UK market warned against Zim blood diamonds

A UK based ethical jewellery company is warning customers and others against buying Zimbabwe’s diamonds, saying that their recent certification does not guarantee that they are ‘conflict free’.

Ingle and Rhode are London based jewellers with a commitment to ethical diamond-sourcing. They have launched a new ‘infographic’ that can be put on websites and shared digitally around the world, to explain why a diamond certified through the international diamond watchdog the Kimberley Process (KP) does not guarantee it is conflict free.

The infographic explains that while the agreement which formed the basis for the KP aims to guarantee that diamonds certified under the process do not help finance rebel armies, it does allow the funding of oppressive governments which use diamond wealth to tyrannise their own people.

Tim Ingle from Ingle and Rhode said in a statement that the KP “only addresses diamonds produced in areas controlled by rebel militias. It doesn't take into consideration violence committed by government forces.”

"It is important that consumers are aware that the KP does not guarantee that a diamond is conflict free. In order to know whether a diamond has been ethically produced you need to be able to trace it back to its source,” Ingle said.

His company’s infographic focuses on diamond production in Zimbabwe, where diamonds were last year cleared by the KP for international trade. The graphic details the human rights abuses in the area and the amount of money that is believed to have been funnelled straight to ZANU PF to support its election strategy.

According to the graphic, almost US$60 million worth of diamond revenue is suspected of bypassing Zimbabwe’s national treasury completely, going straight to allies of Robert Mugabe’s.

The infographic illustrating these key facts can be found here:

Post published in: News

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