More effort needed to meet diamond rules, says WDC

eli_izhakoffJOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe needs to work harder to comply with diamond trade rules, says World Diamond Council President Eli Izhakoff. (Pictured)

Although he said his organisation welcomed the Kimberley Process (KP) decision to allow Zimbabwe to export diamonds, more needed to be done to ensure the country complied with international diamond trade regulations.

His comments came days after the KP cleared the export of diamonds mined from the controversial Marange fields in eastern Zimbabwe following intense negotiations at the WDC in Russia.

Although we can regard this (Kimberley Process decision on Zimbabwe ) as progress, there remains much to do. Although the discussions were often intense, a great deal of goodwill was shown. We need to build on this and to continue the hard work of the past several months, Izhakoff told The Zimbabwean in a statement from the United Kingdom.

WDC is one of the most prominent organisations that have, in the past, called for Zimbabwe to be barred from trading in diamonds following human rights violations at the countrys diamond fields.

Over the last two years, civil society and human rights organisations said hundreds of informal diamond panners had been killed in eastern Zimbabwe by Zimbabwean army and police, themselves involved in the illicit exploitation and smuggling of diamonds from Marange.

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