Monday, November 12, 2007

Blood diamond controls increase

image BRUSSELS, Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Officials from 73 countries Thursday agreed to step up controls on conflict diamonds from Africa's Ivory Coast, South Africa's Inter Press Service reported.
The Kimberley Process, a 73-nation consortium, ended its annual conference in Brussels by calling for enhanced efforts to restrict diamond exports from Ivory Coast, where diamond sales may fund warring factions, Inter Press said. Participants agreed to focus on diamond trade flowing through neighboring countries, including Mali and Burkina Faso, the news service said.
Despite an embargo on Ivory Coast diamonds, Belgian officials recently confiscated $21 million worth of the gems. Conflict or "blood" diamonds generated billions in funds for civil wars in Liberia, Angola and Sierra Leone in the 1990s, leading to the creation of the Kimberley Process and regulatory control.

Blood diamond controls increase - UPI.com