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Watchdog backs end to Ivory Coast 'blood diamond' ban


Global diamond watchdog, the Kimberley Process, on Friday gave its backing for the lifting of a 2005 UN embargo on diamond sales from Ivory Coast.

"The plenary recognised that Cote d'Ivoire has fulfilled ... minimum requirements," under the group's certification system, which is designed to stop the export of conflict, or "blood" diamonds.

The move clears a major hurdle for the west African country to resume trading its diamonds on the international market.

The UN banned Ivorian diamonds to prevent their sale from funding arms purchases and fuelling a brutal civil war, which began in 2002.