According to The Diplomatic Courier, which monitors diplomatic
relations worldwide, the question of Zimbabwe’s controversial diamond
production in the disputed Marange fields in the eastern Manicaland
province had ‘stalled’ the KP.
The organisation warned that a major row was now certain as Zimbabwe
prepares to take over the KP chairmanship from the Democratic Republic
of Congo, whose recent unilateral authorisation of Marange diamond
sales plunged the organisation into turmoil.
South Africa, a major producer, boycotted a recent KP working group
meeting in Dubai in solidarity with Zimbabwe. The meeting had been
called by the European Union.
Now, according to the Courier, another bruising fight is looming as
the United States will almost certainly oppose Zimbabwe’s ascension.
“There remains much uncertainty as to whether the United States will
allow Zimbabwe to take up the next chair of the KPCS,” the Courier’s
contributing editor, Michelle Acuto commented last week in a report
entitled Diamonds:Still a bloody affair.
“In short, the Process internal cracks are looming large on its
future, while Zimbabwean undocumented diamonds continue to trickle
into the global market via third parties such as Mozambique. The
titles from two recent Global Witness reports sum up this progressive
derailing, calling on the return of the blood diamond via Zimbabwe,
and pointing at the lessons unlearned on the international trade in
The report said the recent events had shown that the KP’s internal
mechanisms “continue to be loose, easily circumvented, and at times
contrasting, while internal squabbles in the Kimberly scheme and
continuing cross-border smuggling maintains a substantial flow of
conflict roughs in the global market. The diamond trade remains, at
the end of the day, a bloody affair with little attention on the world
Mugabe has repeatedly blackmailed African countries that sought to
oppose him in international bodies such as KP, branding them puppets
of the West. After the KP’s current DRC chair Mathieu Yamba allowed
Zimbabwe to sell its ‘blood diamonds’, obtained amid much violence in
which hiundreds of Marange residents and illegal miners were murdered
in horrific army airstrikes, the European Union called for an
emergency session of the KP in Dubai. However, SA was armtwisted by
Harare and forced to pull out of the meeting, stating that it would be
compelled to enforce decisions made in its absence.
This played into the hands of Zimbabwe, which immediately offloaded
hundreds of millions dollars from it’s stockpile, mined in
questionable circumstances by the Chinese firm Anjin, which was
granted a licence last year amid a veil of secrecy.
However, the country’s credibility problems are far from over. Mines
minister Obert Mpofu acknowledged as much last week when he took the
country’s military chiefs, including defence minister Emmerson
Mnangagwa and defence forces commander Constantine Chiwenga on a tour
the Anjin facility at Marange. The presence of the army in Marange is
one of the contentious issues dogging the KP amid reports that
soldiers are looting and smuggling diamonds through neighbouring
Mugabe has used his vast knowledge of international relations to
divide most organisations in which Zimbabwe is a member. He pulled
Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth after ordering the invasion of
white-owned farms, caused major divisions among world powers in the
United Nations Security Council when he rigged the 2008 elections,
threw the African Union and SADC into unending conflicts and has now
effectively caused major rifts in the KP.
Organisations such as the Diamond Development Initiative and
Responsible Jewelry Council are calling for implementation of a system
known as ‘Forevermark’, where every individual gemstone mined will
bear a special mark of origin.Post published in: News