Thursday, December 23, 2010

UAE joins ban on Zimbabwe’s blood diamonds

The UAE has joined an international ban on the trade of ‘blood’ diamonds from the Marange fields in Zimbabwe, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre said.

The Arab state signed the UN-backed Kimberly Process, which seeks to control the trade in rough diamonds and prevent their use to finance conflict. Other signatories include the UK, US, India and Australia

Marange, in eastern Zimbabwe, contains the largest-known concentration of diamonds in the world. The field was seized by the Mugabe government in 2006 from the mining venture African Consolidation Resources.

A survey report for De Beers indicated that the Marange fields have a ratio of more than 1,000 carat per hundred tons, eight times higher than peers.

Profits from Marange’s smuggled diamonds have since been linked with human rights abuses and violence, with reports suggesting Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has profited from the illegal trade.

A cable from the US Embassy in Zimbabwe leaked by the website Wikileaks earlier this month alleged much of the trade passed through the Gulf.

In a statement, the DMCC said diamonds from Marange would no longer be permitted.

“We can confirm that the UAE KP office is in full compliance. The notice issued states that the ban will remain in place until further instruction from KP.”

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