Tag Archive | "Zimbabwe"

Denver Journal of International Law and Policy

Preview: A Conflict of Diamonds:The Kimberley Process and Zimbabwe’s Marange Diamond Fields

As Volume 40, Issue 4 of the Denver Journal of International Law and Policy heads off to the printers, we’re previewing articles in that issue.  Here is A Conflict of Diamonds:The Kimberley Process and Zimbabwe’s Marange Diamond Fields, by Julie Nichols.

In 2003, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (“KPCS”) entered into force as a novel approach to regulate the diamond industry and combat associated atrocities regarding “conflict diamonds.”  Fueled by the recent history of bloody civil wars, and graphically publicized slaughters and amputations by rebel groups funded by African diamonds, diamond-producing nations, the diamond industry’s leaders and human rights groups created a process whereby “conflict diamonds” are identified and systematically excluded from the legitimate trade.  However, the KPCS definition of “conflict diamond” has proved unacceptably restrictive.  Diamonds from Zimbabwe’s Marange fields are mined using systematic relocation, mass murdering campaigns and, recently discovered, torture camps. Yet, because Zimbabwe’s “legitimate” government, not a rebel group, controls the Marange mines, the KPCS has certified these diamonds as conflict-free, fit for international trade.  To stop this unacceptable situation, in which perpetrators of systematic and violent human rights abuses benefit from their crimes, the KPCS’s definition of “conflict diamonds” must change.  The diamond industry must support such a change by refusing to allow trade of any diamond mined through such systematic abuse.  If these changes are not adopted, the United States must use all additional means, including legislative boycotts and civil suits, to stop the atrocities occurring today in Zimbabwe’s Marange diamond fields.

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University of Denver Sturm College of Law