ANGOLA: Diamond sales fuel the war 1998.12.16

ANGOLA: Diamond sales fuel the war 1998.12.16

ANGOLA: Diamond sales fuel the war

JOHANNESBURG, 16 December (IRIN) - A British-based environmentalist group has claimed that the latest fighting in Angola is being funded by international traders buying diamonds from the UNITA opposition movement led by Jonas Savimbi.

The group, Global Witness, said in a report, a copy of which was sent to IRIN on Wednesday, that the trade was underway despite UN sanctions against UNITA imposed earlier this year because of failure to implement the 1994 Lusaka Protocol peace accords.

"Diamonds have been UNITA's major source of revenue during the 1990s - gaining (UNITA) an estimated US $3.7 billion between 1992 and 1998 - which has enabled them to re-arm and maintain supplies despite the UN-sponsored peace process." it said. "UNITA has sold its diamonds on the unofficial, 'outside' market and has found willing buyers within the diamond industry."

In June, the UN Security Council adopted an embargo on unofficial diamond exports from Angola, in the hope of cutting off funding to UNITA. Global Witness, however, said its investigations showed significant quantities of diamonds were still being exported and being flown out to neighbouring countries.

The report said Belgium had failed to enforce the embargo in Antwerp, one of the world's major diamond trading centres. Angolan diamonds are considered among the best in the world.


Date: Wed, 16 Dec 1998 13:39:32 +0300 (EAT) From: IRIN - Southern Africa <> Subject: ANGOLA: Diamond sales fuel the war 1998.12.16

Editor: Ali B. Dinar,