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Global Witness Leaves Diamond Regime

LONDON, Dec. 5 (UPI) — Advocacy group Global Witness announced Monday it has decided to leave the Kimberly Process governing so-called blood diamonds.

Global Witness Founding Director Charmian Gooch said the Kimberly process has failed to curb violence tied to the diamond trade in major supplier countries such as Ivory Coast, Venezuela and Zimbabwe.

“Nearly nine years after the Kimberley Process was launched, the sad truth is that most consumers still cannot be sure where their diamonds come from, nor whether they are financing armed violence or abusive regimes” Gooch said in a statement.

The World Diamond Council, at a meeting in Kinshasa in October, said Zimbabwe could start exporting diamonds from two operations at the Marange region.

Global Witness said the diamond-mining industry in Zimbabwe was still tied to unsavory political figures such as Robert Mugabe, who the group notes is tied closely to so-called blood diamonds.

Gooch said the Kimberly Process has shown it’s incapable of addressing the link between diamonds and violence.

“It has become an accomplice to diamond laundering — whereby dirty diamonds are mixed in with clean gems,” Gooch added in his statement.

The World Diamond Council and the Kimberly Process offered no public response.

A 2010 auction for Marange diamonds attracted little interest.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

Since 1907, United Press International (UPI) has been a leading provider of critical information to media outlets, businesses, governments and researchers worldwide.

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