NGO Questions DRC KP Launch

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(Rapaport…January 8, 2003) The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) officially launched the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in a ceremony chaired by the Minister of Mining, M. Jean Louis Nkulu, on January 7, 2003.

The Minister of Mining restated the aim of the global government and nongovernmental organization (NGO) effort to combat “conflict diamonds” and implement the rules of the Kimberley Process.

Badouin K. Hamuli, director of CENADEP, a Congolese NGO, attended the conference and received the impression that the conference was more a demonstration of political will, not effectiveness.

“Rebel movements control half of the country, including some important diamond rich areas…more international pressure is needed on rebel leaders and their supporting countries. The DRC government needs to take measures to combat smugglers. If officials at the borders are not well paid, which is the case today, the Kimberley Process might be inefficient,” remarked Hamuli.

Hamuli stated that his and other NGO efforts were well received by the Minister of Mining but he is certain that there is more work to be done in Central Africa to stamp out “conflict diamonds.”

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