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Marange, Chiadzwa and other diamond fields and the Kimberley Process - Index of articles
Process Zimbabwe monitor expresses outrage over theft of documents
Nyaira, VOA News
Chikane told VOA that
he was still considering his next move, but added that he still
sees Zimbabwe as on course to receive certification from the Kimberly
Process to sell diamonds from Marange into international markets
Kimberly Process monitor
Abbey Chikane expressed outrage Tuesday at the alleged removal of
documents from his briefcase by state security agents while he was
in Zimbabwe, photocopies of which were provided to state media.
The Herald newspaper,
the Sunday Mail and the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation published
or broadcast extracts from the documents and e-mails in reports
that accused the Kimberly Process of being a tool of West nations,
in particular the United States and Britain, which have expressed
concern over illegal diamond exports.
Chikane said in an interview
that he was still considering his next move, but added that he continues
to see Zimbabwe as on course to receive certification to sell diamonds
from the controversial Marange alluvial field into international
markets. Human rights groups have alleged abuses of local residents
and illegal exports of diamonds.
In one of the photocopied
emails, U.S. State Department special adviser on conflict diamonds
Brad Brooks-Rubin was said to have advised Chikane to "endeavor
to meet with the representatives of the parliamentary committee"
on mines that has been prevented by Mines Minister Obert Mpofu from
conducting a fact-finding visit to Marange. Reports said Brooks-Rubin
also urged Chikane to meet civil society representatives.
Chikane did ask to meet
with the parliamentary committee, leading some officials in Harare
to charge that his itinerary was prepared for him by the West. Some
of the e-mails allegedly purloined from Chikane were from Canada,
the European Union and other unnamed African countries. The KP monitor
said he planned his tour himself.
Responding to critics
who said Chikane has not talked about human rights abuses in Marange,
the Kimberly official responded that his brief is to look at the
technical standards Harare must meet. However, Chikane said human
rights groups in the Kimberly Process work closely with all members
in trying to address human rights issues.
But Dewa Mavhinga,
regional coordinator for the Crisis
in Zimbabwe Coalition, said that if Zimbabwean officials broke
into the baggage of the monitor, the Kimberly Process must take
serious action against Harare.
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