Zimbabwe opens blood diamond sale

August 11, 2010 12:00 am

, HARARE, Aug 11 – Zimbabwe on Wednesday opened the first sale of diamonds from its Marange fields since international regulators partially lifted a ban imposed after the military violently seized control of the mines.

About 900,000 carats were on sale, according to Abbey Chikane, the monitor from the international Kimberley Process which is charged with preventing trade in "blood diamonds".

"Indeed it is historic in that we have managed to satisfy the minimum requirements of the Kimberley Process," Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said in opening the sale.

"We have put in place measures to ensure that we abide by the Kimberley Process principles and sell our diamonds in a transparent manner."

Kimberley in November had blocked sales from Marange over abuses by the military, after investigators found soldiers committed "unacceptable and horrific violence against civilians".




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