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Sunday, 3 December, 2000, 10:24 GMT
Burkina Faso co-operates on arms
RUF rebel
Burkina Faso is alleged to have smuggled arms to rebels
Burkina Faso has agreed to set up a UN-supervised body to monitor weapons imports, following allegations that it has been involved in smuggling arms to rebels in Sierra Leone and Angola.

The Foreign Ministry said the aim was to boost the confidence of the international community and dispel the concerns of its partners.

The ministry proposed putting the monitoring system under the supervision of the UN Security Council for a period of three years.

Earlier in the week, Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore received the French and German ambassadors and a European Commission representative.

The diplomats wanted to raise their concerns over accusations that the country had violated the arms embargo against Sierra Leone and Unita rebels.

UN investigates

Three UN missions have visited Burkina Faso since August to investigate allegations that the West African nation has been involved in weapons smuggling to rebels in Sierra Leone and Angola in return for diamonds.

Burkina Faso initially responded by banning visits by all nationals from Sierra Leone and Angola, except those on official government business.

It also banned trade in gems and precious metals from conflict zones.

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See also:

01 Aug 00 | Africa
US threat over illegal diamonds
19 May 00 | Africa
Burkina Faso denies arming rebels
15 May 00 | Africa
Diamonds: A rebel's best friend
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