Friday, November 30, 2007

TRADE: Blood Diamonds No Longer Congo-Brazzaville's Best Friend

TRADE: Blood Diamonds No Longer Congo-Brazzaville's Best Friend

By Michael Deibert

Inter Press Service

PARIS, Nov 30, 2007 (IPS) - The announcement that the Republic of the Congo, or Congo-Brazzaville, has been readmitted to the Kimberley Process, which aims to stem the flow of conflict diamonds, marks a breakthrough.

Congo-Brazzaville was expelled from the-then year-old process in 2004 for exporting diamonds from its war-wracked neighbour, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and falsifying certificates of origin.

''Congo-Brazzaville comes back now after a very serious domestic effort to put their house in order and to get their domestic systems to the level required,'' Karel Kovanda, chairperson of the Kimberly Process secretariat, told IPS. ''It was quite an emotional moment. We're always happy to have new people (come on board the Kimberley Process).''

Congo-Brazzaville's fate is just the latest example of the enforcement procedure which gets its name from the South African city where one of the first meetings was held on stemming the flow of diamonds used by rebel armies or other groups to fund conflict.

Read the full article here.

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