Republic of Congo Cut From 'Clean' Diamond List

An international diamond “policing” scheme has stricken the Republic of Congo from its list of countries certified as following global trading rules, and accused the nation of exporting illegal gems.

The Kimberley Process fights to keep “conflict diamonds” — used to finance armed rebellion — off the world market by pushing for a transparent production and export system. The removal of the central African nation from the list of countries dealing in “clean” diamonds effectively drives the Congo from the legitimate international diamond trade. A team of experts, headed by former South African Kimberley Process chief Abbey Chicane and including experts from Canada, Israel, the World Diamond Council and the Ottawa-based NGO Partnership Africa Canada (PAC), toured Congo in June to test its claim that its gems totalling five million-carats in annual diamond exports were mined in the country or imported from legitimate producers. Full Story

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