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World Diamond Council Threatens Zimbabwe With Suspension Over Rights Violations

The World Diamond Council has called for Zimbabwe to take decisive action to end human rights and other abuses in the eastern Marange diamond field or it will “not hesitate” to call for its suspension from the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, barring Zimbabwean diamonds from world markets.

A Kimberly Process team recently collected testimony in Marange district, Manicaland province, and issued a hard-hitting report citing serious human rights abuses and illegal traffic in diamonds, urging an end to Zimbabwe military control of the diamond field.

World Diamond Council Chairman Eli Isakhoff told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that a final Kimberly Process report will be out in the next week and that Harare will have 30 days to indicate the action it will take, or face suspension.

From Mutare, Director Farai Maguwu of the Center for Research and Development, who has been monitoring the situation in Marange, said that while human rights violations are now less frequent, the military is still mining diamonds in partnership with local operators.

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