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Yamba Statement Approves Zimbabwe's Rough Exports

U.S. State Department Says Exports Should Not Proceed

Jun 24, 2011 9:03 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... A notice issued to Kimberley Process members by chairman Mathieu Yamba,  stated that the intercessional meeting, which  just wrapped up in Kinshasa yesterday, "endorses exports of production from the compliant mining operations of Marange Resources  and Mbada" in Zimbabwe effective immediately. The notice was reportedly distributed without consensus of Kimberley Process members.  (View Yamba's summary statement PDF.)

The U.S. State Department issued a statement today saying that it was "deeply disappointed with the Kinshasa intercessional meeting" on  Zimbabwe. Nonetheless, the U.S. reiterated its  strong support of the Kimberley Process and a desire to find a way forward to preserve the scheme's credibility. "The United States believes that progress with respect to exports from the Marange area of Zimbabwe can occur solely through a mechanism agreed to by consensus among Kimberley Process participants."

Given that member states had not reached a consensus on Zimbabwe's exports, and that the Yamba's circular did not attract consensus either,  the U.S. State Department added, "We believe that working toward a solution must continue, and that until consensus is reached, exports from Marange should not proceed."

"We remain ready to work with the Kimberley Process chair and others to find a solution. The Kimberley Process works best when producers and consumers are collaborating, and when civil society is an active participant. The U.S. would like to ensure the Kimberley Process’s future and enable diamond exports to contribute positively to the region’s people and economy."

Global Witness may or may not issue a separate statement since civil society members expressed their views on the plenary meeting yesterday. 

Yamba declared in his post-meeting statement that exports may take place from other mining operations  in the Marange diamond fields as well,  following verification of compliance by the  Kimberley Process monitoring team, which Yamba named to be Abbey Chikane and Mark Van Bockstael. In the event there were any disagreements between the monitors, Yamba stated that he would resolve the matter.

Monitors would verify compliance of exports from Zimbabwe, excluding those from Marange Resources and Mbada, and have full access to and be able to verify post shipment mine level data on an ongoing basis.

Yamba's statement also noted that Zimbabwe committed to uphold Kimberley Process Certification Scheme "minimum requirements and guarantees the participation of the local civil society" in matters related to the scheme.

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Tags: approval, diamonds, Jeff Miller, kimberley, process, rough, Zimbabwe
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