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Zimbabwe commends Avi Paz for ‘strong public stance’ on diamond exports

Zimbabwe’s Minister of Mines, Hon. Obert Mpofu has singled out Avi Paz for his important contribution to a Kimberley Process agreement endorsing diamond exports from Zimbabwe after a year-long international embargo.

According to the agreement, rough diamond exports from the Manage diamond fields in Zimbabwe will resume immediately, providing that mining operations are Kimberley Process (KP) compliant.

At a speech in Kinshasa on Tuesday, Mpofu commended Paz “for taking a strong public stance in support of exports from Marange.”

Until September 2010, an international embargo kept Zimbabwe from exporting any of its diamonds. Following an inspection by KP monitors, the embargo was partially lifted and the government was allowed to sell a small quantity of diamonds abroad, provided it allowed close, continued monitoring of the human rights situation in certain diamond fields, including Marange.

Under Tuesday’s agreement, Zimbabwe committed to uphold the minimum requirements of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, and to allow civil society representatives access to the Marange area, so they can continue reporting on Kimberley Process implementation.

Rough diamond exports from Mbada and Marange resources, and other compliant mines in the Marange area, will only take place after a KP monitoring team has verified that mines are operating under KP standards.

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