UN Extends Mandate to Monitor Cote d’Ivoire Rough Diamonds

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RAPAPORT…  The United Nations Security Council has extended the mandate of a team of experts monitoring a ban imposed on the Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) concerning its trade of rough diamonds for arms.

The panel’s activity was extended until October 31, 2007 and follows a previous extension of the ban itself until the same date. The council requested the panel of experts to report on the implementation of the trade ban before October 15.

The sanctions were implemented in 2004 and are aimed at stemming the civil conflict in the Cote d’Ivoire, which is divided into rebel-held northern and the government-controlled southern zones.

According to the World Diamond Council, the country is the only source of conflict diamonds in the global market today, estimated at between $9 and $23 million worth of diamonds annually fueling internal conflict in the country.

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