Rapaport Group calls on diamond trade to avoid Marange diamonds

The Rapaport Group strongly opposes the recent decision of the Kimberley Process (KP) to allow for the immediate exports from the mining operations Mbada Diamonds and Marange Resources in the Marange region of Zimbabwe.

We hereby publicly warn members of the diamond trade that the KP does not certify against human rights abuses and KP certification does not ensure that diamonds are not involved in human rights abuses. Furthermore:

1. There are persistent reports of human rights violations related to Marange diamonds.

2. In spite of KP certification these diamonds are under U.S., EU and U.K. government sanctions and are illegal for trade by U.S., EU and U.K. citizens and entities owned by them.

3. The funds generated from the sale of these diamonds are not properly accounted for. It is likely that they will be used to fund human rights violations in Zimbabwe.

The Rapaport Group calls on all ethical members of the diamond trade to cease and desist from the trading of Marange diamonds. In the event that firms insist on buying and producing them we demand that these Marange diamonds be separated from non-Marange diamonds so that they are not sold to U.S., EU or U.K. entities. We firmly believe that the mixing of Marange diamonds with non-Marange diamonds and their subsequent sale to U.S., EU or U.K. entities without disclosure is unethical and illegal. We demand that firms selling Marange diamonds do so with full disclosure, similar to the disclosure requirements for treated diamonds.

RapNet – Rapaport Diamond Trading Network continues to ban the trading of any diamonds sourced from Marange, Zimbabwe even if such diamonds have KP certification. Members found to have knowingly offered Marange diamonds for sale on RapNet will be expelled and their names will be publicly communicated. RapNet will be publishing new trading rules and ethical guidelines in the near future.

The Rapaport Group warns the diamond trade that continued sourcing and legitimization of diamonds involved in human rights abuses threatens the integrity and reputation of all diamonds. Diamond trade organizations particularly those promoting responsible trade and those serving in the U.S., EU and U.K. trade should immediately issue clear guidelines banning all their members from trading Marange diamonds. We believe it is unethical for trade organizations to refrain from clearly banning the trade in illegal Marange diamonds under the guise of supporting the KP.

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