The Kimberley Process has temporarily suspended the Central African Republic, which has seen increasing violence in its diamond areas.
The vote to suspend the country received no objections, Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, the KP chair, said in an “administrative decision.”
CAR’s diamonds meet the traditional definition of “conflict diamonds,” because the violence there is led by a rebel group. The certification scheme had previously called for “increased vigilance” regarding the CAR situation.
The suspension means that CAR no longer has the right to export its diamonds to KP-member countries.
The decision received support from Eli Izhakoff, president of the World Diamond Council.
“This is a tough but appropriate measure that will defend both the integrity of the diamond pipeline and, also, ultimately the wellbeing of the people of the Central African Republic,” Izhakoff said in a statement. “It is a procedure which has shown itself to be effective in the past. I call on all members of the industry to be vigilant and take all necessary measures to ensure that, until further notice from the KP, no rough diamonds from the CAR are handled and or traded.”