Liberia. At the UK's request, in June the EU decided to
withhold nearly SEK 500 million in promised assistance due
to the country's suspected involvement in the Sierra Leone
conflict. The Liberia government was accused of holding the Sierra
Leonean rebels with weapons and helping them to export
illegally mined diamonds on the world market. The same
criticism was voiced in December by the UN, which considered
punishing Liberia with financial sanctions.
COUNTRYAAH, the unstable situation in the region characterized most
of the year. Rebels with bases in Guinea attacked several
localities and districts in Lofa County in July in the
country's northwest corner. Several smaller cities fell into
the hands of the rebels before the government was able to
bring reinforcements there. The rebels remained unclear, but
they were believed to have ties to Alhaji Kromah and
Roosevelt Johnson, who led their faction of the militia
force ULIMO during the 1989–97 civil war.
More than 35,000 civilians were reported to have escaped
the fighting, which also triggered diplomatic tensions with
Guinea. The two governments accused each other of protecting
and supporting rebel movements from their neighboring
In December, Liberia was also criticized by the United Nations
for involvement in the aggravated conflict in Guinea.