On 29 April 2014, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted Resolution 2153 (2014), lifting the UN diamond sanctions and easing the arms embargo originally imposed on the Ivory Coast under Security Council Resolution 1572 (2004) of 15 November 2004. Resolution 2153 will be valid until 30 April 2015.
The diamond sanctions required states to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect import of all rough diamonds from the Ivory Coast to their territory. Member states have now agreed that the import of rough diamonds shall no longer be prohibited “in light of the country’s progress towards implementing the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and its improved governance of the sector”. The Kimberley Process was established in 2003 to prevent the trade of so-called ‘conflict diamonds’.
The arms embargo required states to take the necessary measures to prevent the supply to the Ivory Coast of arms and related material. Resolution 2153 exempts from the embargo the requirement to declare supplies (to the relevant sanctions committee) of non-lethal equipment and the provision of technical aid, training or financial services intended to enable the Ivorian security forces to maintain public order. Also now exempt from the regime are supplies intended solely for the support of, or use by: the United Nations Operation in the Ivory Coast and the French forces supporting it; supplies intended for use by a State evacuating its nationals and others for whom it had consular responsibility in the country; and supplies intended for use in security sector reform.
The sanctions regime will next be reviewed in 2015.