Switzerland to apply UN sanctions against Liberia

Liberia is accused of supporting rebels in neighbouring Sierra Leone Keystone Archive

The Swiss authorities have decided to follow the United Nations in imposing sanctions against Liberia for one year. Military sales to the African nation are banned, diamond imports are outlawed and high-ranking government officials and military officers will not be allowed to enter Switzerland.

This content was published on June 27, 2001 - 15:01

The UN Security Council decided to impose sanctions in May after the Liberian government refused to end its support for the rebels of the Sierra Leone Revolutionary United Front and other West African armed groups.

Switzerland's sanctions take effect immediately. Technical and material assistance to the Liberian military is now also ruled out.

Uncut diamonds shipped from Liberia will no longer be allowed to transit through Switzerland or be imported. Their storage in duty-free warehouses is also banned.

After a UN report claimed Switzerland was a conduit for so-called "blood diamonds", the authorities increased checks on uncut stones transiting through the country three months ago.

The checks have failed to turn up any recent evidence of trafficking.

The refusal to let in high-ranking Liberian officials and army members is also extended to their spouses. Anybody supporting armed rebel movements in countries neighbouring Liberia either financially or militarily will also be turned back at the border.

swissinfo with agencies

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