21 July 2014

Liberia: 137,366 Carats Diamond Exported

Liberia has exported 137,366 carats of rough diamonds worth over US$62 million, a 2012 LEITI reports released June 2014 has revealed.

The summary of the 5th report launched June 30, 2014 revealed that the actual value of the various categories of uncut stones in five years worth US$62,530,727 million. Diamond export as captured in summaries of LEITI's various reports indicates that in 2008 the total of 47,007 carats of rough diamond exported from Liberia was valued at US$9,891,785, followed by 2009 with 27,732 carats also valued US$9,125,636.

In 2010, 22,762 carats valued at US$15,634,511 were exported; while in 2011 39,865 carats of unpolished diamonds were similarly exported at the value of US$15,387,666. All were captured in LEITA's 2012 report. 34,019 carats in total was also exported at the value of US$12,491,129, all of which summed up to US$62,530,727 million.

According to information posted on LEITI's official website, the total number of companies registered with the LEITI increased by 33-37% during the reporting period (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012). It can be recalled that Liberia was subjected to United Nations diamond sanctions for six years as a result of Monrovia's alleged involvement in "gun-running and diamond-smuggling" in neighboring Sierra Leone's civil war. The scandal was later known as 'blood diamonds'. Based on information gathered by the international community that conflict diamonds were being smuggled out of the Mano River Basin (Liberia and Sierra Leone), experts of the Kimberley Process visited Liberia in 2005, 2006 and 2007 to advise Liberia on implementing effective control on diamond production and trade designed to prevent conflict-causing diamonds. The most recent team, led by the European Commission, found that Liberia had designed effective controls in line with Kimberley Process requirements, and reported its findings to the UN Security Council. Based on the progress made by Liberia, the Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 1753 (2007) lifting the diamond embargo on April 27. The team made a number of recommendations to Liberia and Kimberley Process bodies to ensure conflict diamonds are excluded from Liberia's trade, as well as recommending to continue providing support and training to Liberia. Kimberley Process participants and observers, including the US, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Canada, Sierra Leone and the World Diamond Council, as well as the UNMIL and the UN Development Program, have worked closely with the Government of Liberia to advise, train and equip the Government Diamond Office and its officials. The European Commission was committed, as chair of the Kimberley Process in 2007, to support effective implementation of controls by all participants and to deepen its already close cooperation with the UN to promote peace and security in Africa.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (Kimberley Process or KP) is an international governmental certification scheme that was set up to prevent the trade in diamonds that fund conflict. Launched in January 2003, the scheme requires governments to certify that shipments of rough diamonds are conflict-free.

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