13/12/2001
Press Release
SC/7239



PRESS STATEMENT ON SIERRA LEONE BY PRESIDENT OF SECURITY COUNCIL


This is the text of a statement to the press today by the President of the Security Council, Moctar Ouane (Mali):


Council members reviewed the ban on Sierra Leone diamonds imposed by resolution 1306.  They emphasized the continued importance of Security Council resolution 1306 in the Council’s efforts to build peace in Sierra Leone and the region.


They welcomed the continued efforts among West African countries, with the support of the Economic Community of West African States, to develop a region-wide certification regime and the establishment of Government of Sierra Leone Certificate of Origin regime, in curbing the flow of illicit diamonds out of Sierra Leone.


Council members noted, however, that the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and the Civil Defence Forces (CDF) continued to mine diamonds illegally, giving them access to funds which might be used to buy weapons.  Members of the Council are ready to extend the ban on Sierra Leone diamonds.


* *** *