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article imageDiamond Smuggling: Sierra Leone president asks for help

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By Gibril Koroma     Feb 17, 2011 in Business
Brussels - The president of the West African country of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma, has asked the Belgian government to help curtail the smuggling the smuggling of diamonds from his country.
President Koroma, who was on a working visit to Belgium, called on the Belgian Prime Minister to do what he could to make sure diamonds entering his country have what is known as a Kimberley certificate, a reference to the Kimberley process that tried to end entry to the world market by what had been labelled "Blood Diamonds." The Belgian Prime Minister has promised to look into the diamond and other issues raised by the Sierra Leonean leader.
Sierra Leone, very rich in diamonds and other minerals still remains one of the poorest countries in the world due to massive smuggling of its diamonds by mostly Western businessmen. The city of Antwerp, in Belgium, the world famous diamond market regularly handles diamonds from Sierra Leone and other African countries.
During his visit president Koroma also used the opportunity to meet with top officials of the European Commission. The EC is one of Sierra Leone's largest donors providing funds for almost anything including the conduct of elections. The next presidential and parliamentary elections in Sierra Leone will be in 2012.
President Koroma and his delegation in discussion with Belgian counterparts.
President Koroma and his delegation in discussion with Belgian counterparts.
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President Koroma and the president of the European Council  Herman Van Rompuy.
President Koroma and the president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy.
sierra leone embassy
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