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ECOWAS / Rebel Sanctions - 2002-04-04

The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, has imposed a travel ban on leaders of the LURD rebels, who are fighting to overthrow the government of Liberian President Charles Taylor.

ECOWAS Executive Secretary Mohammed Ibn Chambas says the rebels’ activities are in conflict with the protocols of good governance espoused by ECOWAS and the Organization of African Unity. Mr. Chambas says the decision to impose a travel ban is consistent with recent efforts by ECOWAS to try to bring them to the negotiating table. He says they still have an opportunity to articulate their grievances but not through the use of violence.

Mr. Chambas says the sanctions do not mean ECOWAS has decided to throw its support behind President Charles Taylor, but he also says Mr. Taylor was legitimately elected and has a mandate from the Liberian people.

Mr. Chambas spoke with English to Africa reporter James Butty from the Nigerian capital, Abuja