MDCL Lobbies United Nations

The Perspective

January 16, 2002

Editor's Note: Using research as a tool for analyzing and assessing the irreparable damage being done to the pristine Liberian Rainforest, attributed both to bad government policies or non-existence of policies, and the excessive & profit-driven activities of logging concessions, the Minnesota-based Movement for Democratic Change in Liberia (MDCL), lobbies the United Nations Security Council to include Timber as part of the sanctions regime imposed on Liberia. Below is the full text of the group research findings attached to their Open Letter to the UN:

Nature of the Problems
Prior to the unprecedented felling of trees in our country today, Liberia boasted of having a considerable amount of her original rainforest intact. In fact, we were proud of our country’s virgin, largely covered dense jungle. We were particularly proud of the steps that were taken by Presidents William V.S. Tubman, William Richard Tolbert, and Samuel Kanyon Doe in preserving and protecting the last pockets of untouched rain forests in all of West Africa. Regrettably, Liberia’s rainforest is being recklessly destroyed with impunity by the Taylor-led government. This practice of abuse and flagrant violation of the Forest Development Authority’s own guidelines must be stopped by sanctions against the Taylor Government. Here is why:

The Liberian Rainforest: Impact of the Destruction
As recently as 2000, international conservationists predicted that at the rate Liberia’s forests are being cut down by logging companies, the country could lose these rainforests within five to ten years. Near the Cesto River for example, as bulldozers continue to clear a 160 kilometer wide strip of territory that was once a virgin rainforest, animals and others inhabitants in the area are being slaughtered and brought to extinction. In Sinoe County, the once uncorrupted jungle has disappeared completely and has been replaced by a four-lane unpaved highway commonly referred to as the Oriental Timber Company Highway. According to international reporters, NGOs, and environmentalists, “dozens of trucks from OTC barrel down the road everyday, carrying logs to be loaded on ships waiting at Liberia’s ports.” OTC’s roads and timber operations have expanded deeper and deeper into the once national reserved forests, causing complete deforestation of the area. What was once a towering, untouched jungle habitat of rare forest elephants and pygmy hippopotamuses for example, is now a “honeycomb” like with miles of road.

After a visit to the Grand Sapo National Park in 1997, Dr. Reg Hoyt, an ecologist at the Philadelphia Zoo, was so infuriated by what he saw and the “gold-rush-like” mentality of OTC that, he estimated that within 10 years, the pristine forests of Liberia will be gone forever (UN Integrated Regional Network IRIN, January 24, 2001). Adding his concerns to the debate, Archbishop Michael Francis of the Roman Catholic Church joined others in criticizing the Liberian government for not properly regulating the foreign timber companies. In a VOA interview, Bishop Francis said that he has not yet seen any benefits for Liberia from logging, stating, “This is immoral. We are destroying our country and making a desert land of the future” (VOA/Ivan Watson, April 14, 2001).

How Many Logging Companies Operate in Liberia
In this research, we will focus only on the top four - those that have not only acquired the dubious distinction as the most destructive of the Liberian rainforests and the endangered species, but more than any other, breed and breath corruption, live by corruption, and ferociously disregard the logging laws of Liberia. More than any other, the following companies are involved in the outright and complete destruction of West Africa’s remaining rainforests at a rate that is unprecedented by any logging standards anywhere in the world.

In its 1999 annual report, the Forestry Development Authority (FDA), documented only 35 logging companies operating in Liberia; although many sources, including FDA’s own employees, put the number much higher. Government employees, environmentalists, and relief workers confirm that not only are many of these companies operating illegally under current FDA’s guidelines, but they are in total violation of the terms of their respective contracts. The most destructive logging companies are: (1) Oriental Timber Company {OTC}, (2) Royal Timber Company {RTC}, (3) Exotic Tropical Timber Enterprise {ETTE} and (4) Akkari Timber Industry.

The Oriental Timber Company
With their good sense of humor despite the hardships and prevailing circumstances, Liberians define the Oriental Timber Company (OTC), as “Only Taylor Chops” and foreigners simply refer to it as the President’s “pepper bush.” Studies done by conservationists support the fact that OTC is what keeps President Taylor’s government afloat. Controlling the four ports of Monrovia, Buchanan, Greenville and Harper, OTC is a prominent authority in a class by itself; it is untouchable. With the exception of the Free Port of Monrovia which it shares with a few other ships, OTC has absolute control over all other ports and rivers which bring logs to the Atlantic Ocean. OTC monitors and determines who exports logs, how much, and at what time. At the Port of Buchanan, which is considered its “mother port,” OTC employs virtually NO Liberians - only Indonesians and Malaysians work there. The reason is simple. Virtually monopolized by OTC, Buchanan ships out Liberia’s logs and receives arms shipments for the government. According to a UN report, “the Oriental Timber Company holds a virtual monopoly on all shipping entering Liberia and much of the country’s international transportation which enables the transshipment of arms” (IRIN, January 24, 2001). Another report by the UN Sierra Leone Expert Panel named Dutch national Gus Van Kouwenhoven as the “Chairman of OTC, who is responsible for the logistical aspects of many of the arms deals.” The Panel further stated that, through Van Kouwenhoven’s “interests in a Malaysian timber project in Liberia, he organizes the transfer of weaponry from Monrovia into Sierra Leone. [Even] roads built and maintained for timber extraction are also conveniently used for weapons movement within Liberia, and for the onward shipment of weapons to Sierra Leone” (IRIN, January 24, 2001).

According to the UN report, the ongoing war in neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea, carried out by the ruthless RUF is fought and sustained by OTC’s operations inside Liberia. OTC manages the whole process from disembarkation of weapons at the Port of Buchanan to loading on trucks along the logging roads it has constructed to the RUF. Apart from Van Kouwenhoven’s massive and unsustainable logging operations which fund weapons purchases for the RUF, a large portion of these funds is paid personally to President Taylor for his security forces while also enriching himself. Further, according to experts, the scale of this corrupt timber trade is such that Liberia’s forests are likely to be “commercially logged out in as little as 13 years.” According to a Lebanese timber company official, “[we] expected to operate in [Liberia] for another 20 years before [we] had removed merchantable timber, but OTC’s operations are escalating this time-scale” (Global Witness, January 23, 2001).

Operations of the Oriental Timber Company
Research done by Greenpeace, Global Witness, and records provided by OTC itself reveal some disturbing information. In 1998-99, Gus Van Kouwenhoven acquired lucrative concessions from the Taylor Government. The concessions make up most of southeastern Liberian forest, including the Sapo National Park. Gus subsequently received other concessions just north of the Port of Buchanan stretching as far as River Cess and Sinoe Counties. The total land area under Van Kouwenhoven’s control is estimated to be between 2,500,000 and 4,000,000 m2. Presenting itself as a Malaysian company but actually owned by an Indonesian entity called Djan Djanti, Gus made a deal with FDA’s Managing Director, Robert Taylor (brother of the President) and President Taylor for the sole purpose of forging ahead and maintaining the war in Sierra Leone. (Gus and others are also the “front men” in the diamond trade with the RUF and their Liberian counterpart, But now that sanctions have been placed on this commodity, massive operation of the timber industry has taken precedent). According to OTC’s own documents obtained by a UN Panel, OTC “paid President Charles Taylor $US5m up-front.” This was certainly in exchange for tax-exemption and exclusion from controls and regulations of FDA (UN SL Expert Panel, January 24, 2001).

Violations by the Oriental Timber Company
1) According to OTC’s documents obtained by Global Witness, a British-based environmental and human rights organization, the timber company operates seven days a week with 140 or more machines and 74 trucks that make two trips to the Port of Buchanan every day. (If we multiple 74 trucks by 2 trips a day times 7 days a week, we come up with 1,036 trips per week.) Besides, 50-80% of the logs being shipped overseas through the Buchanan port is, in fact, undersized (plywood), which is in total violation of FDA concession laws.

2) As part of the logging agreement, OTC was required to build decent roads in its concessionary areas to benefit the people. But, the roads built by OTC are of very low standard; besides, no one is allowed to use them...only OTC’s trucks and four-wheel vehicles use these as “logging” roads for transshipment of arms. Villages are angry and disturbed as OTC bulldozes through villages, homes, and plantations with little warning and no compensation. Even forested areas that were once sacred traditional and/or religious importance to local communities are no longer immune.

OTC is clear-felling, extracting all species, and leaving little or nothing behind. This method of logging makes forest renewal practically impossible and is, in fact, illegal under current FDA’s guidelines. While it is true that this destructive practice of tree-felling has consistently been denied by OTC, when recently pressed by reporters, it was in fact, confirmed by Gabriel Baccus Matthews, who is the Public Relations consultant for the Oriental Timber Company.

3) FDA’s requirement to invest in a plywood (undersized logs) factory and reforestation are being blatantly ignored by OTC; it is not even following FDA’s reporting requirements. In fact, according to a Washington Post report, OTC is “virtually clear-cutting some 2.5 million acres in some of West Africa’s most valuable virgin forest [the Liberian virgin forest], shipping rare hardwoods to Europe and cutting smaller, less valuable trees for plywood in Asia [instead of the local market] - and generating millions of dollars” (Douglas Farah, Washington Post Foreign Service Jan.31, 2001). Further, there is no indication that OTC is paying fees and taxes directly to Liberia’s Ministry of Finance for these operations, and according to a May 2001 research done by Global Witness, an OTC contractor and a Fulani businessman were executed and put on display in OTC’s main base camp after being suspected of stealing diesel. This brutal act was to serve as a warning to would-be OTC’s detractors.

Royal Timber Corporation
The Royal Timber Corporation is owned and managed by Gus Van Kouwenhoven. As stated earlier, this Dutchman is known to be involved in arms trafficking between Liberia and Sierra Leone. Interestingly, he also serves on the Board of the Forestry Development Authority (FDA). Consequently, the operations of the RTC are inextricably linked to those of the OTC. As Taylor’s “pepper bush,” revenue generated from these two big timber operations are “used for extra-budgetary activities, including the acquisition of weapons” for Liberia’s security forces. In return, Gus Van Kouwenhoven and his ilk receive special on- and off-record privileges from the Liberian Government (UN Report, Jan 31, 2001). According to Global and Greenpeace resources, substantiated by African, European and U.S. sources, FDA’s Managing Director, Mr. D. Robert Taylor and partners of both OTC and RTC have planned for two new major concession areas of enormous proportions to be granted to two newly created companies - North-West Liberian Timber Company and Liberian Eastern Timber Company. Global Witness’ spokesman, Alex Yearsley, said that President Taylor had in fact, “given an additional 1.44 million hactres to the OTC” for this purpose. If this deal becomes a reality, these companies will cover two-thirds or more than (67%) of Liberia’s rainforests. Clearly, deforestation will increase to a level that experts predict, will cause Liberia’s forests to be commercially logged out in 10-20 years only (IRIN, January 24, 2001, Global Witness, January 23, 2001).

Akkari Timber Industry
This is a conglomeration of logging companies owned and operated by a group of Lebanese businessmen. Akkari’s main operating headquarters is located in Greenville, Sinoe County. Managed by a Lebanese national, Mr. Jihad Akkari, this company is no different from the two biggest forest destroyers mentioned in the preceding paragraphs. It is as ruthless in its operations of the forest as its OTC/RTC counterparts in the industry. Interviewed by a Globe Newspaper, Mr. Akkari flatly “rejected the charges that loggers are clear-cutting the forests.” But when pressed for more answers, he was blunt about his company’s primary intention: “Look, I’m a businessman. I’m here to make money…. I will try to take out as much as I can” (Ivan Watson, The Boston Globe, May 20, 2001).

Exotic Tropical Timber Enterprise (ETTE)
According to a UN report, ETTE is owned and run by an Israeli-Ukrainian national and “businessman” called Leonid Minin. Minin is known for trading in diamonds and arms for both the President of Liberia and the RUF, using his timber company as a cover up. Minin uses several countries to transship arms to Liberia through Burkina Faso, to Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, among others. He uses 11 aliases, including a Liberian Diplomatic Passport (SL Expert Panel Report January 24, 2001; Global Witness, January 23, 2001)

Main Characters Involved in The Logging Industry in Liberia

The following nationals are the “WHO’s WHO’s in the destruction of Liberia’s rainforests:

a) Gus Van Kouwenhoven: Became noticeable on the Liberian scene in late 1980s at which time he was interested in, and became the “Las Vegas” of Liberia, controlling Hotel Africa with his gambling casinos. After the NPP victory in the 1997 elections that ushered in President Charles Taylor, Gus became the “financier” for the newly arrival of the “Monrovian Establishment.” Using his “mafia-style” techniques, he soon won the hearts of FDA’s Managing Director, Robert Taylor and President Charles Taylor, who “officially” offered him (and OTC/RTC) the Port of Buchanan to run as their private entity. Gus and company then upgraded the 108-mile dirt road between Buchanan and Greenville to a four-lane unpaved highway to “ship logs” and bring in arms—everyday of the year. According to a businessman in Monrovia, interviewed by the London based Observer, “it is an open secret in Monrovia that Gus is in fact, the banker for President Taylor, giving the President ‘up-front fees’ of $5million for each of his logging concessions. They split the profits. Gus’ ships take out the logs and they bring in the guns” (The London Observer, May 27, 2001).

b) Talal El-Ndine is a Lebanese businessman who is also on the Board of Liberia’s Forestry Development Authority. In the UN’s SL Expert Panel Report, it was documented that Talal El-Ndine was the “inner-circle paymaster” for Liberian fighters inside Sierra Leone and those bringing diamonds out of that neighboring country. The Panel said that, “The pilots and crew of the aircraft used for clandestine shipments into or out of Liberia are also paid by El-Ndine (Office of International Information Programs, U.S. Dept of State, January 30, 2001; Global Witness, May 8, 2001).

c) Victor Bout, is a native of Tajikistan and a former Soviet KGB officer who now makes the United Arab Emirates his home. Victor is a well-known supplier of embargoed non-state actors-in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, among others. Known generally as “Victor B” because of many different names, Mr. Bout “oversees a complex network of over 50 air planes and multiple cargo charter and freight-forwarding companies, many of which are involved in shipping illicit cargo (weapons) across Africa (Douglas Farah, Washington Post January 31, 2001, UN SL Expert Panel Report, January 22, 2001). Victor Bout also uses Liberian aviation registry extensively, operating mainly out of a Sharjah Airport in the United Arab Emirates, for transshipment of weapons. Documents obtained by the UN SL Expert Panel made a startling discovery: A Russian made Ilyushin 76 aircraft was used in July and August 2000 for arms deliveries from eastern Europe to Liberia. This plane, and another Russian made Anotov, made four deliveries on July 4 and 27, and on August 1 and 23, 2000, respectively. The cargo included military helicopters, spare rotors, anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems, missiles, armored vehicles, machine guns and ammunition. So far, transshipments are still going on through Burkina Faso and other points (UN SL Expert Panel Executive Summary, January 22, 2001).

d) Sanjivan Ruprah, a Kenya National was hired by Liberian Ministry of Transport in November 1999, to serve as the country’s “Global Civil Aviation agent worldwide,” representing the Liberian Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority. His responsibilities included investigating and regularizing Liberia’s aviation register. Mr. Ruprah is in fact, a well-known international weapons dealer who travels on Liberian diplomatic passport, using the name of Samir M. Nasr. He also carries additional authorization from the newly formed Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry (LISCR), as its legal representative (Global Witness, May 2001).

Nations Receiving Liberia’s Logs (per Export Volume and Percentages)

Liberia’s logs are exported to 19 countries worldwide, including the top five importers:

Export Volume in cubic meters
13, 251, 996.47
7, 385, 373.78
3, 297, 922.17
1, 100, 460.34

Other destinations are Greece, Spain, Germany, Indonesia, India, Netherlands, Thailand, Portugal, Tunisia, Holland, Britain, Senegal, Belgium and Cote d’Ivoire (Global Witness, May 8, 2001). (Note: These are round logs only. Although Liberia does not have enough saw-mills to meet the “local demands,” sawn timber are imported to developed countries).

According to figures obtained from FDA for 2000/01, countries receiving Liberia sawn timber (timber already processed in Liberia) included:

a) France at 51.4% of total export

b) Spain at 34.7% of total export and

c) Italy at 13.9% of total export.

Overall, the Oriental Timber Company (OTC), produced the most round logs at 57% and also exported the most round logs at 54%. According to Global Witness, China and France were the main importers of Liberian timber, which almost certainly reflects why these two countries objected to the imposition of timber sanctions suggested by the United Nations.

Who Monitors Liberia’s Timber Industry
The Forestry Development Authority (FDA), was established under the leadership of the late President William V.S. Tubman and maintained by his successors, William Richard Tolbert and Samuel Kanyon Doe. Serving as the regulatory arm of the Government, it oversees, monitors, and documents all forestry practices and exports in the country. One of FDA’s regulations state that no concessionaire or logger is permitted to log more than 4% of its concession area and since the importance of forest renewal cannot be over-emphasized, in specific designated protected forest areas, logging companies are required to replant, nurture and conserve trees. Ample evidence shows that OTC, RTC and ETTE are logging far over and above this requirement. Why have Mr. D. Robert Taylor, Managing Director of FDA, and his brother, President Charles Taylor, allowed these kinds of environmentally and socially disruptive practices to be carried out in direct violation of the laws of the Republic of Liberia? Why would a constitutionally mandated agency of an independent nation, arbitrarily recruit foreign agents with such dubious past, to sit on its Board of Directors for the outright destruction of such depletable commodity?

Answer given by the Liberian Legislature
Article 22 of the Liberian Constitution “…guarantees the individual the right to own real property and limits said right only to that which is above (my emphasis) the surface and therefore…private property rights however shall not extend to any mineral resources on or beneath any land or to any lands under the seas and waterways shall belong to the Republic and used by and for the entire Republic.” Liberia’s Constitution also makes reference to those dishonest individuals who may hide behind their power to use the country’s natural resources for their own personal enrichment. It says, “Whereas, Certain unscrupulous individuals and entity persistently and consistently, extract, mine, exploit, sell and export the strategic Commodities, Natural Resources and Minerals of Liberia without just compensations or benefit to the Republic of Liberia by evading custom, taxes and revenue collectors to the Economic, Political and social detriment of the nation.”

However, the NPP legislature amended this clause and redefined the Strategic Commodities Act, under which the above clause falls and gives a new meaning, thereby giving a blank check to the President.

In 2000, both the NPP-led Liberian Senate and House of Representatives redefined the Strategic Commodities Act of the Liberian Constitution to now include the following: “All Natural Forest Resources particularly forest products such as logs and timbers and other unique and rare species of vegetation and tree common and indigenous to Liberia… which provide substantive Economic, Social, Political, Spiritual and Historical benefits to the Nation and people of Liberia, are hereby declared, Strategic Commodities and property of the Nation and people of Liberia and are protected as such by this Act…” (Section 4 Declaration). Consequently, Section 3 of the amendment empowers the President to “…declare and designate from time to time, when deemed fit and necessary, any Natural Resources of Liberia, in addition to the forestalled resources herein declared, by this Act, as Strategic Commodities,” and in Second Paragraph of Section 3, NPP lawmakers, “…granted President [Charles Taylor] the sole power to execute, negotiate and conclude all commercial contracts or agreements with any Foreign or Domestic Investor for the exploitation of any of the Strategic Commodities of the Republic of Liberia. Such commercial agreement shall become effectively binding upon the Republic as would any treaty to which the Republic is a party, upon the sole signature and approval of the President of the Republic of Liberia.”

This legislation, more than any other, reflects the importance of the forestry industry to the President; it formalizes his absolute control of the revenue generated from this and other natural resources. The fact is, all the natural resources listed by the lawmakers make up 100% of Liberia’s exports. For example, since the enactment of this law, U.S. based television evangelist Pat Robertson was granted “exploration and exploitation license” by the Liberian Government on November 1, 2000, for a price tag of $10m. 𠇏reedom Gold,” as Rev Robertson’s company is known, is now “exploring and prospecting minerals” in Bokin Jedeh in Sinoe and Grand Kru Counties, respectively (African Mining Monitor/M2 Communications, Ltd., November 13, 2000). Is there any wander why Gus Van Kouwenhoven and his likes now control the economy and therefore, the destiny of this “Glorious Land of Liberty?”

Where Does the Revenue Generated from Logging Go?
Early in 1999, Mr. Van Kouwenhoven and President Charles Taylor made a deal immediately after the former had been made chairman of OTC and given the Port of Buchanan to use as his “private city.” According to African, European and U.S. diplomats, and Liberians within Taylor’s own Government, OTC made a down payment to the President in exchange for either tax-exemption or for use of the port. Since then, according to the same sources, “Liberia’s logs are keeping [President] Taylor in power. They provide his personal wealth—estimated at more than $400 million. They provide the money for the [expensive] cars…represent salaries of his police, his spies and soldiers and pay for the weapons they carry and for the guns he exports to arm the rebels destabilizing his neighbors.” (Peter Beaumont, Observer Foreign Affairs, May 29, 2001).

According to FDA’s records, timber exports for the first two quarters of 1999 was valued at $21 million, which is an understatement. The actual import value for the six-month period under review as obtained by UN/IRIN and Global Witness, was $29m, which means $8m was not reported. Not only that. UN Expert Panel found Chairman Gus Van Kouwenhoven and his FDA bosses actually avoided paying taxes owed to the Liberian Government. OTC escaped paying between $15-20m (in taxes) to the Liberian National Treasury, and instead, profited between $50-70m on logging, for the same six-month period (IRIN, January 24, 2001). Additionally, according to Global Witness, FDA’s bi-annual report from January to June 2000, showed that China’s import of 46.4% round logs amounted to $13m for Liberia and France’s 17.9% import was worth some $7m income for Liberia (Global Witness, May 8, 2001). If one were to add these amounts to the worth of logs purchased by the remaining 17 importing countries, the amounts generated by the timber industry could run into millions of dollars for the country. Instead, funds from this lucrative timber industry are being diverted for the private use of the power-that-be, his cronies, and personal security apparatus, instead of fulfilling promises made to the Liberian people in 1997 to rebuild Africa’s first and oldest democracy.

Our goal in this research paper has been to uncover and present as much evidence as possible about Liberia’s logging industry to help the United Nations make an informed decision regarding the role this very important commodity plays in resuscitating the country’s economy or maintaining the status quote. An attempt was made by the researcher to “hear from the horse’s mouth” by contacting several individuals in the Taylor government for the latest documents and substantiation of the reports by international groups on the timber industry; these were favorably answered.

OTC and its subsidiaries not only continue to misuse the fortunes generated from the timber industry, but they also continue to deplete Liberia’s rainforests with impunity while exterminating all endangered species in their path. Large sums of money, meant to finance projects in the country are being diverted to other personal use by the President, his brother, FDA Managing Director, D. Robert Taylor, and other members of the “inner-circles.” Apart from the fleet Mercedes Benzes and other luxury vehicles roaming about the streets of Monrovia, the President has managed to build himself an empire of a TV station, a network of FM-stations and Liberia’s only short-wave radio station. Funds used in acquiring these and other luxury items are those much-needed for education, as well as the social needs of the citizens (Jeffrey Bartholet, Newsweek, May 6, 2001).

While it may be difficult to ascertain precisely “where President Taylor’s personal finances end and Liberia’s begin,” a UN-appointed Panel in December 2000, uncovered sufficient evidence that the “timber industry provides a large amount of unrecorded extra-budgetary income to President Taylor” (Tim Sullivan, Associated Press, June 24, 2001). There are irrefutable proofs that not only has President Taylor surrounded himself with “an international assortment of murky business people, men with multiple identities and interests in everything from guns to airlines—men like [former KGB] Leonid Minin, whom the United Nations identifies as a weapons broker with 11 aliases and passports stretching from Israel to Brazil” (Tim Sullivan, June 24, 2001), but that the President and his cronies don’t feel answerable or accountable to the Liberian people. Unfortunately, with no forest management and no known cases of reclamation policy to replant, the social, economic and ecological impacts of the timber trade will continue to have severe long term implications for the future of Liberia. As President Taylor’s own Minister of Information, Reginald Goodridge, said when he was questioned where does President Taylor get his money from, “That’s an unreasonable and rude question. The President of Liberia is the president of Liberia. It’s nobody’s business where the money comes from” (Sullivan, Associated Press, June 24, 2001). The fact is, it is the Liberian people’s business to know!

United Nations Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN): The Role of Liberia’s Logging Industry on National and Regional Insecurity. January 24, 2001.

Ivan Watson, Voice of America (VOA): Liberian Rain Forest Disappearing. April 14, 2001.

Ivan Watson, The Boston Globe Newspaper: Liberia’s rain forest Vanishes as foreign logging expands. May 20, 2001.

UN IRIN: The Role of Liberia’s Logging Industry on National and Regional Insecurity - Liberia’s Logging Industry. January 24, 2001.

Douglas Farah, The Washington Post Foreign Service: Liberia’s Diverted Dreams As Leader Grows Richer, Vow to Rebuild Is Unfulfilled. January 31, 2001.

Global Witness (distributed by IRIN): LIBERIA: Global Witness call for timber embargo. January 23, 2001.

UN IRIN: The Role of Liberia’s Logging Industry on National and Regional Insecurity: Briefing to the UN Security Council by Global Witness. January, 2001.

UN: Executive Summary of the Preliminary Report of the Panel of Experts to the United Nations on Sierra Leone. January 22, 2001.

U.S. Department of State (distributed by) The Office of International Information Programs: U.S. Pressing for Sanctions Against Liberia for AID to RUF. January 25, 2001.

Global Witness’ Press for Immediate Release: Liberian Timber Profits finance regional Conflict. May 4, 2001.

Jeff Drumtra, U.S. Committee for Refugees: Post-War Liberia Starts Over Again Toward Fitful Peace, Economic Hardship. November 26, 1999.

Refugee Reports, Vol.20, No. 9; Vol. 20, No.10. 1999.

UN IRIN: #7 Liberia’s Forests in Deepening Crisis. (Excerpts from a UN panel Report. January 24, 2001.

Liberian Legislature: ANNEX 1: Strategic Commodities Act: An Act To Designate Certain Natural Resources, Mineral, Cultural and Historical Items As Strategic Commodities. 2000.

African Mining Monitor, an M2 Communications, Ltd.: Liberia grants exploration licence to Freedom Gold. November 13, 2000.

Jeffrey Bartholet, Newsweek: A big Man in Africa. May 14, 2001 (edition).

Peter Beaumont, The Guardian Newspaper Ltd. Foreign Affairs Editor: How a tyrant’s ‘logs of war’ bring terror to West Africa. May 29, 2001.

Tim Sullivan, Associated Press Writer: As Liberia’s president grows rich, his people live in trickle-down misery. June 24, 2001.

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