Posted in News by Admin on November 25th, 2009
As some of you know, many loose diamonds traded in the world market today have been mined under dangerous conditions and used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. The trade in these “blood diamonds” has fuelled decades of devastating conflicts in countries such as Angola, Sierra Longe, Cote d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Kimberley Process (KP) is a joint governments, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of these illicit stones. The KP has 49 members, representing 75 countries, with the European Community and its Member States counting as an individual participant. The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) necessitates extensive requirements on its members to permit them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as ‘conflict-free’.
Recently Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe has sent his army to seize control of his country’s diamond fields and many civilians have been murdered in the process. He has been using the profits from blood diamonds to fuel violent political conflict. “What is going on in Zimbabwe is against the spirit and the law of the Kimberley Process,” said Annie Dunnebacke from Global Witness, one of the groups that takes part in the KP. “Member governments must agree to suspend Zimbabwe from importing and exporting rough diamonds.”
Official diamond regulators meeting in Namibia this week will decide whether to suspend Zimbabwe from the Kimberly Process and stop Mugabe selling his blood diamonds on the world market. Campaigners now fear that Zimbabwe will be let off in a move that could permanently tarnish the public credibility of the Kimberly Process, a groundbreaking endeavor to break the link between gems and violent conflict in Africa.
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