Yeaten, Woewiyu Bursting UN Sanctions on Liberia?

The Perspective
May 22, 2001

As the students join the ranks of several thousand Liberian refugees fleeing repression and war, and seeking sanctuary in various parts of the world, there are even more disturbing reports that sanctions - busting has begun. Taking advantage of loopholes within the sanctions regime which is not clear or specific on how the travel ban affects "senior military and civilian officials," The Perspective has received reports that Col. Benjamin Yeaten (mastermind of the killing of Samuel Dokie and his family), who serves as Director of the Special Security Services (SSS) - Taylor's Presidential Security Guard - is said to be in Ghana currently. His reported presence has created fear among Liberian refugees in that country. Some attributed his presence to Taylor's plan aimed at eliminating his opponents. It is not clear what action the UN will take against Ghana and Yeaten if that international body verifies the report that this Taylor's most feared military leader is in Ghana.

In another development, Tom Woewiyu, Senior Senator of Grand Bassa County and war-time spokesman of the National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL), is also taking advantage of some of the loopholes of the sanctions. Mr. Woewiyu is presently visiting the US. Many Liberian officials are either citizens or permanent residents of the United States. The UN sanctions regime and the US travel ban are mute on how Liberian officials who fall in these categories are to be treated.

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