Zimbabwe

Return of the Blood Diamond: The deadly race to control Zimbabwe's new-found diamond wealth

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The Kimberley Process rough diamond certification scheme (KP) is credited by some with ending the scourge of blood diamonds. However, the extreme violence that has characterised life in Zimbabwe's Marange diamond fields over the past three years has shattered this myth. Instead of expelling Zimbabwe, the Kimberley Process has repeatedly failed to take action, and state-sponsored human rights abuses and diamond smuggling in Marange continue, against a backdrop of opaque and questionable investments.

This report is an update on the situation in Marange. It calls on the Kimberley Process to take urgent and decisive action to address Zimbabwe's noncompliance with the scheme's rules, bring to an end the violence and corruption in the Marange diamond fields, and restore public faith in the diamond trade.

The Kimberley Process was set up ten years ago in the wake of brutal diamond-fuelled conflicts in countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone and Liberia. It set out to prevent the devastating trade in conflict diamonds, and address consumers' concerns that their diamond purchases were fuelling human rights abuses. The KP was founded on a commitment to stamp out -- systematic and gross human rights violations -- and to set in place safeguards to ensure that such diamondrelated abuses could never happen again. However, the violence at the heart of Zimbabwe's diamond sector - and the KP's lacklustre response - calls that commitment into question and is undermining public confidence in the diamond trade.