UN lifts Liberia diamond ban

Security Council resolution hails continuing recovery from civil war.

    Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberia's president, has also worked to raise the awareness of African issues[AFP]

    "This government has shown its determination to put in place measures to ensure that the proceeds of diamond sales go for the benefit of Liberia and its people and are not misappropriated," he said.
     
    Jones Parry said that the move also reflected the high regard that the council held for Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was elected as Liberia's president in January 2006.
     
    The decision was "a reflection of our confidence in that country, in its leadership", he said.
     
    Liberia welcomes move

    Illegally-mined diamonds are believed to help fuel several conflicts in West Africa [GETTY]


    Nathaniel Barnes, Liberia's ambassador to the UN, called the council's decision to lift the ban "a vote of confidence ... [and] support of our very strong political will to do the right thing for Liberia and Liberians."
     
    Liberia is one of the world's poorest countries, devastated by back-to-back civil wars from 1989 to 2003 that left 200,000 people dead, and displaced half the country's three million people.
     
    Exports of rough diamonds from Liberia were banned in 2003 to cut off funds to the country's rebel groups who illegally traded un-cut diamonds - often known as "conflict diamonds" - for weapons.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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