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7 Jun 2016


Central African Republic to resume diamond exports after Kimberley Process lifts ban on condition of traceability

Central Africa Republic will restart diamond exports three years after its stones were found to be funding armed groups in an inter-religious conflict and placed under embargo...Central African Republic descended into chaos in March 2013 when predominantly Muslim Seleka rebels seized power, triggering reprisals by "anti-balaka" Christian militias who drove tens of thousands of Muslims from the south. Having held successful elections aimed at drawing a line under the violence, new President Faustin-Archange Touadera is seeking to revive the shattered economy. Mines Minister Leopold Mboli Fatrane said on state-owned radio that the partial lifting of the export ban would initially apply to the southern region of Berberati. "Very quickly we'll be working on other zones. As you know, we must follow certain conditions imposed by the Kimberley Process," he said. "We must separate the so-called 'blood diamonds' from those that aren't." The Kimberley Process, which implemented the export ban, is a grouping of producer countries, consumer nations, industry representatives and civil society organisations formed to prevent the sale of diamonds from funding conflicts. Last year, it agreed to allow the government to resume rough diamond exports on the condition that it implemented a programme to ensure the traceability of its stones.