Other Facets no 27
In ‘Venezuela shames Kimberley; mocks vacillating committees’ the Venezuela “problem” began as a test of Kimberley Process resolve to be an effective regulatory system in the fight against conflict diamonds. It has unravelled into an embarrassment and a miserable failure. In ‘Another warlord set for trial; Bemba arrest sends important signal’ Belgian police arrested former Congolese warlord Jean-Pierre Bemba shortly after a warrant had been issued by the International Criminal Court in The Hague. In ‘Merchant of death arrested; caught in classic sting operation’ Viktor Bout, one of the world’s most sinister illicit arms dealers, was arrested at a luxury hotel in Bangkok in March 2008. For years, Bout, 41, ran the largest private fleet of Antonov aircraft, ferrying arms with apparent impunity from Eastern Europe to the Congo, Angola, Liberia and other conflict zones in Africa. In ‘DRC mining contracts review published’ the government of the Democratic Republic of Congo published the final report of its Mining Contracts Review in March, recommending that contracts between the government and several large mining companies be renegotiated. In ‘Taylor’s missing millions’ Chief Prosecutor for the Special Court for Sierra Leone, Stephen Rapp, told journalists that records had been found of two bank accounts in Taylor’s name at Citibank in New York. In ‘Côte d’Ivoire: Conflict diamonds continue’ a joint Kimberley Process-UN mission examined the status of diamond production in Côte d’Ivoire. In ‘New DDI Publication on Sierra Leone’ the Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) released a new publication, Standards & Guidelines for Sierra Leone’s Artisanal Diamond Mining Sector. This guide aims to provide practical information and guidance to officials, organizations and companies interested in Sierra Leone’s artisanal diamond mining sector.