The United Nations Security Council extended its embargo on arms destined for Liberia and renewed an embargo for six months on rough diamond exports from Liberia. While the Security Council acknowledged the progress the Liberian government has made this year in monitoring the diamond trade, it determined the situation is still unstable and a threat to security and peace in that war-torn region.
Illegally marketed diamonds, known as conflict diamonds, have been the catalyst for civil wars in Liberia being in 1989 and the brutal conflict in neighboring Sierra Leone. Ex-president, Charles Taylor in Sierra Leone, faces seventeen counts of war crimes for allegedly arming and training rebels in exchange for conflict diamonds.
In order for the Security Council to lift its embargo on diamond exports from Liberia, the Liberian government must join the Kimberley Process that documents the origin of rough diamonds in an international effort to keep conflict diamonds from entering the diamond marketplace.
The Kimberly Process has successfully reduced the percentage of conflict diamonds in world trade. From an estimated high of 14% of total world diamonds during the mid 1990s, the Kimberley Process is credited with reducing conflict diamonds to about 0.2% (two tenths of one percent) of current diamond production.
During 2006, the only source of conflict diamonds has been the northern regions of Cote d'Ivoire, a country in Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean, between Ghana and Liberia.