UNITA Still Has Gems and Guns

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(Rapaport…November 18, 2002) The official Angolan press agency says a new United Nations (UN) report shows that rebels still possess large quantities of conflict diamonds and illegal weapons.

The National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) is trading $1 million worth of diamonds each day, the UN Sanctions Committee estimates in the report, written at the command of the Security Council. The council is expected to discuss the situation in Angola this week.

Although UNITA turned in many weapons during talks with the government, not all were accounted for, according to the report. Those could be run over the border into the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), its authors said. A South African newspaper recently reported that former UNITA fighters are also mining illegal diamonds again.

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