Illicit Mining Continues in Sierra Leone

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(Rapaport…August 2) Illicit diamond mining still exists on a regular basis in Sierra Leone’s Kono District, the UN announced on July 29. Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels and progovernment militia are not complying with a mining ban composed in the region, officials said.

Amidst criticism that the UN is failing to enforce the ban, UN spokeswoman Margaret Novicki responded by claiming enforcement duties are the responsibility of RUF and government officials.

“All that the UN mission can do is to help facilitate it by providing security,” Novicki said. “But it cannot monitor it.”

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