The Kimberley Process , the global body that monitors sales of so-called conflict diamonds, may decide tomorrow whether Zimbabwe can export gems from its Marange diamond fields, Chairman Boaz Hirsch said.
Zimbabwe can export diamonds from its Marange fields under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme even after some member countries protested the resumption of shipments, the head of the organization said.
The Kimberley Process’s decision to allow Zimbabwe to export diamonds under certain conditions “falls far short” of what is needed to protect civilians in the country, said Partnership Africa Canada, an advocacy group.
It being the feast of Saint Valentine, today is a favored moment to give or receive that ultimate lovers’ gift: a diamond. This year, however, isn’t a good one for those who want to know for sure that the stone’s origins are above reproach.
The Kimberley Process, which aims to curb the sale of diamonds used to fund wars, is being undermined by gems from Zimbabwe, accused by human rights groups of committing abuses against its residents, Martin Rapaport, chairman of Rapaport Group.
The Kimberley Process has authorized Zimbabwe’s Diamond Mining Co. (Pvt) Ltd. to sell gems from the Marange diamond fields, the state-controlled Sunday Mail said, citing the secretary for mines, Prince Mupazviriho.
Zimbabwe has been given permission to hold two diamond auctions this year by the Kimberley Process, an international body set up to control the sale of conflict gems, Deputy Mines Minister Gift Chimanikire said.