October 16, 2001
Conflict Diamonds Continue to Leave Angola
More than $1 million worth of conflict diamonds are smuggled out of Angola every day, constituting an estimated 5% of last year's world supply of rough diamonds, says a new report from the United Nations panel monitoring sanctions on Angola's UNITA rebels.
According to the report, Antwerp and South African markets are key points of sale or transit for the smuggled diamonds, and Israel is being used as a laundering route for some imports. The monitoring group says more permanent monitoring capabilities are needed. It also urges all countries to close loopholes that could be exploited by UNITA.
In other conflict news, the government of Sierra Leone and the Revolutionary United Front rebels reaffirmed their commitment to the peace process and agreed to speed up the process of disarmament. The new schedule has disarmament near completion by the end of November. The two sides also agreed commanders of RUF and the government-backed Civil Defense Force would disarm.
- by Julia M. Duncan