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Chiadzwa diamonds decision expected this week

by Byo24News
18 Jan 2011 at 15:04hrs | Views
A decision on whether Zimbabwe will be allowed to resume full diamond exports is expected this week, amid reports that the Mines Ministry is going ahead with two auctions soon.
A meeting of the international diamond trade watchdog, the Kimberley Process (KP), was expected to get underway on Monday, to discuss amendments to a proposed agreement on Zimbabwe. Last year, KP members failed to reach consensus on an agreement that would see full exports resume with KP certification. That original agreement was also rejected by Zimbabwe who threatened to sell the diamonds without approval.
Earlier this month the KP gave Zimbabwe the green light to go ahead with two diamond auctions. The state-owned mineral marketing agency is reportedly making preparations for two diamond auctions. Alan Martin from civil society group Partnership Africa Canada, told SW Radio Africa that the government is actually free to have an auction, and that the only issue would be exporting the stones after they are sold. He said that exports have been suspended until the KP makes an official decision.
"Right now no diamonds from (Chiadzwa) can be exported," Martin said, calling the issue a "grey-zonal area for the KP."
Zimbabwe was suspended from trade in 2009 over alleged human rights abuses at the Chiadzwa, where the military has been accused of violence, forced labour, smuggling and murder. The KP has resisted pressure to ban the country completely. Instead, the group continued its lenient treatment of the Zimbabwe situation, which Zimbabwe saboteurs have warned is a serious threat to the credibility of the global diamond trade. 

Source - Byo24News