Watchdog calls on US to lift Zimbabwe diamond sanctions

via Watchdog calls on US to lift Zimbabwe diamond sanctions  Mail & Guardian  19 NOV 2013  AFP

The 81 countries taking part in the Kimberley Process have called on the US to follow the EU’s lead and lift sanctions on Zimbabwean mines.

An international meeting to discuss rules curbing the sale of conflict diamonds began Tuesday with a call for the United States to lift sanctions on Zimbabwean mines.

Representatives of 81 countries taking part in the Kimberley Process – an international governmental certification scheme set up in 2003 to prevent trade in diamonds that fund conflict – heard a plea from the South African chairperson that Washington follow the European Union’s lead and allow Zimbabwe’s return to international trade.

South Africa’s Welile Nhlapo, who currently chairs the rotating presidency of the diamond watchdog, said that Zimbabwe has moved on from the disputed July 31 elections won by President Robert Mugabe.

“We hope that those who continue to maintain such sanctions will also be able to lift them, because the lifting of these sanctions would assist Zimbabwe to bring stability and prosperity once again,” he said at the start of the grouping’s four-day talks in Johannesburg.

The EU lifted restrictions in September against Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, the firm that controls one of the world’s largest diamond fields.

Kimberly Process

Zimbabwe’s Mines Minister Walter Chidakwa threw his weight behind the recommendations of the Kimberly Process.

“Since the EU has removed sanctions on our diamonds, we are calling on the United States to remove sanctions so that we are able to do as much business as possible,” said Chidakwa.

The move by the EU allows the country to go back to trading at Antwerp, one of the world’s largest diamond centres, in Belgium.

“I hope that in December we will be able to make a full comeback into Antwerp,” Chidakwa said on the sidelines of the annual assembly.

The Zimbabwe firm had been blacklisted for allegedly channelling funds to Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party.

The Kimberley Process aims to prevent the proceeds of diamond sales from financing conflicts around the world.

The process covers about 99.8% of the world’s production of rough diamonds. – AFP

 

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 4
  • comment-avatar
    Wilbert Mukori 8 years ago

    South Africa’s Welile Nhlapo, is spot on about one thing – Zimbabwe’s July 2013 elections are “disputed” alright. More and more damning evidence of how Mugabe rigged the elections is coming to light. Mugabe has stubbornly refused to release the voters roll, clearly fearful of even more damning evidence coming to light if he did.

    Mugabe must give a satisfactory explanation of the bussed in voters, the nearly one million who were denied the right to vote, release the voters roll, etc. Only then can the matter be lied to rest.

    Anyone who thinks Mugabe’s vote rigging can be swept under the carpet and continue business as usual is being naïve! Very, very naïve indeed!

  • comment-avatar

    I wonder how much all this arse creepers have been paid including the EU so called corrupt

  • comment-avatar
    farai 8 years ago

    This is about diamonds not elections. Do you seriously think the west cares about who rules in Zimbabwe?

  • comment-avatar
    munzwa 8 years ago

    well well Welile, you think Zim has moved on since the” disputed” elections so you can fill your filthy pockets!! Ask the people on the ground what they feel about the whole issue, ask where all this diamond money is that belongs to the Zim people through proper transparent channels. Why not use your influence more wisely and support the M&G lobby for the release of that election report from your own Govt. Go rot in hell Welile.