Will Zimbabwe Crisis Kill Kimberley?



Zimbabwe’s status within the Kimberley Process is causing the biggest crisis in the international certification scheme’s seven-year history, with critics raising doubts about the KP’s assurance that its diamonds are “clean.”A June 2009 Human Rights Watch report charged that Zimbabwe government forces had killed, raped, and tortured illegal diggers in the Marange diamond fields in a crackdown beginning in autumn 2008.Nongovernmental organizations say the abuses continue to this day and have called for the country’s suspension from the KP, which means it could not legally sell gems to member countries.When a KP monitoring mission ­visited Zimbabwe last summer, par­ticipants found evidence of noncom­pliance with the KP. But at the KP’s official plenary in Namibia two months later, Zimbabwe’s allies, including Rus­sia and its African neighbors, blocked full removal. They
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