U.N. Security Council lifts travel bans on 17 Liberians

UNITED NATIONS Thu Jul 26, 2012 12:45am EDT

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor attends his trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone based in Leidschendam, outside The Hague, May 16, 2012. REUTERS/Evert-Jan Daniels/Pool

Former Liberian President Charles Taylor attends his trial at the Special Court for Sierra Leone based in Leidschendam, outside The Hague, May 16, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Evert-Jan Daniels/Pool

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UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The U.N. Security Council has lifted travel bans and assets freezes on 17 Liberians, including at least two ex-wives of Liberia's former president and convicted war criminal Charles Taylor.

The council said in a statement that the decision to remove a travel ban on all 17 individuals with links to Taylor, along with an assets freeze on 10 of those people, was made on Friday. It simply listed the 17 names and gave no reason for removing the sanctions.

Taylor was convicted by an international court in April of providing weapons, food, medical supplies, fuel and equipment to rebel forces in Sierra Leone that committed atrocities. He was sentenced to 50 years in prison.

In an 11-year war that ended in 2002, Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front rebels murdered, raped and mutilated their way across Liberia's West African neighbor, helped by Taylor as he profited from a trade in so-called blood diamonds.

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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