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Friday, 28 September, 2001, 19:21 GMT 20:21 UK
Liberia reopens borders
President Charles Taylor
Taylor is still under UN sanctions
The Liberian President, Charles Taylor, has ordered the reopening of his country's borders with Guinea and Sierra Leone.

The borders were closed in March this year as relations between the three countries reached crisis point and Monrovia expelled its neighbours' ambassadors.

Rebel fighters
Each country has its own rebel movement
Liberia has accused Guinea of backing dissidents in the north of its territory.

Both Sierra Leone and Guinea respond that Liberia is supporting their rebel movements in order to profit from the illegal trade in the region's diamonds.

Mr Taylor said everything should be done to end conflict in the region.

Warming relations

Relations amongst the three countries have warmed in recent months, following meetings of their foreign ministers.

Mr Taylor and other Liberian Government officials are currently under United Nations sanctions because of their alleged involvement in selling diamonds on behalf of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebel movement in Sierra Leone.

Alongside the travel ban on Liberia's leaders, it is not allowed to buy weapons or sell diamonds.

But the campaign group Global Witness accuses Liberia of using the trade in timber to finance illegal arms imports, which it then allegedly passes on to the RUF.

See also:

17 Sep 01 | Africa
Liberia bans Bin Laden pictures
16 Aug 00 | Africa
Q&A: Charles Taylor on gunrunning
15 May 00 | Africa
Diamonds: A rebel's best friend
12 Feb 01 | Africa
Timeline: Liberia
07 Sep 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Liberia
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