The government of Guinea has agreed to help block the sale of diamonds traded by RUF rebels in neighboring Sierra Leone, the BBC reports. Mohammed Deen, Sierra Leone's mines minister, told Reuters that Guinean officials assured him of their cooperation during talks in Guinea's capital.
According to the BBC, Guinea agreed to confiscate suspicious diamonds that are not certified by the Sierra Leone government, and traders caught with suspicious diamonds could be prosecuted in Guinea. In addition, officials from the two countries will form a joint monitoring committee to watch the movement of diamonds along their border.
In related news, last week Liberia's parliament set up a committee to probe allegations that President Charles Taylor is helping fuel the war in Sierra Leone by purchasing diamonds from RUF rebels, CNN reports. The committee is expected to complete its report before it adjourns in December.
- by Julia M. Duncan