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UN Official: Liberia Sanctions Could End Soon


A United Nations official has said Liberia is meeting benchmarks that would end Security Council sanctions on Liberian diamonds and timber.

U.N. Sanctions chief Ellen Loj told reporters Saturday in Monrovia that Liberia has more work to do, but is working diligently to meet the conditions set for the lifting of the trade sanctions.

A ban on Liberian diamonds was imposed in 2001 by the U.N. Security Council after a British investigation found former Liberian President Charles Taylor was trading the diamonds for weapons for rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone.

The timber sanctions were imposed in 2003 when the Security Council said Taylor was using timber proceeds to fund war at home and in Sierra Leone.

Ellen Loj said the Security Council will meet in June to review the sanctions.