The UN Security Council has lifted a 13-year arms embargo against Sierra Leone after the nation re-established control over its territory following the civil war that ended in 2002.

The 15-member council said the government has been successful in disarming and demobilising the former fighters.

The UN imposed the first arms embargo on Sierra Leone in 1997 after a military takeover of the joint forces and due to the United Front rebels, as well as human rights violations.

The council, however, will extend the mandate of the country’s UN peace building office by one year to provide further support, according to the Associated Press.

The current UN peacekeeping force in Ivory Coast will also be increased by 500 troops to 9,150 to help with security during elections, due to be held on 31 October 2010.

Sierra Leone’s Foreign Minister Zainab Bangura said President Koroma was committed to tolerance and democracy and has taken note of the UN concerns about the inquest.

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