Britain Leads Crackdown On Conflict Diamonds

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(Rapaport…May 30, 2000) Britain is pressing the Group of Eight (G8) industrialized nations, to participate in an international crackdown on the trade of illicit diamonds that have fueled the Sierra Leone civil war.

British foreign secretary Robin Cook wants to impose an international certification scheme on uncut rough diamonds, making it illegal to import the gems. Governments in diamond producing countries would be responsible for the certification process.

Although African diamond producing countries have already agreed to introduce a set of diamond regulatory and monitoring systems, South African (SA) Mineral and Energy Minister Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka said the SA Government’s position was to devise its own mechanisms to govern the industry, rather than accept outside ideas forced on it by northern countries.

Botswana and Namibia are in favor of the certification scheme.

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