RAPAPORT… The World Diamond Council (WDC) has become the latest body to come out against a recent Amnesty International report that claimed diamond
trafficking was being used to fund violence in the Central African Republic
WDC president Edward Asscher said in an interview with Bloomberg that the Kimberley Process (KP) had taken “more than 99 percent” of conflict
diamonds off the market.
“The diamond council
gladly re-invites Amnesty to participate and join us and the [KP’s] civil
society coalition looking into aspects of CAR and the whole Kimberley
Process,” he said.
The KP has banned the
export of diamonds from the CAR since May 2013, two months after the overthrow of President Francois
Bozize, a Christian, by mostly Muslim militias.
Asscher’s response comes
after the Amnesty report, published in late September, drew criticism from the Antwerp
World Diamond Centre, which claimed there were “factual errors” in the NGO’s output.
The report alleged that there were “human rights abuses, smuggling and
tax dodging throughout the diamond supply chain” from CAR to Belgium and the
UAE and said checks and audits in Antwerp and Dubai “could be open to abuse
because of the sheer number of diamonds and traders involved as well as a lack
of effective oversight.”
adviser Lucy Graham told Bloomberg the organisation’s report was “a damning
indictment of the Kimberley Process and its failure over a number of years to
address human rights abuses and other illegal and unethical practices” and demanded stricter laws to require companies to
investigate their supply chains and disclose what measures they have taken.