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Saturday, May 28, 2011

WFDB and Local Zimbabwe Group at Odds Over Diamond Sales

The Marange diamond fields.

Two organizations are sending different messages on whether Zimbabwe should sell diamonds from its controversial Marange diamond fields, where human rights abuses and smuggling have happened in the past and are alleged to be continuing, according to reports from Zimbabwe newspapers. 

The World Federation of Diamond Bourses is urging the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme to allow the country to sell diamonds from the mine, which is considered by many to contain the largest deposit of diamonds in the world. 

Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Blood Diamonds Campaign, an advocacy group, warned against any rushed decision to allow Zimbabwe to resume diamond trading, saying the local industry is still not compliant with international standards. 

Zimbabwe, for its part, has maintained that it adheres to the guidelines of the Kimberley Process and will sell its diamonds with or without its permission or certification scheme. 

The Kimberley Process, for its part, is divided over the issue and has been at a stalemate that is threatening to bring down the entire organization, which is charged with ending the trade in "blood" or "conflict" diamonds, which have fueled decades of devastating conflicts.

To read stories from the Zimbabwian newspapers, go to the Jewelry News Network Twitter feed, @JewelryNewsNet. To read more about the issue go to the Jewelry News Network search engine on the home page and do a search with the words "Zimbabwe" or "Kimberley Process."