SW Radio Africa reports the seemingly unilateral decision by the chairman of the international diamond trade watchdog to allow Zimbabwe to resume diamond exports has been rejected by among others the United States, Canada and Israel.
Some members of the industry body want to keep a ban on exports of Zimbabwe’s diamonds which could potentially be worth $2bn/year and include a vast stockpile built up during international sanctions, because of ongoing smuggling out of the rich Chiadzwa fields and reports of sustained human rights abuses there.
The situation at Chiadzwa remains largely clouded in secrecy, with the army still maintaining tight control of the area. But recent reports coming out of Chiadzwa have raised concerns that nothing has improved. Last month it was reported that more than 100 dogs were set on miners by police and soldiers, leaving more than 80 people injured. And earlier this year an undercover investigation by a UK based newsgroup found that at least 20 people are killed each month at the alluvial diamond fields.