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Jan. 2003

The United Nations Security Council extended a ban on the export of any rough diamonds from Sierra Leone that are not legally certified by the government, according to the Associated Press.

The ban against the country’s Revolutionary United Front—like similar ones in Angola and Liberia —has been in effect since 2000.

The Security Council’s resolution, adopted unanimously, was continued despite Sierra Leone’s announcement that the certification program is helping to curb the illicit trade in diamonds from the country.

The RUF has been battling the government since 1991 for control of Sierra Leone’s diamond mines.

Under pressure from U.N. and British forces, the rebels signed a cease-fire in late 2000 and started
disarming last year.

Despite the progress, the council emphasized that the government must strengthen efforts to extend its authority throughout the country, including the diamond-producing areas.

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