The World Diamond Council (WDC) reiterated its call to members of the diamond industry to carry out enhanced due diligence when considering the purchase of goods that are known to have originated or are suspected of having originated in the Central African Republic (CAR), in light of recent reports by the international media, observers on the ground and NGOs about political unrest in the country.
Over the past several weeks, it has been reported that the CAR capital of Bangui and other major towns have come under fire from rebel fighters. The officially elected government and its allied forces are strongly fighting armed rebel groups siding with the political opposition. The situation has caused many civilians to seek refuge in other parts of the nation or neighboring countries, such as the DRC.
WDC stated: “Due to the political unrest, and in accordance with the special operational framework that was approved in November 2019 by the Kimberley Process, the WDC urges all members of the trade to continue conducting enhanced due diligence, regarding the import of rough diamonds from the CAR and its neighboring countries. Although diamond production from conflict-affected areas in CAR represents only a very small percentage of global diamond production, diamond businesses should exercise the utmost caution.”
The only rough diamonds sourced in the CAR that currently can be purchased legitimately are those that meet the minimum requirements of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) and are accompanied by official CAR Kimberley Process (KP) certificates. These indicate that the diamonds were mined in KP-compliant “green” zones, which are areas under secure CAR-government control that show no evidence of armed rebel group activity.
The WDC calls on the entire industry to uphold the integrity of the diamond supply chain by proactively implementing the guidelines contained in the WDC’s new System of Warranties. These include addressing risks in areas beyond those covered by the KPCS, including human and labour rights, anti-money laundering (AML) and anti-corruption.