Saturday, November 07, 2009

Diamond Watchdog Challenges Zimbabwe With Possible Banning of Its Diamonds

Diamond watchdog gives Zimbabwe time to comply

The Associated Press
Friday, November 6, 2009 9:43 AM

JOHANNESBURG -- The world's diamond control body is calling on Zimbabwe to clean up a lawless field, but has stopped short of suspending the country from a process meant to keep "blood" gems off the market.

Kimberley Process investigators had recommended Zimbabwe be suspended because its security forces are raping women, killing illegal miners and smuggling diamonds from the field in the troubled country's east.

In a communique issued late Thursday after meetings this week of officials from Zimbabwe and other Kimberley Process members, the group said its investigators found evidence of Zimbabwe's "significant noncompliance." Zimbabwe, however, agreed to take unspecified steps to get back into compliance, and would be given time to do so under Kimberley Process monitoring, the group said.

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