Countries review conflict

2009-06-23 10:39

Windhoek - Some 200 delegates from diamond-producing countries meet in Namibia from Tuesday to review the world's efforts in preventing trade in the precious stones from fuelling armed conflicts.

An international scheme known as the Kimberley Process, named after a South African mining town, was launched in 2003 with the aim of curbing the flow of "conflict diamonds" into the mainstream market.

Namibia, which currently heads the process, will host the three-day meeting to deliberate on efforts to further curb the illegal diamond trade that often fuel wars in developing countries.

The Kimberley scheme aims to certify diamonds to prove to buyers that they are not linked to violent conflicts, but rights groups have already sounded the alarm over possible violations of the pact in countries from Zimbabwe to Venezuela.

"The clock is running out on Kimberley Process credibility," said Annie Dunnebacke of the Britain-based Global Witness, which monitors the exploitation of natural resources.

Worries over smuggling

"The work it was set up to do is vital - it would be scandalous if unco-operative governments and industry succeeded in hobbling it into ineffectiveness."

Global Witness has pointed to worries over smuggling, money laundering and human rights abuses in the world's alluvial diamond fields.

In Zimbabwe, the Kimberley Process is preparing a new report into claims of government-led human rights abuse in diamond mining areas, as well as smuggling and weak internal controls.

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses in April banned the sale of diamonds from the eastern Zimbabwean region of Marange, after authorities sealed off the area to allow a state-run firm to gather the gems amid reports that small-scale miners were forcibly evicted.

Venezuela agreed in 2008 to suspend its diamond trade until new control systems could be established, according to Global Witness. But a civil society investigation in May found that diamonds are still being mined and smuggled into legitimate markets, the group said.

Back-to-back conflicts

Other countries of concern were Lebanon and Guinea, which were exporting significantly more gem-quality rough diamonds than they import, Global Witness said.

The Kimberley Process emerged from global outrage over conflicts in countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone.

In back-to-back conflicts from 1989 to 2003, rivals plundered Liberia's wood and diamond resources to purchase the arms they used to wage war in a conflict that claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

Now the Kimberley Process covers about 99.8% of the world's production of rough diamonds, with 49 members representing 75 countries working within the scheme.

Under Kimberley, rough diamonds are sealed in tamper-resistant containers and required to have forgery-resistant, conflict-free certificates with unique serial numbers each time they cross an international border.

- SAPA
Read more on:    namibia  |  windhoek
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Get fit on a budget

It’s time to throw the “I can’t afford to exercise” excuse out the window.

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Tips for paddling your first Dusi
Climbing the world’s largest stone arch
Awesome extreme sports people
Watch: 2015 Absa Cape Epic route

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

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy 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

You may prefer to be in charge because then you can call the shots. You are not as flexible as you like to make out to be and you...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.