RAPAPORT… The Kimberley Process suspended the Central African Republic (CAR) from exporting certified rough diamonds, effective immediately. The move was largely expected and follows a rebel coalition takeover of the government in March.
The rebel group, known as Seleka, is suspected of using diamonds to fund illegal activities including arms sales and human rights abuses. A diplomatic note sent to 80 Kimberley Process member states, and signed by the current chair, Welile Nhlapo, stated that certified diamond trading with the impoverished and coup-prone central African nation is over.
Nhlapo recently noted at a World Diamond Council meeting (WDC) that diamond monitoring and controls in CAR had broken down since President Francois Bozize was removed from power.
Diamonds are known to be a main source of income for the CAR government.