Kimberley Process Chairman Mathieu Yamba of the Democratic Republic of Congo has authorized the immediate resumption of export sales of rough diamonds from Zimbabwe’s troubled Marange fields in a move that has caused an uproar within the group.
In a letter to Kimberley members Yamba said all unresolved issues around the Marange field would be addressed at a meeting of the watchdog group November 20-23.
Yamba said any Kimberley decision to halt exports from a country must be subject to a "more credible mechanism that includes verification of allegations and due process."
A Kimberley source told Studio 7 there was no Kimberley vote in the matter. As a result the United States has issued a warning that the names of all diamond companies which purchase Marange diamonds will be published on an American government website.
Washington also reportedly plans to ask the US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control to keep a close watch on all diamond transactions.
The European Union is also arguing that the decision was taken without due process and therefore cannot stand.
Yamba said that after the Kimberley Process failed to reach agreement on the Zimbabwe case in November 2010 an attempt to resolve the impasse with an amended agreement failed due to reservations by Zimbabwe and other participants.