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Zimbabwe halts diamond sale, awaits monitor
Author: Nelson Banya, Reuters Africa, Published on: 7 January 2010
Zimbabwe's government on Thursday halted the sale of diamonds from its controversial Marange fields, saying the process would only go ahead under international supervision... Thankful Musukutwa, permanent secretary in the mines ministry...said the government and the KPCS [Kimberley Process Certification Scheme], which regulates the global diamond trade, were in the process of engaging a monitor to oversee the diamond sales... Rights groups accuse security forces of committing widespread abuses to stop thousands of illegal diamond miners who descended upon the poorly secured fields in the eastern part of the country and have been pushing for a ban on Zimbabwean diamonds... The government, through mining arm Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation, has partnered little-known South African companies, Core Mining and Grandwell Holdings, to set up Mbada Diamonds, a joint venture firm which is mining diamonds in Marange.