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Global Witness Urges Trade to Improve CAR Checks

Diamond firms are falling short when it comes to due diligence on Central African Republic, group says.
Jul 12, 2017 8:07 AM   By Rapaport News
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RAPAPORT... Global Witness has called on diamond buyers to step up their due diligence when trading with the Central African Republic (CAR) so as to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the international market.

Last month, the organization published a report alleging that dealers were smuggling rough diamonds out of CAR using social media. In response, the country’s mining minister, Leopold Mboli Fatran, argued that the phenomenon was becoming less common, and said the government “categorically rejects” the report’s allegations.

However, Global Witness responded Tuesday that the situation was “complex,” and urged diamond companies to use greater scrutiny when dealing with CAR.

“A responsible diamond trade can only be built with the commitment and resources of the entire sector,” the organization said. “This includes international companies profiting from the trade in diamonds. These companies have a clear responsibility and wield genuine influence, but their due diligence efforts continue to fall well short of international standards.”

The Kimberley Process (KP) suspended CAR in 2013 — meaning the country was banned from exporting rough diamonds — after rebels took over the nation’s government. Last year, the KP readmitted the country and permitted it to resume exports from certain regions that the KP deemed compliant with regulations to prevent conflict-diamond trading.

In its Tuesday statement, Global Witness acknowledged the CAR government’s “willingness to engage” on the issues the report had addressed, and reiterated “our recommendations for local governance to be strengthened, exports strictly monitored, and for buyers to play their part through robust due diligence.”

The illustration was commissioned by Global Witness from an artist based in CAR.
Tags: car, Central African Republic, Conflict Diamonds, diamonds, Global Witness, jewellery, Jewelry, Kimberley Process, Rapaport News, smuggling
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