December 7, 2009
In a letter written to the Canadian government’s official representative on the Kimberley Process, Donica Pottie, CJA president and chief executive officer Ken Mulhall expressed his concern the African nation had not been suspended, despite evidence diamonds are being smuggled out of the country contrary to KP rules and its requirements.
The letter comes following implementation of a 12-month plan to get Zimbabwe to full compliance, even after a KP team determined extreme violence had been used against illegal miners at the Marange diamond fields. The decision caused an outcry from member nations, diamond groups, and human rights organizations. According to Mulhall, Canada was one of two countries that voted to suspend Zimbabwe from the KP at its plenary meeting in Namibia last month.
“CJA believes [non-suspension] is unacceptable, and could be detrimental to the diamond certification program that is supposed to ensure conflict-free diamonds,” Mulhall wrote. “CJA deplores the notion that diamonds could be linked to conflict in Zimbabwe, and the association believes that even one diamond from a conflict source is one diamond too many.”
The CJA called on Pottie to provide “visible leadership in regard to this issue and express our strong position to the KP.”
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