Sierra Leone

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The Security Council on Wednesday September 29, 2010 lifted the arms embargo and other sanctions it imposed on Sierra Leone in 1997 as a result of the the civil war and also the atrocities committed by the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) junta as set out by Resolutions 1132 (1997) and 1171 (1998 ). The UN Security Council voted to lift the sanctions through Resolution 1941 (2010).

UN Sanction (recall)


November 01, 1998 – The Economic Community of West Africa States (ECOWAS) declared a moratorium on the import, export and manufacture of light weapons. The Moratorium applies to pistols, rifles, shotguns, sub-machine guns, carbines, machine guns, anti-tank missiles, mortars and howitzers up to 85mm and ammunition and spare parts for the above. A Code of Conduct on its implementation was agreed on 24 March 1999.

Exceptions to the Moratorium may be granted where the goods are to meet legitimate security needs.

There are three exceptions to the Moratorium as follows:

  • for international peace operations
  • for legitimate national security needs
  • for individual ownership of a single weapon in the pistol, shotgun or non-military rifle categories for hunting or sporting purposes.

The ECOWAS Moratorium applies to all states in ECOWAS:

  • Benin
  • Burkina Faso
  • Cape Verde
  • Côte d’Ivoire
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Liberia
  • Mali
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Togo


COMMON POSITION of 29 June 1998 defined by the Council on the basis of Article J.2 of the Treaty on European Union concerning Sierra Leone (98/409/CFSP)

COUNCIL REGULATION (EC) No 2368/2002 of 20 December 2002 implementing the Kimberley Process certification scheme for the international trade in rough diamonds

EU Sanctions

UN & EU Conflict Diamonds


Dutch Sanction Law 1977 – Sierra Leone 2000


n 1998, the UN Security Council adopted Resolution 1171, which decided upon measures regarding Sierra Leone. In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, these measures were binding upon all states and Canada implemented them by making the United Nations Sierra Leone Regulations.

On September 29, 2010, the Security Council decided in Resolution 1940 to terminate the measures that it had imposed. Since this decision took effect immediately, Canada is now in the process of repealing the United Nations Sierra Leone Regulations. Overview

On October 8, 1997, acting under Chapter VII of the Charter of the United Nations, the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 1132 imposing sanctions against Sierra Leone in response to the violence and loss of life and deteriorating humanitarian conditions in Sierra Leone following the military coup of May 25, 1997. The sanctions regime was subsequently modified by the adoption of a number of resolutions, including Resolutions 1156 (1998), 1171 (1998), 1306 (2000), and 1446 (2002).

The United Nations Sierra Leone Regulations, as amended, implement the decisions of the Security Council in Canadian domestic law. Implementation of the travel ban imposed by Resolution 1171 (1998) is ensured in Canada under existing provisions of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act. Sanctions

The measures imposed against Sierra Leone include:

  • a prohibition on the export of arms and related material to any person in Sierra Leone; and
  • a travel ban against persons designated by the Security Council Committee established pursuant to Resolution 1132 to oversee the sanctions measures (1132 Committee).

Canada Sanctions



ITAR Based sanctions, see chapter on ITAR for more detailed information

  • August 8, 201176 FR 47990 – Amendment to ITAR §126.1. No longer a proscribed destination. Licenses are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, as per normal procedure.
  • December 18, 200772 FR 71575

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