Cote d’Ivoire New Forces Deny Dealing in Diamonds

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RAPAPORT…  There has been no change in the political landscape of Cote d’Ivoire since the diamond industry and the United Nations imposed embargo on rough. The country has been divided by rebels in the north and the government controlled south since 2002.

Cote d’Ivoire’s northern led New Forces however deny dealing in diamonds to fund their cause. Moussa Dosso, the New Forces administration’s economy minister, told Reuters that allegations of diamonds for arms were not true. He said residents were mining diamonds, as they have for 40 years, and proceeds from diamonds residents sell do not fund the Forces.

“We don’t get a penny from the revenue from diamonds… There are terrible expressions like ‘war diamonds’, which we contest,” he told Reuters.

The New Forces admit to using revenue from cocoa, cotton, and timber to fund the cause.

The United Nations reported in October that diamonds from northern Cote d’Ivoire were making their way into neighboring Ghana, where they were cleared for export with Kimberley Certificates. Ghana has since implemented a working group to impose tighter controls of diamonds entering and leaving the country.

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