Conflict diamonds from the Central African Republic (CAR) continue to enter world diamond markets via Cameroon in direct contravention of the Kimberley Process and international law. This is according to a report released by Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) last Friday (December 2).
The proceeds of the diamond sales are probably arming the Seleka rebels which are the same group that overthrew the government in 2013 and in the process killed fifteen members of the South African National Defence Force.
Conflict diamonds are defined as “rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments”. CAR is the only source of traditionally defined conflict diamonds in the world today.
The Kimberley Process, established in 2003, “is a regulatory body designed to halt the phenomenon of conflict diamonds,” so the situation in CAR is exactly why the KP was established in the first place.
The PAC report suggests that efforts by the UN and KP have focused on CAR’s diamond supply chain, with very little scrutiny of the “long unpatrolled border with CAR”. The Central African Republic and illicit diamond trafficking – the story thus far:
March 2013: A coup d’etat by Seleka rebels sparks widespread civil unrest. The rebels capture the capital city, Bangui, and overthrow the government. They also capture the strategic diamond-mining town of Bria.
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