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July 2005

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to extend a ban on Liberia’s diamond exports for six months because the government was unable to control its gem sales and prevent them from fueling wars in other countries, Reuters reports.

The resolution expressed concern at the government’s “limited progress” in “establishing transparent financial management systems.” It also notes an increase in unlicensed mining and illegal diamond exports and a lack of government control over diamond-producing areas.

Liberia’s interim government, installed to run the country until democratic elections due in October, has repeatedly urged the council to end the ban to boost the ailing economy.

Meanwhile a new report by Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) says that former Liberian rebel fighters are again engaging in illegal diamond mining. Young men aged between 17 and 30 said they turned to illegal digging because other job opportunities were scarce since their day jobs as rebel fighters ceased when peace broke out. 

 

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