UN Eases Diamond, Arms Restrictions on Ivory Coast

.The U.N. Security Council has lifted a ban on diamond exports from Ivory Coast and also moved to ease an arms embargo on the West African nation.The council on Tuesday adopted a resolution lifting the diamond embargo that was put in place in 2005, in the wake of the country's civil war.The measure also relaxes the arms embargo so Ivorian security forces can acquire small-caliber weapons.Ivory Coast U.N. Ambassador Youssoufou Bamba hailed the vote. He said the end of the diamond export ban recognizes that his country has "fully satisfied" minimum conditions of the Kimberley Process, the system to ensure so-called conflict diamonds do not enter world markets.The ambassador also said the council's decision to ease weapons restrictions recognized the country's "urgent" need to train and equip its security forces.The 2002 civil war in Ivory Coast split the country in two. President Laurent Gbagbo was eventually ousted by force after losing the 2010 presidential election. [Read More]

Source: VOA News: Top Stories


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