Saturday, May 23, 2009

HUMAN RIGHTS: More Calls to Ban Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds

HUMAN RIGHTS: More Calls to Ban Zimbabwe’s Blood Diamonds

By Michael Deibert

Inter Press Service

PARIS, May 23, 2009 (IPS) - Amid allegations of human rights abuses and government corruption, international calls are growing to ban or restrict the trade in diamonds from politically unstable Zimbabwe.

Concern has focused on the eastern province of Manicaland, home to the vast Marange diamond fields in the district of Chiadzwa.

In early April, the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), which seeks to organise world diamond exchanges under a common set of trading practices, announced that it was advising its 28 affiliated trading houses to ‘‘take all measures necessary to ensure that they do not trade, directly or indirectly, in diamonds originating from the Marange deposit in Zimbabwe’’.

‘‘We want to insure, because we represent accountability, integrity and transparency, that we take all measures to ensure our members can conduct business in the most responsible way possible,’’ Michael H Vaughan, WFBD’s Executive Director, told IPS about the decision.

The WFDB’s move comes on the heels of a report by Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), an Ottawa-based group that advocates on foreign policy issues, that was highly critical of the government of President Robert Mugabe in its governance of the Zimbabwe’s diamond reserves.

Read the full article here.

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