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Annan names panel of experts to monitor arms embargo

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NAIROBI, 20 May 2005 (IRIN) - UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan has named a five-member panel of experts to monitor an arms embargo the UN has imposed against the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a letter from Annan to the UN Security Council, dated 17 May.

The panel's mandate expires on 31 July, Annan said.

He named Ibra Degučne Ka, from Senegal, as the panel's chairman. The other members are arms trafficking expert Kathi Lynn Austin from the US; aviation expert Abdoulaye Cissoko from Mali; and customs and border control expert Jean Luc Gallet from France.

On 18 April the Security Council passed resolution 1596, extending the embargo on arms in eastern DRC to "any recipient" across the country, and included a travel ban on violators and the freezing of their assets.

The Council also condemned the continuing illicit flow of weapons into eastern DRC that, it said, "continues to constitute a threat to international peace and security in the region".

The resolution banned military equipment for any recipient in the country, except the police and soldiers who make up the country's national army and arms used for technical training and for the UN Mission in the DRC, MONUC.

The panel of experts is expected to monitor the embargo until 31 July, when the Council would review progress made in the country's peace process and political transition.


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