In a letter to the Council President for July, Ambassador Mihnea Ioan Motoc, Mr. Annan announced that Arthur Blundell of Canada, Senegal’s Atabou Bodian (chairman), Damien Callemand (France), Caspar Fithen (United Kingdom) and Tommy Garnett (Sierra Leone) will serve on the expert panel.These are the same five men who served on the panel in its previous guise from the end of last year until June, when its mandate officially ended. Mr. Blundell is an expert in the timber industry while Mr. Fithen specializes in the diamond field. Mr. Callamand has an investigative police background.Last month the expert panel was re-established and tasked by the Council – in resolution 1549 – with probing violations of the arms embargo, the travel ban on individuals who pose a threat to the region’s security, and the embargo on the export of rough diamonds and round logs and timber products from Liberia.The National Transitional Government of Liberia (NTGL) asked the Council to lift the sanctions on the export of diamonds and timber products, but the measures will continue until at least 21 December. The expert panel is mandated to operate until then as well.The Council imposed the sanctions in 2001 and widened them last year, after the long-running civil war in Liberia ended, in a bid to discourage instability in West Africa.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *