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WDC calls for action on Zimbabwe's Marange diamond fields
It has asked for a plan to be put into place
By: Diamond World News Service
Aug 27 2009 6:17PM
Reference: 4146  


The World Diamond Council (WDC) has asked government participants in the Kimberley Process to take action on issues surrounding Zimbabwe's Marange alluvial diamond fields. Recently, a Kimberley Process review mission to Zimbabwe was held, with representatives from governments, civil society and the diamond industry, recommending solutions to issues of non-compliance and alleged human rights abuses.

The government of Zimbabwe, in particular requires to develop a plan including recommendations of the review, to ensure diamonds from the Marange mine are managed in full compliance with requirements of the Kimberley Process and maximize value of these diamonds for the benefit of the Zimbabwean people. A process for the demilitarisation of Marange was noted to be developed quickly and identifiable milestones established to enable monitoring.

The WDC mentioned that if the government fails to action these recommendations within an acceptable timeline, the WDC can call for Zimbabwe’s suspension from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. Eli Izhakoff, chairman of the WDC maintains that, “Elsewhere in southern Africa, diamonds are an engine for growth, employment and prosperity. The World Diamond Council believes that, in addition to combating the scourge of conflict diamonds, the Kimberley Process has helped to safeguard these benefits that are shared and enjoyed by thousands of people in communities across the region.”

He further added that “for this success to continue, and for the sake of the Kimberley Process’ integrity, it is essential that governments act now – and be seen to act – to provide the political will and resources necessary to assist the Zimbabwean government in restoring security for the people of Marange and re-establishing compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.”

Izhakoff pledged that, “in addition to the technical expertise it has already provided to the Kimberley Process, the World Diamond Council stands ready to provide any further assistance that will help bring this situation to a satisfactory conclusion.”

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