UNSC Lifts Timber Embargo on Liberia, Keeps Diamonds Trade Ban
   2006-06-21 03:12:24       Xinhua

The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday voted to remove the ban on the exports of timber by Liberia for 90 days but keep the restrictions on the trade of Liberian rough diamonds.
  
A resolution passed unanimously by the 15-nation council said the body decided not to renew the measure that "obligates (UN) member states to prevent the import into their territories of all round log and timber products originating in Liberia."
  
The council threatened to reinstate the timber embargo on Liberia if the country has not passed appropriate forestry legislation.
  
Meanwhile, the council determined that the situation in Liberia continued to pose a threat to international peace and security and decided to extend for six months measures aimed at preventing the import of rough diamonds from the West African nation.
  
But the council said it would review the diamond trade ban four months after the adoption of the new resolution.
  
The Security Council imposed the sanctions on Liberia in 2000 to stop the government of President Charles Taylor and rebels from trading diamonds and timber for arms. Taylor, a war crimes suspect, was forced to flee the country in 2005 and was handed over to the Sierra Leone Special Court by Nigeria in March.
  
After the ouster of Taylor, Liberia has appealed several times to the Security Council for the removal of sanctions on the country, which also include an arms embargo. The timber and diamond industries are two pillars of Liberia's war-battered economy.

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