U.S. Dpt. of State Issues Statement on Zimbabwe

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RAPAPORT…  Press Release: The U.S. Department of State issued the following statement on Zimbabwe: In light of serious concerns about Zimbabwe’s compliance with the Kimberley Process (KP) rough diamond certification scheme, we await full and expeditious implementation of the stringent controls that were agreed upon at the KP plenary held in Swakopmund, Nambia on November 5 for the exportation of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange fields.

The United States expects that if the work plan that obligates Zimbabwe to commit substantial effort and resources is not thoroughly implemented, the KP will suspend Zimbabwe’s status in the KP certification scheme. We further note that Zimbabwe agreed not to export Marange diamonds until the monitoring mechanism is established. In addition, the United States remains deeply concerned about human rights abuses in and around the Marange diamond fields of Zimbabwe.

The United States welcomes the progress made during the KP plenary regarding increased oversight for exports from Guinea, new measures regarding the identification of, and cooperation on, suspicious shipments and efforts to improve coordination on technical and development assistance.

We also urge prompt resolution of KP discussions on the critical role of respect for human rights in the administration of participants’ diamond-mining sectors, given that the KP itself was created to mitigate such abuses in nations facing conflict or internal strife.

We urge all within the Kimberley Process to demonstrate their full commitment to the principles upon which the KP was established.

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