Liberia Battles UN Sanctions

150 150 Rapaport News

(Rapaport…January 30, 2003) Liberia has completed a diamond certification program to prove its commitment to halting trade in “conflict diamonds.”

This announcement comes a day after the United Nations Security Council adopted a resolution stating its intention to re-establish an expert panel to investigate Liberia’s compliance with international sanctions.

The sanctions prohibit Liberia from importing and exporting rough diamonds and prevent the country from joining the Kimberley Process. The Security Council suspects that Liberia is still harboring rebel groups being funded by illicit diamond sales.

By showing its support of the Kimberley Process objectives, Liberia is hoping that sanctions will be lifted. Liberian officials claim that their certification plan includes a tamper and forgery resistant certificate in line with Kimberley Process recommendations.

Liberian President, Charles Taylor, was recently accused of harboring senior al-Qaida officials and overseeing a $20 million diamond-buying spree after the 9/11 attacks.

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