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Zimbabwe Security Forces Rebuff Kimberly Call to Leave Diamond Field

Zimbabwe's security forces have declared their intention to retain control of the Chiadzwa diamond field in eastern Manicaland province despite the recommendation by a Kimberley Process team which reported serious abuses in the area that it be demilitarized.

The Kimberly Process Certification Scheme review team reported "horrific" violence in the area where Human Rights Watch recently alleged the Zimbabwean armed forces had killed more than 200 people and tortured and foreced residents to work open-pit diamond mines.

Representatives of the army and the national police meeting at police provincial headquarters in Mutare, Manicaland's capital, and Zimbabwe Republic Police Senior Assistant Commissioner Munorwei Shava Matutu said police would keep up road blocks and patrols.

AFP reported that state television said Minister of Mines Obert Mpofu "concurred with the security forces," though the government earlier said it would withdraw military units from the Chiadzwa field in Marange district, where diamonds were discovered two years ago.

Correspondent Loirdham Moyo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported from Mutare.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

From mutare, loirdham moyo has more.