Saturday, August 07, 2010

Zimbabwe: Mugabe's diamond sale to be launched next week

AFP reports President Robert Mugabe will next week launch a sale of diamonds from Zimbabwe that had been banned over "blood diamond" concerns, a cabinet minister said Friday.

"The launch of the sales will be made on Wednesday next week," mines minister Obert Mpofu told AFP. "This is really good news for the country."

The Kimberley Process, designed to ensure that diamonds are "conflict-free", had barred Zimbabwe from selling the gems after its investigators found that soldiers had beaten civilians to force them to mine the precious stones.

But Kimberley decided last month to allow Zimbabwe two diamond sales, saying the country had met basic human rights requirements.