Peace over gold

Sunday 31 August 2003

Rallying point (Credit: REUTERS)How can law and order be restored in strife-torn Liberia? The ngo Coalition of Liberia -- consisting of the Environmental Lawyers Association and two other non-governmental organisations -- feels a ban on the extraction and trade of gold, diamonds and timber in the country is the best bet. The group holds these commercial activities responsible for the fighting that has killed hundreds of civilians.

It contends that the money so generated is used to finance warring groups. The coalition made an appeal in this regard to the participants of the peace talks on Liberia, in Dakar, Senegal. The activists are pressing for an immediate moratorium on the extraction of gold, diamonds and timber till the installation of a duly elected national government. The un has already imposed a ban on Liberian timber.

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