UNITA Rebels Attack Diamond Workers

February 23, 2001

UNITA Rebels Attack Diamond Workers

Angolan UNITA rebels claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 18 diamond miners traveling between Dundo and Nzanze in Northeast Angola this week, Reuters reports. This attack came after gunmen ambushed a vehicle owned by Angola's state diamond company Endiama on Sunday, killing a Portuguese worker and two Angolans. UNITA is being blamed for that attack as well as an attack Saturday on the town of Cajiza in Malange province, in which 35 people were killed and several others wounded, the Associated Press reports.

In related news, the U.N. Security Council Thursday debated the possibility of imposing tougher sanctions on UNITA as well as countries that aid the rebel group, Reuters reports. Members endorsed tougher controls for Angola's diamond trade, including a diamond certification system. However, the group was divided over whether countries found selling guns for diamonds to UNITA should be subject to penalties. No formal council action was taken at the meeting.

- by Julia M. Duncan