Liberia Bans Diamond Imports to Avoid UN Ban

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(Rapaport…March 20, 2001) Liberia has banned the import of certain rough diamonds, according to a statement made by the Liberian information ministry, CNN reports. “The government of Liberia has imposed an immediate ban on the entry into the country of all uncertified rough diamonds from countries with existing certification regimes,” the information ministry stated. “The ban is in furtherance of efforts by the government of the Republic of Liberia to establish an internationally acceptable certificate of origin regime.”

The United Nations accuses Liberia of backing Sierra Leone’s Revolutionary United Front (RUF). The UN Security Council voted unanimously on March 7, to impose an embargo on all diamonds sold by Liberia. The diamond embargo, as well as a travel ban imposed on Liberian President Charles Taylor and other senior members of the Liberian government, will come into effect on May 7, unless Taylor takes measures to sever his ties with the RUF. Taylor denies all allegations of ties to the rebel forces.

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