UN Security Council Votes to Lift “Conflict Diamonds” and Arms Bans for Cote d’Ivoire

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The 15-member UN Security Council unanimously voted to lift the 2005 resolution banning rough diamond imports from Cote d’Ivoire, as well as partially lift the 2004 arms embargo on the West African nation.

A review of progress made by the Republic of the Ivory Coast showed that the nation had made headway towards the 2003 Kimberley Process Certification Scheme implementation and better governance of the sector, which had aimed to prevent conflict diamonds from entering mainstream markets.

Another review–of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) of combatants as well as security sector reform (SSR), national reconciliation and the fight against impunity–also showed progress in Cote d’Ivoire. The UNSC therefore voted to lift the ban on small arms and non-lethal equipment, training, technical assistance and financial assistance in order to enable Ivorian security forces to maintain public order without the Sanctions Committee. Heavy weapons imports still require approval by the Sanctions Committee.

The weapons ban was to last until April, 2015 and prohibited “the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer to the West African nation, from their territories or by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and any related material.”

The UNSC will continue financial and travel restrictions until April, 2015.

By Cheryl Bretton


International Law Prof Blog