities for them to relate their experiences, addressing concerns and recommending measures to be taken for the rehabilitation of victims of human rights violations in the spirit of national reconciliation and healing". The Commission, which was due to complete its work in 2008, was mandated under certain conditions to recommend amnesties and to refer to the head of state individual cases for prosecution.75

Indictment of Charles Taylor

In March 2006, following a formal request by President Johnson-Sirleaf, the Nigerian authorities apprehended Charles Taylor and he was transferred to the authority of the Special Court for Sierra Leone where he was charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious violations of international humanitarian law, including the use of child soldiers during his alleged involvement in Sierra Leone's conflict supporting the Revolutionary United Front (RUF).76 In June, in order to protect stability in Liberia and the sub-region, which might be disrupted if he were to be put on trial in west Africa, he was transferred to The Hague to be tried by a trial chamber of the Special Court.77 He first appeared before the Special Court in The Hague on 4 June 2007. His trial was adjourned until January 2008 to allow time for his new defence team to prepare for trial.78


1 Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the Government of Liberia and the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and the Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) and Political Parties, Accra, 18 August 2003, at www.usip.org.

2 Report of the UN Secretary-General to the Security Council on Liberia, UN Doc. S/2003/875, 11 September 2003; UN Mission in Liberia, www.unmil.org.

3 Ninth progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia, UN Doc. S/2005/764, 7 December 2005.

4 Seventh progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia, UN Doc. S/2005/391, 16 June 2005.

5 "Mass arrests after Liberia riots", BBC News, 1 November 2004.

6 "Liberia: Stone throwing ex-soldiers paralyse capital", IRIN, 25 April 2006.

7 "Liberia: Ex-combatants riot", IRIN, 9 February 2007.

8 "Rival Liberia police forces clash", BBC News, 9 July 2007.

9 "US cancels Liberia's $391 million debt", BBC News, 13 February 2007; Kate Thomas, "After Liberia's war: 'Sometimes you wonder if peace is worthwhile'", Independent, 24 May 2007, http://news.independent.co.uk.

10 Fifteenth progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia, UN Doc. S/2007/479, 8 August 2007.

11 See entries on Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea and Sierra Leone in this volume.

12 See Human Rights Watch (HRW), Youth, Poverty and Blood: The Lethal Legacy of West Africa's Regional Warriors, March 2005; Report of the Secretary-General on ways to combat sub-regional and cross-border problems in West Africa, UN Doc. S/2004/200, 12 March 2004; Report of the Secretary-General on inter-mission cooperation and possible cross-border operations between the UN Mission in Sierra Leone, the UN Mission in Liberia, and the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire, UN Doc. S/2005/135, 2 March 2005.

13 UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA), Youth Unemployment and Regional Insecurity in West Africa, 2nd edn, August 2006, www.un.org/unowa; Report of the Secretary-General on cross-border issues in West Africa, UN Doc. S/2007/143, 13 March 2007.

14 Report of the Secretary-General to the UN Commission on Human Rights on conscientious objection to military service, UN Doc. E/CN.4/2000/55, 17 December 1999.

15 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, above note 1, Article VII: Disbandment of irregular forces, reforming and restructuring of the Liberian armed forces.

16 "Liberia: Recruitment drive for new army kicks off", IRIN, 18 January 2006. (One of the recommendations in the HRW report, How to Fight, How to Kill: Child Soldiers in Liberia, February 2004, was that the Liberian government should enact national legislation making 18 the minimum age for recruitment to the newly formed national army.)

17 Sixth progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia, UN Doc. S/2005/177, 17 March 2005.

18 Eighth progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia, UN Doc. S/2005/560, 1 September 2005; "Liberia: new national army to have 2,000 troops, half as many as expected", IRIN, 29 June 2005.

19 Tenth progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia, UN Doc. S/2006/159, 14 March 2006.

20 "First unit of Liberia's new post-war army graduates", Reuters AlertNet, 4 November 2006, www.alertnet.org.

21 Report of the Panel of Experts on Liberia to the Security Council, UN Doc. S/2004/752, 24 September 2004; Global Witness, An architecture of instability: How the critical link between natural resources and conflict remains unbroken, December 2005, www.globalwitness.org.

22 Tenth progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 19.

23 Eighth progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 18; Eleventh progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia, UN Doc. S/2006/376, 9 June 2006.

24 "Liberia secures rubber plantation", BBC News, 15 August 2006.

25 See also entries on Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire in this volume.

26 International Crisis Group (ICG), Stopping Guinea's Slide, Africa Report No. 94, 14 June 2005; Report of the Panel of Experts on Liberia to the Security Council, UN Doc. S/2005/360, 13 June 2005.

27 HRW, Youth, Poverty and Blood, above note 12.

28 Coalition interview with humanitarian agencies in eastern Guinea, July 2005.

29 Fourteenth progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia, UN Doc. S/2007/151, 15 March 2007.

30 Information from HRW, May 2007.

31 Coalition interview with confidential source in Conakry, Guinea, September 2007.

32 HRW, Youth, Poverty and Blood, above note 12.

33 HRW, "Côte d'Ivoire: ex-child soldiers recruited for war", press release, 31 March 2005.

34 Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict, UN Doc. A/59/695-S/2005/72, 9 February 2005.

35 Report of the Panel of Experts, June 2005, above note 26.

36 HRW, "Cote d'Ivoire: ex-child soldiers recruited for war", above note 33.

37 HRW, "Côte d'Ivoire: Government recruits child soldiers in Liberia", press release, 28 October 2005.

38 Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict in Côte d'Ivoire, UN Doc. S/2006/835, 25 October 2006.

39 Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict, UN Doc. A/61/529-S/2006/826, 26 October 2006.

40 See, for example, Thirteenth progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia, UN Doc. S/2006/958, 11 December 2006.

41 Comprehensive Peace Agreement, above note 1, Article VI: Cantonment, Disarmament, Demobilisation, Rehabilitation and Reintegration (CDDRR).

42 Fifth progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia, UN Doc. S/2004/972, 17 December 2004.

43 Report of the Secretary-General on children and armed conflict, February 2005, above note 34.

44 Tenth progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 19.

45 "Liberians riot over disarmament", BBC News, 18 May 2004.

46 Report of the Panel of Experts, June 2005, above note 26.

47 Eighth progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 18.

48 Tenth progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 19.

49 Fifteenth progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 10.

50 UNICEF, Evaluation of the Disarmament and Demobilisation Programme for Children Associated with the Fighting Forces in Liberia, 2005 (electronic copy with the Coalition).

51 Child Soldiers Coalition, Child Soldiers and Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation and Reintegration in West Africa, November 2006.

52 Report of the Secretary-General, above note 34.

53 Ibid.

54 Report of the Secretary-General, above note 39.

55 Report of the Secretary-General, above note 34.

56 Irma Specht, Red Shoes, Experiences of girl-combatants in Liberia, ILO, UNICEF and UNDP, 2006, at www.transitioninternational.com.

57 UNICEF, above note 50.

58 Ibid.

59 Coalition meetings with child protection agencies, Monrovia, July – August 2005, cited in Child Soldiers Coalition, above note 51.

60 Coalition meeting with UN agencies, Lofa county, Liberia, August 2005, cited in Child Soldiers Coalition, above note 51.

61 Child Soldiers Coalition, above note 51.

62 Fourteenth progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 29.

63 "Liberia: Security Council draws back on arms embargo", IRIN, 14 June 2006. See also UN Security Council Resolution 1683 (2006).

64 "Liberia: 15,000 child labourers to be sent back to school", IRIN, 1 August 2006.

65 UNMIL, Quarterly Report on the Human Rights Situation in Liberia, May 2007, http://unmil.org.

66 Save the Children UK, "From camp to community: Liberia study on exploitation of children", discussion paper, JENdA, Issue 8, May 2006, www.jendajournal.com.

67 Eleventh progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 23; Thirteenth progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 40.

68 "UN's Liberia mission calls for immediate investigation into possible sexual abuse", UN News Centre, 19 January 2007.

69 "Liberia refugees return home", BBC News, 1 October 2004; "Liberians begin journey home", BBC News, 9 November 2004.

70 UNHCR, "UNHCR ends Liberian operation after helping more than 100,000 go home", press release, 2 July 2007, www.unhcr.org.

71 Following a report by the Sierra Leone Panel of Experts on the involvement of the Liberian government in the illicit trade in diamonds from Sierra Leone, UN Security Council Resolution 1343 (2001) mandated states to take measures to prevent the direct or indirect import of rough diamonds from Liberia. See UN page on "Conflict diamonds", www.un.org/peace/africa/Diamond.html.

72 Eleventh progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 23; "Liberia: Rubber Plantations 'lawless' says UN", IRIN, 11 May 2006.

73 "Liberia: Lifting of UN timber ban gives hope for economic revival", IRIN, 21 June 2006; "Liberia relaunches diamond trade after embargo ends", Reuters AlertNet, 1 May 2007. See also UN Security Council Resolutions 1689 (2006) and 1753 (2007) respectively.

74 Fifteenth progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 10. The Kimberley Process was a joint initiative of governments, industry and civil society to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. Its certification scheme imposed requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as "conflict-free"; www.kimberleyprocess.com.

75 Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Liberia, TRC Mandate, Article IV, Mandate, Section 4, and Article VII, Functions and powers, Section 26, https://www.trcofliberia.org. For a comment on the limitations to amnesties under international law, see Amnesty International (AI), Liberia: Truth, Justice and Reparation: Memorandum on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act (AFR 34/005/2006), 22 June 2006.

76 Eleventh progress report of the Secretary-General, above note 23; Special Court for Sierra Leone, Summary of charges against Charles Taylor, www.sc-sl.org/Taylorcasesummary.html.

77 Twelfth progress report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia, UN Doc. S/2006/743, 12 September 2006.

78 "Taylor trial delayed until 2008", BBC News, 20 August 2007.

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