Liberian Diamond Sanctions May Be Lifted Soon

April 11, 2006

Liberian Diamond Sanctions May Be Lifted Soon

The United Nations Security Council may lift sanctions on diamonds in Liberia soon, the chair of the Council's Sanctions Committee said during a visit to the country.

According to Liberian newspaper The Inquirer, Denmark's Ambassador Ellen Margrethe Loj said at a news conference this weekend that the Liberian government is working to meet the benchmarks necessary to lift the sanctions, which were imposed to stop the trade of conflict diamonds used to fund a violent civil war in Sierra Leone.

The paper also reports that the United States government is contributing significant efforts toward implementing the Kimberly process to move toward the lifting of sanctions on Liberia's diamonds. The U.S. government has donated nine vehicles and other equipment that Kimberly Process inspectors can use in their daily work. The U.S. government has also implemented a $1.5 million program to assist the new Liberian government, particularly the Ministry of Lands, Mine & Energy, to help them meet the Kimberly Process requirements.

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