Sunday, April 05, 2009

Chiazdwa Diamonds banned

from 360 news (SA):

The world's diamond certification body on Friday ordered a ban on the trade of diamonds from eastern Zimbabwe, over concerns of human rights violations at the Chiadzwa diamond fields in Marange....


It's about the murders

from the Zimbabwean:


An international team from the United Nation’s world diamond regulatory body, has arrived in Zimbabwe to investigate reports of mass murder at the hands of soldiers, in the Chiadzwa mining fields.
The team from the Kimberley Process, which was founded by the UN to monitor the trade in ‘blood diamonds’, arrived earlier this week and are set to report back on the widespread accounts of killings in the Chiadzwa area, which has been the centre of controversy since last October when the army was called in to disperse thousands of illegal diamond hunters. The government had originally illegally seized the Chiadzwa diamond claim from British-based Africa Consolidated Resources in 2007, and set off a diamond rush when it encouraged locals to help themselves.
But the arrival of the army last year resulted in violence and murder, after the area was sealed off with military roadblocks and troops. Accounts from survivors of the military onslaught detailed the killings, speaking of machine-gun attacks by helicopter and armed attacks by troops on the ground. Civilians in the region also reported that anyone attempting to enter Chiadzwa was arrested and often tortured and killed.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights have said that about 5,000 people were arrested during the army operation, with three quarters of them showing signs of having been tortured severely. The MDC has also claimed that hundreds of people were buried in mass graves “to hide the regime’s murderous activities,” and that the soldiers sent to ‘guard’ the fields had become illegal diamond dealers themselves.

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