Zimbabwe

Zim diamonds face suspension

2009-11-02 11:26

Special Report

Windhoek -Pressure was mounting Monday on the international watchdog set up to combat so-called "conflict diamonds", the Kimberley Process (KP) to suspend Zimbabwe from the global diamond trade over alleged human rights abuses and smuggling.

Members of the KP certification scheme were gathering for their annual plenary in the Namibian coastal resort of Swakopmund, which runs until Thursday.

The certification scheme (KPCS), which was implemented in 2003 and counts Zimbabwe among its member countries, requires diamond- producing countries to have controls in place certifying shipments of rough diamonds as "conflict-free".

Zimbabwe's Marange diamonds, from its eastern diamond fields, are under the spotlight at the meeting.

A KP review mission recommended in July that Zimbabwe be barred from importing or exporting rough diamonds within the Process for at least six months "until such time as a KP team determines that minimum standards have been met."

Implement recommendations


The team's recommendations were based on its investigations of allegations of gross human rights abuses against local communities by the Zimbabwean military, which brutally took control last year of the eastern Marange diamond fields from wildcat diggers and traders.

The KP team also called for the immediate withdrawal of the military from the area but Zimbabwe's government resisted, saying only a phased withdrawal was possible.

On the eve of the KP meeting, the Kimberley Process Civil Society Coalition, whose members include Global Witness, Partnership Africa Canada and Green Advocates (Liberia), warned that failure to act decisively on Zimbabwe was compromising the KP's credibility.

"Zimbabwe must urgently implement recommendations made by the Kimberley Process Review Mission that visited the country last June," said Susanne Emond from Partnership Africa Canada. "The authorities must demilitarise the Marange diamond fields, establish robust internal controls, and hold to account those responsible for human rights abuses carried out in the area."

Gross rights abuses


Inaction on Zimbabwe was also distracting the KP from other cases that require urgent attention, such as the Cote d'Ivoire, where diamonds continue to be exported in spite of UN sanctions, the Civil Society Coalition warned.

Human Rights Watch (HRW), in a report in June, accused the military of killing scores of wildcat diamond diggers during a crackdown on illegal mining in Marange late last  year and says members of the military are now lining their pockets with the gems.

Last week, HRW claimed the government had sent more troops to the area since the KP visit, instead of beginning a withdrawal.

HRW and other groups have been calling for the definition of conflict diamonds to be expanded to include diamonds mined in conditions of gross rights abuses.

The government in Harare says there were "no killings" in Marange.

- SAPA

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  human rights  |  southern africa  |  diamonds
NEXT ON NEWS24X

UN takes on CAR peace role

2014-09-15 22:03

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now.

30% off new fiction books!

Save 30% on new captivating books from great authors such as Wilbur Smith, James Pettereson and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

Camping gear!

We’ve got all your camping must have’s right here at mind blowing low prices. Check them out now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

As the Moon moves out of restless Gemini into sensitive Cancer today you are able to relax your active mind and be more receptive...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.