Other Facets no 30
‘Zimbabwe: Massacre, smuggling and KP dithering’ talks about how in January, the Kimberley process was urged by NGOs, industry representatives and some governments to deal with reports of an October 2008 massacre of artisanal diamond diggers by the Zimbabwe military, and with evidence of widespread diamond smuggling from Zimbabwe.’ In ‘Trade bans not the answer in DRC: Report urges support for formalizing the informal sector’ by Nicholas Garrett and Harrison Mitchell challenges calls for a ban or disruption of trade in cassiterite, coltan, and wolframite from the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), arguing that such measures have the potential to wreck the livelihoods of up to one million people regionally and would perpetuate insecurity in Eastern DRC. In ‘The Taylor trial: Request for acquittal rejected, son gets 97 years’ war crimes judges in The Hague rejected a request to acquit Liberia’s former President, Charles Taylor, on charges of crimes against humanity. The request, which came almost 18 months after Taylor’s trial began, was based on an argument that there was not enough evidence for the trial to proceed. ‘Venezuela update: The Kimberley sham’ reports that since the October 2008 KP Plenary when the Venezuelan “solution” was reached, there has been zero communication between Venezuela and any KP working group. Venezuela has issued no reports on diamond production or exports, and there has been no “engagement” of any kind. ‘Guinea and Lebanon: Something Fishy’ Diamond Intelligence Briefs (DIB) reported on what it called “a major diamond laundering route” between Guinea and Lebanon. Huge volumes of grossly undervalued Guinean diamonds are being imported into Lebanon, while Lebanon is actually exporting more high-value diamonds than it imports.