July 1, 2003
CAR Gets Kimberley Approval
A Kimberley Process review mIssion has given the Central African Republic, which underwent a coup in March, a passing grade for the new government's implementation of the Kimberley Certification Scheme, says the Rapaport Report. The review mission, the Kimberley group's first, took place from June 8-14. The reviewing team included representatives of the European Community, South Africa, Guinea, the World Diamond Council and Global Witness, a human rights organization.
The mission reports CAR has functioning systems to control and trace rough diamonds, and a new presidential decree implementing the Kimberley scheme was adopted and signed the week after the mission's visit. But the group said there were areas that needed improvement, such as the licensing of small miners and the regulation of mining sites.
Global Witness notes CAR is the tenth largest diamond producing country in the world and the group estimates the nation generates about $100 million in revenues per year. There have been numerous coup attemps in CAR since 1996 and it's also a problematic area due to its proximity to rebel-held territory in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where conflict diamond trading takes place.
by Peggy Jo Donahue