Other Facets no 23
In ‘Zimbabwe diamond rush turns poisonous: Accusations lead to nationalization plan’ a diamond rush in the remote region of Marange in eastern Zimbabwe became the subject of a series of angry exchanges between the government and its critics beginning late in 2006. ‘Diamond smuggling in Venezuela, four month failure to communicate’ shows how recent efforts to halt illicit mining in Venezuela have led only to violence and death. A combination of high taxes, ineffective currency controls and bureaucratic ineptitude has driven Venezuela’s diamond dealers underground. In ‘Global Witness researcher arrested in Angola: Espionage charges denied’ a Global Witness researcher, Dr. Sarah Wykes, was arrested in Angola’s oil-rich enclave of Cabinda on Feb. 16, on charges of espionage. Wykes was in Cabinda gathering information for a report on Angola's oil industry. In ‘Blood Diamond fears fade: Big challenges remain,’ Blood Diamond director Ed Zwick has spoken frequently about the movie, Africa and diamonds. In a January interview with the diamond industry’s chief iconoclast, Martin Rapaport, he said that he had approached the story as a historian, journalist and storyteller. In ‘DRC: UN Peacekeeping Mission extended. Report finds natural resources fuelling new conflicts,’ found continuing problems in the exploitation of natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The current situation cannot be viewed solely through the lens of the activities of structured armed groups, the report says. In ‘Tucson gem show arrests, rare event’ two men, one a native of Guinea and the other a naturalized US citizen from Sierra Leone, were arrested in a room at a motel in Tucson Arizona after allegedly selling a seven carat rough diamond for $15,300 to undercover Immigration and Customers Enforcement agents posing as gem buyers the previous day. ‘Canada supports EITI’ the Canadian government announced its official support for the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI). “Our goals are to reduce poverty, promote democracy and reduce the risk of conflict,” said Josée Verner, Minister for the Canadian International Development Agency. The newsletter then has a brief look at its Media Watch and also does a book review.