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No, Sanction Does Not Prohibit Liberia From Owning an Aircraft

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There’s a Sanction That Prohibits Liberia from Owning Airplane

Rating Justification

Local Voices Liberia iVerify team researched a claim made by Liberia Maritime Commissioner Lenn Eugene Nagbe during an interview with ELBC 99.9 on May 17, 2023.that there’s a sanction that prevents the country from owning air plane and found it to be false.

Fact Check Report by: Varney Kelvin Sirleaf  |

To arrive at this conclusion, we reviewed several Resolutions of the United Nations Security Council, spoke to authorities of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authorities, and contacted the International Civil Aviation Authority.

The UN Resolution 1343 of 2001 paragraph 2 (e) says it “ground all Liberia-registered aircraft operating within its jurisdiction
until it updates its register of aircraft”. This restriction on Liberian registered aircraft was however lifted in 2002.

In the 2002 UN Resolution 1408, the UN Security Council says it “notes with satisfaction the updated information provided by the Government of Liberia to the Panel of Experts concerning the registration and ownership of each aircraft registered in Liberia”.

The Resolution furthered that the Security Council was satisfied with “the steps taken by the Government of Liberia to update its register of aircraft pursuant to Annex VII to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation of 1944 in compliance with the demand in paragraph 2 (e) of resolution 1343 (2001)”

Mr. Nagbe is the commissioner of the Liberia Maritime Authority

Mr. Nagbe’s claim of Liberia being sanctioned under former President Charles Taylor thus baring the country from owning airplanes and delaying the arrival of the Lonestar Airway was further refuted by the Deputy Director for Technical Services at the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority.

When LVL Fact Checking Desk contacted Mr. Moses Weefor, he said Liberia (as a country) decided to close its registry due to many reports of Liberian-registered aircraft being involved in unregulated activities.

Explained Mr. Weefor: “No one sanctioned us (Liberia), we (Liberia) ourselves closed our registry. Closing the Liberia aircraft registry is not a reason for the Lonestar Airway not flying”.

He noted that Liberia can lease a plane, register it with another country’s registry and bring it to Liberia.

We contacted the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) via email and they replied through its communication officer William Raillant-Clark who said, “I can confirm that ICAO has no authority or ability to issue either sanctions or regulations.”

The above screenshots show the email to the IAOC and the organization’s response to LVL Fact Checking Desk.

We therefore conclude that the claim made by Maritime boss Lenn Eugene Nagbe that “there’s a sanction on Liberia owning a plane which was put on since Charles Taylor time” is false. There’s no sanction on Liberia owning an aircraft as stated by Mr. Nagbe in the radio interview on May 17, 2023.

Local Voices Liberia, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, has implemented the iVerify Liberia system with the objective of strengthening capacities to address threats to information integrity, especially in view of the upcoming 2023 elections, to ensure all Liberian citizens have access to credible, reliable and verified information, everywhere and at all times.

This initiative is funded by Irish AidEmbassy of Sweden in MonroviaEuropean Union Delegation in Liberia and the United Nations Peacebuilding Fund. The donors have no say in the production of this fact check report.

Local Voices Liberia is a network of dedicated Liberian journalists based in the 15 counties working to lift the development concerns and progress of rural communities.

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