Kimberley Process Decision on Zimbabwe Stirs Controversy

Earlier this year, a Human Rights Watch report said it had uncovered evidence of mass murder, rape, and other atrocities in the Marange diamond fields in Zimbabwe. Shortly after, a Kimberley Process monitoring mission visited Zimbabwe and found evidence of “noncompliance” with KP standards. According to leaked reports, members recommended the country be suspended. Yet at the recent Kimberley Process Plenary, Zimbabwe was allowed to remain a KP member. Sources said the country's South African neighbors blocked a full suspension. Instead, Zimbabwe agreed to a “work plan,” negotiated in a grueling seven-hour session, to bring it into compliance with the KP. Among other conditions, the plan calls for no diamonds to be exported from Marange unless supervised by an independent Kimberley monitor. The decision not to suspend Zimbabwe outraged human righ

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