The United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to extend its ban on Liberian diamond exports.
The Council said that the country’s transitional government, which took power after former leader Charles Taylor fled the country last year, had not shown evidence that its diamond imports will go to benefit all the country’s citizens, and that it is still filled with warlords who profited from the country’s problems in the past.
The sanctions will be reviewed in three months, the U.N. said, if the country has made progress implementing Kimberley Process controls for rough diamonds. A team from the Kimberley Process is due to make a pre-implementation assessment visit next year.
The continued ban was sought by NGOs like Global Witness, which warned in a paper that lifting the sanctions could lead the country to reignite its civil war.
“There remains a regional network of actors involved in the diamond trade who would be able to, and have previously, facilitated the illegal trade of diamonds from Liberia,” said a Global Witness briefing paper.