UN officials have called for timber sanctions to remain in place in war-ravaged Liberia.

The UN believes lifting the sanctions could fuel further conflict in the country. It wants to see a stable government and an independent environmental protection agency in place before allowing the timber industry to operate freely.

Former president Charles Taylor, now in exile in Nigeria, and rebel groups used proceeds from timber sales to buy arms.

Meanwhile, Liberian environmental group Save My Future Foundation has accused a timber company and rebel group Movement for Democracy in Liberia of illegally exporting wood to Senegal.