Zimbabwe’s rough diamond exports raise concerns
The U.S. State Department said it’s concerned about Zimbabwe’s compliance with a global rough diamond trade certification scheme.
The department said in a statement Monday that if Zimbabwe cannot abide by the scheme, known as the Kimberley Process, then the African
country’s status in the program should be suspended.
Human rights and civil society groups say the Kimberley Process, which was established in 2003 to prevent the trade in so-called conflict diamonds, is potentially failing to meet its objectives.
The groups are concerned that the process has not done enough to address issues of non-compliance, smuggling, money laundering and human rights abuses in the world's diamond fields. Conflict or 'blood' diamonds are exported by certain governments to fuel their military machines.
The State Department said Zimbabwe has agreed not to export diamonds from its Marange fields until a Kimberley Process monitoring mechanism is established.
“In addition, the United States remains deeply concerned about human rights abuses in and around the Marange diamond fields of Zimbabwe,” the department said.
The State Department, however, praised Guinea’s recent increased oversight of its rough diamond exports through new measures regarding identification and cooperation on suspicious shipments, and efforts to improve coordination on technical and development assistance.