Congo (Brazzaville) Initiates Diamond Reform

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(Rapaport…August 12, 2004) The Republic of Congo (Brazzaville) has announced reforms including better controls and organization at mines, improved methods for trading diamonds and better controls on dealers to clean up its diamond trading industry, the Associated Press reported on August 12.

Brazzaville’s President Denis Sassou Nguesso personally announced the series of measures, saying that his aim was to “reintegrate the country in the Kimberley Process”. The country was suspended by the Kimberley Process in order to stop the flow of diamonds from conflict zones. Illegal diamond smuggling fuelled many of West and Central Africa’s conflicts in the 1990s.

Kimberley Process investigators said Republic of Congo’s (Brazzaville) diamond exports exceeded its production by 100 per cent – meaning it was smuggling virtually all of the gems it marketed.

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