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US Urges 'Full, Expeditious' Implementation of Kimberly Plan for Zimbabwe

The U.S. government says it is still concerned about human rights abuses in and around the Marange alluvial diamond field of eastern Zimbabwe, and wants to see "full and expeditious" implementation of a Kimberly Process monitoring plan agreed last week.

The comments Tuesday from the U.S. State Department followed a decision last week by the membership of the Kimberly Process Compliance Scheme not to suspend Zimbabwe as a member and so bar the export of some of its diamonds to international markets.

State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said that "we await full and expeditious implementation of the stringent controls that were agreed at the KP PLenary in Swakopmund, Namibia on Nov. 5 for exports of rough diamonds" from the Marange field.

Though declining to suspend Zimbabwe, the Kimberly Process will now supervise exports.

Kelly said Washington "expects" that if the Kimberly Process work plan is not "thoroughly implemented," the multinational organization will then suspend Zimbabwe.

The State Department also urged the Kimberly Process to conclude internal discussions on the place of human rights in mining administration. Hitherto the group has taken the position that it was formed to stop the sale of conflict diamonds, not to enforce human rights.

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