Kimberly Process Faces Tumultuous Uproars over Negotiations with Zimbabwe

The Kimberly Process is under fire from all sides and within as the Zimbabwe leaders and ministers, outside observers, and members from within argue and cannot come to an agreement on the state of the Marange Mines.

At Thursday’s negotiations, held in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of the Cong, the Civil Society Coalition, one of the 3 main bodies of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, walked out of the meeting.  They stated the walk out was in protest to the damage being done to the Kimberly Process’s reputation in the negotiating with Zimbabwe over the Marange Mines.

The Civil Society Coalition is comprised mainly of the Global Witness group and the Partnership Africa Canada group.  The coalition expressed fear that the Kimberly Process was not adhering to its principles that diamonds should be provided to the public free of human rights violations and violence.

“We note, with bitter regret, that there is a significant gap between our expectations of the scheme, and what it is actually achieving,” says Alfred Brownell, representing the coalition.  He goes on to say, “For that reason we are expressing a vote of no confidence in the Kimberley Process.”

But he goes on to attack both sides of the negotiations by stating, “We are appalled by the lack of respect shown to Kimberley Process members by the Zimbabwean minister and shocked by the Kimberley Process membership’s silence in the response – not just yesterday but for the past three meetings.”

The Coalition states that the walk out is meant as a sign of contempt at the handing of the negotiations by the Kimberley Process and Zimbabwe leaders, and that they will continue to work with the Kimberley Process to ensure that consumers will receive “blood-free” diamonds.

A draft proposal is expected to be presented and to the Kimberley Process members soon.

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