Liberia 'willing' to fight blood diamonds

2012-09-14 18:01
(AP)

(AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Monrovia - Liberia has challenged a United Nations report that questioned its commitment to stamp out the trade in blood diamonds, saying it lacked the means not the will to clean up its role in the industry.

A report to the UN Security Council earlier this week said the West African state, whose wars between 1989 and 2003 were partly fuelled by fighting over diamonds, had shown limited commitment to international efforts to regulate the trade, known as the Kimberley Process.

"We are constrained by a capacity problem. That we accept. [But] the government does not lack the will," Betty Blamo, acting minister of lands and mines, said late on Thursday.

"We do recognise that we do have challenges and we are putting into place measures to resolve some of these challenges ... But it is unfair to say that we have not done anything in that area," she added.

Blamo blamed the lack of financial resources in Liberia, which has attracted international mining and oil investors but is still rebuilding after 14 years of near constant conflict that killed hundreds of thousands of people.

Blood diamonds - diamonds used to fund insurgencies - were thrust into the spotlight in the 1990s during a series of African conflicts where their trade financed arms purchases and resulted in human rights abuses.

Corruption

The Kimberley Process was launched in 2003 with the aim of certifying stones and preventing blood or conflict diamonds entering the international market.

Blamo said that Liberia's steps to be part of the global Kimberly Process, that aims to regulate the $30bn rough-diamond industry, included dispatching inspectors to monitor the trade and the demarcation of mining areas.

According to government figures, official diamond exports have risen from 7 000 carats in 2007 to 49 000 carats in 2011.

"This tells you the chain of custody structure which we put into place is working. We were able to track about 60 percent of diamonds taken from Liberia ... no country can track 100 percent of diamonds," Blamo said.

But the UN report said that government bodies due to oversee the Kimberly Process were meeting infrequently and said the United States had said it might stop funding a programme to help the Liberian government improve compliance, partly due to Liberia's lack of commitment to the scheme.

President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for her work for women's rights and is widely praised abroad for stabilising Liberia, faces complaints at home that she has not done enough to fight corruption.

Read more on:    liberia  |  west africa  |  blood diamonds
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel
 

LOL treadmill fail!

Watch this hilarious clip! We think this man should rather be running outside this summer!

 
 

I love summer.24

Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos
7 drinks you need to make this party season

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

15% off LEGO

Save 15% when you buy 2 or more Lego toys. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.