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Guns allowed

Swiss lift final stage of Liberia sanctions

Switzerland has decided to allow the resumption of arms trading to Liberia following a protracted period of peace and stability in the African state. The lifting of the arms embargo on Wednesday signaled the final dismantling of sanctions imposed by Switzerland in 2001.

An estimated 250,000 people lost their lives as civil war ravaged Liberia between 1989 and 2003. Thousands others were injured or faced brutality at the hands of armies run by local warlords.

The country’s first female President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has been credited with ensuring stability since she was first elected in 2005. She was awarded the Nobel peace prize in 2011.

Since then, Switzerland has steadily been reducing its various embargoes. In 2007 it lifted its ban on the trade in rough diamonds and last year repealed financial sanctions and travel restrictions.

The United Nations Security Council decided on May 25 to completely remove its sanctions, triggering the same response from Switzerland on Wednesday.

swissinfo.ch with agencies


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