NEW YORK (Staff Report) – Acknowledging the sustained progress made in rebuilding Liberia since the 1999-2003 civil war, the United Nations Security Council has ended an arms embargo against the country and dissolved its enforcement mechanisms, namely the sanctions Committee and the expert panel.

The 15-nation body ended the embargo, in place since 2003, with a unanimously adopted resolution, while encouraging the national government to combat illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the decision in a statement issued by his spokesperson.

The UN chief noted that the sanctions measures had helped bring peace and rebuild state institutions in Liberia. He added that the measures had been adjusted as and when Liberia met the benchmarks set out by the Council.

“Today’s lifting by the Security Council of the remaining arms embargo on non-State actors further signals the significant progress made by Liberia and the sub-region in maintaining stability,” the statement said.

The Secretary-General echoed the resolution’s call on the Liberian Government to ensure that all appropriate steps are taken to establish the necessary legal and administrative framework to combat the illicit trafficking of arms and ammunition, the statement added.