Subject: Africa: Conflict Diamonds, 1/2, 11/30/01

Subject: Africa: Conflict Diamonds, 1/2, 11/30/01

Africa: Conflict Diamonds, 1 Date distributed (ymd): 011130 Document reposted by APIC

Africa Policy Electronic Distribution List: an information service provided by AFRICA ACTION (incorporating the Africa Policy Information Center, The Africa Fund, and the American Committee on Africa). Find more information for action for Africa at


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+++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++

Region: Continent-Wide Issue Areas: +economy/development+ +security/peace+


This week and last, in Gaborone and Washington, campaigners for tighter control over "conflict diamonds" gained ground with an agreement in the multilateral Kimberley Process, to be presented to the UN later this year, and with passage of the compromise Clean Diamonds Trade Act in the US House of Representatives. Activists stress, however, that there are still many gaps which can only be filled if there is strong government action over the next year.

This set of two postings contains a selection of relevant background documents and links. In this posting, reports and statements from the UN's Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN), Physicians for Human Rights, the Fatal Transactions Campaign, and Partnership Africa Canada. Another posting today contains additional links on conflict diamonds, and an IRIN summary of the latest monitoring report on sanctions in Angola.

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UN Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)

ANGOLA: Progress at Kimberley Process meeting

IRIN-SA, Tel: +27 11 880-4633; Fax: +27 11 447-5472; Email:

[This Item is Delivered to the "Africa-English" Service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For further information, contact e-mail: or Web: . If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer.]

AFRICA: Tentative agreement reached to stop trade in "conflict diamonds"

JOHANNESBURG, 29 November (IRIN) - Delegates attending talks on "conflict diamond" in Gaborone, Botswana have reached a tentative agreement to help stem the trade in the illegal gems that are fuelling conflicts in countries like Angola, Sierra Leone and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Alex Yearsley from the campaign group Global Witness who is attending the discussions told IRIN: "We have almost reached a final agreement, and we will be ready to present it to the United Nations in December for a resolution to be tabled in the General Assembly."

The UN has defined "conflict diamonds" as "diamonds that originate from areas controlled by forces or factions opposed to legitimate and internationally recognised governments, and are used to fund military action in opposition to those governments".

Yearsley said that although Global Witness was not "fully satisfied" with the agreement, the organisation was however "greatly encouraged". He said that issues surrounding the monitoring and evaluation of a certification scheme still needed to be "worked on".

"There are also still some issues surrounding WTO (World Trade Organisation) compatibility as some countries are not completely happy with this part of the agreement," Yearsley said.

Diplomatic sources told IRIN that it was important to recognise the progress that had been made in the last 18 months. "The terrain that has been covered is impressive," one western diplomat said.

The Gaborone meeting is part of the Kimberley Process aimed at developing a system to prevent conflict diamonds from making their way on to the open market.

Meanwhile, news reports said that the US Congress had on Wednesday approved a bill to prevent the sale of conflict diamonds. Reports said that a companion bill has been introduced in the Senate and was also expected to pass.

Under the bill, the US president would have the authority to sanction countries that refused to adopt a system for tracking diamonds to ensure they were from legitimate sources. The legislation effectively makes the United States the first country to regulate the diamond industry.

Reports said that once enacted the law would go into affect immediately and included an estimated US $10 million over two years to help poor countries set up certification systems.


Statement of Physicians for Human Rights on Conflict Diamonds Legislation November 26, 2001

The Clean Diamonds Trade Act that is expected to be passed by the House of Representatives this evening is a compromise negotiated between Congress and the executive branch. Physicians for Human Rights, while noting that this measure is considerably weaker than the bill HR2722 that our organization has endorsed, welcomes the passage of this legislation as a bridge to the enactment of diamond control regimen negotiated by the Kimberley Process. Once this legislation is enacted into law, the United States can proudly claim to be the first country in the world to have put in place diamond import controls that are linked to an international regimen to exclude conflict diamonds from the legitimate trade. Physicians for Human Rights appreciates the diligence and commitment of the bill's chief sponsors, Rep. Tony Hall, Rep. Frank Wolf, Rep. Amo Houghton, Rep. Charley Rangel, and Rep. Cynthia McKinney, and expresses its thanks as well to the Republican and Democratic leadership of the House of Representatives for bringing this measure to the floor before adjournment. ...

The United States is legally bound to implement UN Security Council Resolutions that prohibit the importation of diamonds from rebel-controlled Sierra Leone, rebel-controlled Angola, and Liberia. But such international embargoes are impossible to implement absent a coordinated international control regimen. The Kimberley system of rough diamond controls that is in its final stages of negotiations is a system whereby countries agree to adopt
standardized packaging and import/export controls on diamonds, and agree only to trade with countries that have themselves adopted the standardized controls. This clean and closed trading system is the only way that blood diamonds can be squeezed out of the legitimate trade.

The compromise Clean Diamonds Trade Act that is expected to be enacted this evening contains a number of welcome features that will help push the Kimberley Process to completion and encourage the United States and other governments to put in place its requirements at the earliest possible date. In this regard we note that the new bill includes a large degree of presidential discretion. It is our hope and expectation that the Congress's interest in stopping the flow of blood diamonds to the United States will be matched by the Bush Administration. The waiver and exclusion authority contained in the bill are meant to protect the United States against challenges at the WTO, not to provide a safe harbor for conflict diamonds.

Africans have long been at risk from conflict diamonds. Now that the linkage between blood diamonds and bin Laden has been exposed, Americans are also at risk. With the passage of HR2722 the Bush Administration will have the tools in hand to take strong action at home and support a strong international regimen to end the trade in conflict diamonds.



22 November 2001

World-wide diamond certificate out of reach .... governments should practice what they preach.

Fatal Transactions, c/o NIZA, PO Box 10707, 1001 ES Amsterdam The Netherlands, phone: +31-20-520.6210; fax: +31-20-520.6249; email:;

Fatal Transactions consists of five non-profit organisations: Global Witness in the UK, Medico in Germany, Intermon in Spain, and Novib and NiZA in the Netherlands.

The establishment of a world-wide agreement against conflict diamonds is in serious need of some cardiac massage, concludes the Fatal Transaction campaign against conflict diamonds. Ministers of diamond producing and importing countries and the European Commission were supposed to ratify an agreement on certification of diamonds, on November 29 2001 in Gaborone, the capital of Botswana. But the latest situation suggests that hardly any ministers will be present. For two years negotiations have been taken place between governments, the diamond industry and NGOs to stop the fuelling of armed conflict through sale of blood diamonds. Now that the end is in sight various governments are watering down the agreement, which is now simply a list of recommendations. Although there is a broad consensus to stop the trade in conflict diamonds, governments prepare for some last minute opt-outs.

'Governments should practice what they preach and not leave the responsibility to stop armed conflicts with diamond jewellery buying consumers' says Judith Sargentini, co-ordinator of the Fatal Transaction campaign against conflict diamonds. The terrorist attacks on New York have shown that the world is small, but Africa is still too far away for western countries to reach out. NGOs demand that governments set aside their differences, demonstrate their solidarity with the people in Angola, DRC and Sierra Leone and agree in Gaborone to a world-wide certifications scheme of diamonds.

The governments taking part in this so-called Kimberley Process will again send their diplomats for a new game of scrabble, but ministers will not fly in when the outcome is not of substance. This game can go on for years, to the cost of thousands of innocent Africans. The European Commission, that planned to send Commissioner Lamy or Patten, will keep its hotshots on ice and will await the outcome of the two days negotiations. It is vital that the USA government reviews its problems with the issuing of re-export certificates of unpolished diamonds leaving the USA, as well as with the cost and the paperwork for an international secretariat monitoring the implementation of such regulations.

The General Assembly of the UN, 56th session, taking place in December, awaits a proposal for world wide certification scheme for diamonds. Chances are that the meeting will end up where it started: everyone seeing the need to stop civil wars and armed conflicts in Angola, Congo and Sierra Leone, but exporting and importing countries being afraid of their market position, leaving the African people to suffer.


Other Facets News and Views on the International Effort to End Conflict Diamonds

Number 3 October 2001

[Other Facets, a periodic newsletter about the international effort to end diamond-related conflict, is a joint publication of Partnership Africa Canada (Ottawa), the International Peace Information Service (Antwerp) and the Network Movement for Justice and Development (Freetown). Views expressed in Other Facets are those of the authors and editorial staff alone.

For more information: Partnership Africa Canada, 323 Chapel St., Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 7Z2, Canada; e-mail:,


Major NGO Disappointment with Kimberley Process 'Clearer than Seals and the Fur Trade'

Representatives of 32 governments, along with industry and NGO representatives, met in London during the week of September 10 to continue discussions on a global certification scheme for rough diamonds. This was the eighth meeting in the 'Kimberley Process', which began 16 months earlier at the initiative of the Government of South Africa. According to the final communiqu,, the London meeting successfully reached agreement in principle on a wide range of contentious issues: the creation of an international data base on production and trade in rough diamonds; effective enforcement of the provisions of the certification scheme, including credible monitoring and oversight; industry self-regulation; information sharing, and a wide range of other issues long debated by those demanding an end to conflict diamonds.

'What was actually agreed at the London meeting, however, is slightly different,' says Ian Smillie, Research Coordinator for Partnership Africa Canada. 'There was general agreement on the need for re-export certificates, for independent international monitoring of national control mechanisms, and for an international data base. This seems like a step forward, but apart from "agreement in principle" on these topics and most others, there was lengthy debate about virtually every detail. In the end, there were actually more words, phrases and sentences left in brackets than before the meeting. In fact a lot of what was agreed in principle was agreed in principle more than a year ago, and was debated all over again in London.'

More than 180 NGOs in 40 countries, led by the London-based ActionAid, signed a petition in advance of the meeting saying that self-regulation of the proposed certification system would not be credible or acceptable. All references to external monitoring of national systems and the proposed industry chain of warranties, however, were either bracketed or removed from the negotiating text. 'Everyone in this process submitted their views, in writing, before the London meeting,' says Smillie. 'We then debated much of the proposed document in plenary, we broke into groups to consolidate the discussions, and then we went back into plenary where it was all opened up again. It is now proposed that we go through exactly the same process for the next meeting in Luanda at the end of October.'

Several key issues were not discussed at the meeting, including the authority under which a certification scheme would operate. In addition, the EU raised an unexpected obstacle on the last afternoon of the meeting, saying that national controls in and between EU member states would violate EU legislation on open borders. 'There are many government officials and industry representatives working in good faith at these meetings,' says Smillie, 'but for others, the Kimberley Process is a series of dry abstractions, to be addressed with no sense of urgency or compassion. They do not seem to appreciate that we are dealing with the lives of innocent people in Africa, and in so doing, we may actually save an industry that has been invaded by thieves, warlords and killers.

'I say may,' Smillie continued, 'because you have to remember that for those NGOs in search of an issue, diamonds are almost heaven-sent. Their connection to three brutal wars is clear. The industry, dominated by one big company, is not regulated in any meaningful way. It epitomizes the globalization problem that has so exercised young people on the streets of Seattle, Prague and Genoa. It is a much clearer issue than seals and the fur trade.'

The Kimberley Process was mandated by the United Nations General Assembly to develop a 'simple and workable' international certification system for rough diamonds, creating minimum standards for producing, exporting and importing states, including transparent measures for ensuring compliance. Two further meetings will be held before the participants in the process are expected to report back to the General Assembly in December.

Destabilizing Guinea: Report Connects Taylor, Cross Border Attacks and Diamonds

A new report, published in October by the Diamonds and Human Security Project, makes a direct link between murderous cross-border attacks into Guinea in 2000 and 2001 by Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front, and Liberian President Charles Taylor's expansionist economic ambitions. The report, entitled 'Destabilizing Guinea: Diamonds, Charles Taylor and the Potential for Wider Humanitarian Catastrophe' was written by Lansana Gberie, Project Research Associate, after two trips to Guinea earlier this year. The report traces the development of Guinea's diamond industry from the first discoveries in the 1930s to the development of an export certification scheme earlier this year. It focuses, however, on the reasons behind the devastating RUF attacks into Guinea's forest region, which resulted in major loss of life and human dislocation, and serious damage to the region's infrastructure. The author says that Guinea's conflict, like the apparently waning conflict in Sierra Leone, is largely over resources - a rapacious and mercenary campaign for wealth. Because of their small size and high value, diamonds figured prominently in RUF thinking, and that of their Liberian mentors. They had hoped for a repeat of what they had accomplished earlier in Sierra Leone. This reality has been largely overlooked by analysts because, unlike the case in Sierra Leone, diamonds have historically not been a major factor in either the Guinean economy or Guinean politics. Guinean diamonds, however, are real, and they are a significant magnet for others.

The report is available on the website of Partnership Africa Canada: (click on resources and follow the links). Hard copies may be ordered for US$5.00 from Partnership Africa Canada, 323 Chapel St., Ottawa, Ontario, K1N 7Z2, Canada. Discount available for bulk orders.


Africa: Conflict Diamonds, 2 Date distributed (ymd): 011130 Document reposted by APIC

Africa Policy Electronic Distribution List: an information service provided by AFRICA ACTION (incorporating the Africa Policy Information Center, The Africa Fund, and the American Committee on Africa). Find more information for action for Africa at

+++++++++++++++++++++Document Profile+++++++++++++++++++++

Region: Continent-Wide Issue Areas: +economy/development+ +security/peace+


This week and last, in Gaborone and Washington, campaigners for tighter control over "conflict diamonds" gained ground with an agreement in the multilateral Kimberley Process, to be presented to the UN later this year, and with passage of the compromise Clean Diamonds Trade Act in the US House of Representatives. Activists stress, however, that there are still many gaps which can only be filled if there is strong government action over the next year.

This set of two postings contains a selection of relevant background documents and links. In this posting, recommended links on conflict diamonds, and a summary of the latest monitoring report on sanctions in Angola. from the UN's Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN) Another posting today contains reports and statements from IRIN, Physicians for Human Rights, the Fatal Transactions Campaign, and Partnership Africa Canada.

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Additional Sources on Conflict Diamonds conflict_diamonds.html [type URL on one line] Physicians for Human Rights, USA. Page for the Campaign to Eliminate Conflict Diamonds. This site has official communiques from the Kimberley Process, but as of this posting had not been updated recently. Background information and links from the Global Policy Forum, a non-governmental group that follows UN-related issues. Includes links to both background reports and recent news. An information service on the diamond industry. Includes the most recent news in a section on conflict diamonds. Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa. Provides links to information from UN NGOs and official European sources, including recent detailed reports on failings of European controls on diamond imports and a case study on Belgium, UK and the Netherlands. Partnership Africa Canada, Human Security and the International Diamond Trade. Includes extensive research. Particularly strong on West Africa.


UN Integrated Regional Information Network (IRIN)

ANGOLA: UNITA adapts its war as sanctions bite

IRIN-SA, Tel: +27 11 880-4633; Fax: +27 11 447-5472; Email:

[This Item is Delivered to the "Africa-English" Service of the UN's IRIN humanitarian information unit, but may not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations. For further information, contact e-mail: or Web: . If you re-print, copy, archive or re-post this item, please retain this credit and disclaimer.]

JOHANNESBURG, 8 November (IRIN) - Sanctions against UNITA have reduced Jonas Savimbi's capacity to wage an expensive conventional war against the Angolan state, but according to analysts and a detailed UN report, they have not reduced the rebel movement's ability to indefinitely embroil the battered country in a state of war.

The Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA - as part of what has become known as a "name-and-shame campaign" aimed at deterring illicit diamond and arms trading - submitted its third report to the UN Security Council in October, detailing progress regarding a UN embargo on UNITA diamond sales and arms purchases.

[The full report is available at:

Another summary and additional background is available in the monthly Angola Peace Monitor, at: or]

The mechanism's report paints a picture of a military force which has adapted well to its waning fortunes and of a leader who has become increasingly paranoid and firm in his belief that he can overthrow the Luanda government. It says UNITA is probably selling about US $250,000 dollars worth of diamonds illicitly each day and is still, for the most part, using its old routes and connections to do so. It also says that UNITA continues to buy the arms it needs to wage guerrilla warfare and that it is using new information technology, like the Internet, to spread its message more widely than ever before.

And, as Patrick Smith, editor of Africa Confidential, says, one can not write UNITA off because it has no - or very little - international support. "I guess if you judge a military threat on the amount of hardware and cash resources, then in terms of diamonds and access to fuel and transportation, there is no doubt that UNITA is weaker than it was in 1990," Smith says. However, he stresses that UNITA does not need conventional forces to continue being a serious threat. "They are a much more random and mobile threat. They still have recruiting mechanisms and there is still loyalty to UNITA's ideas. In my view UNITA is still a formidable force," he told IRIN.

The mechanism says in its report: "UNITA has increased its terrorist attacks on innocent civilians. It has attacked schools, buses and trains. It has shot at people fleeing to escape from the flames of a burning explosion. It has shot at World Food Programme (WFP) planes carrying not weapons but desperately needed food and humanitarian supplies. Sadly, such instances and far too numerous to cite here. During the last six-month period UNITA has pursued its military activities with attacks in several provinces...

"The activities of UNITA serve multiple purposes. Through its attacks, the organisation aims to show the world that it is to be reckoned with. The attacks are also aimed at forcing the Angolan armed forces to deploy more units in government-controlled areas, thus diverting attention away from what UNITA considers vital, such as protecting its leadership in the province of Moxico (eastern Angola), and important UNITA bases in other provinces. The attacks are also invaluable opportunities for obtaining supplies (from the FAA and from civilians)."

Wealth outweighs risk

The mechanism says it believes that arms deliveries to UNITA have been "drastically decreased", but adds: "The mechanism's monitoring of the arms embargo has also had a deterrent effect. Nevertheless, there are indications that some businessmen are still willing to take the risk if the payoff is sufficient. Cross-border supplies still reach UNITA from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The mechanism also received repeated allegations that the country remains a major transit country for UNITA diamonds."

One of the businessmen named is Victor Bout, alleged to be the provider of forged end-user certificates and identified as the owner of air cargo company Air Cess, carrier of the bulk of the equipment suspected to be headed for UNITA. It says Bout has subcontracted his work to five companies since he was exposed in March 2000, in an attempt to confuse the trail, and that at least three of the companies he uses are registered in South Africa. South African intelligence sources told IRIN a local investigation into arms and diamond deals involving UNITA was under way, but would not divulge details.

The mechanism's investigations, however, established that KAS Engineering Gibraltar, a broker of exports from Bulgaria, acted as the sole contractor and initial buyer of the arms exported by suppliers based in Bulgaria. Its says KAS received payment in coverage of initial expenditures from Standard Chartered Bank and that the mechanism has asked the US authorities for cooperation in obtaining information on the account from which the payments were drawn - allegedly held at a New York branch of Standard Chartered Bank.

"This development," says the report, "has permitted the mechanism to reconstruct a particular modus operandi in the UNITA arms procurement methods. This method involved the use of forged end-user certificates, and the investigation demonstrated the key role played by Victor Bout as the alleged provider of the forged documents and formally identified as the latter's air cargo company, Air Cess, as the carrier of the bulk of the equipment."

The mechanism says the "financial trail relating to the arms purchase shows a fragmented pattern designed to break the link between the payment of funds and the supply of weapons". It says it is awaiting information from the authorities in the Bahamas on the East European Shipping Corporation, "the broker of arms deals between SN ROM ARM and, purportedly, Togo". It says it is also awaiting information from the British authorities on the dealings of Trade Investment International Limited, "said to be the European representative of the East European Shipping Corporation".

Legal requirements in the Bahamas impeded efforts to fully disclose the role the East European Shipping Corporation in purchasing weapons destined for UNITA. Another company named as having links to arms procurements for UNITA is the Panama City-based Armitech Company Inc - a broker of arms transactions between Arsenalul Armatei Romania and Burkina Faso.

In addition, in trying to trace the origin of UNITA equipment seized in Togo in 1997, the mechanism has uncovered flying routes involving airports in Togo, Khartoum, Nairobi, Johannesburg, and even Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. It has also traced some flights suspected of carrying arms to UNITA as having reportedly originated in the Republic of Moldova and from Uzbekistan. Ultimately, however, the mechanism has not managed to connect all the dots and to identify who is selling arms to UNITA.

In its own words: "The ongoing project on the profiling of arms dealers mentioned in the previous report (released in April), namely Imad Kebir, alias Piotr Godunov, and Victor Bout, has not recorded any major progress. The mechanism has not been able to collect information other than that already published, except in the case of Victor Bout." Neither has the mechanism managed to secure cooperation from all the states implicated, in its attempt to isolate UNITA.

Results are disappointing

Andrea Lari, an independent consultant on Angola to the international lobby group, Human Rights Watch, says the monitoring mechanism report is "disappointing". "If you read between the lines, very little has been achieved in terms of tightening of controls and the effectiveness of sanctions," he notes. Acknowledging the difficulty of tracing the origin of arms and diamonds sellers and buyers, Lari says more pressure must be brought to bear on sanctions busters by sovereign states.

Like other observers and analysts, he says there is a need to re-evaluate the sanctions regime to give it teeth. Global Witness campaigner Alex Yearsley points to the absence of a proper mechanism to investigate and prosecute diamond and arms sanctions busters as a major loophole - a point the monitoring mechanism itself seems to acknowledge. In its report, it recommends the creation of a permanent structure with increased powers, but says that the form of such a body needs to be debated.

In the meantime, though, UNITA has secured itself a global audience via the Internet, which it is using effectively to spread its message and to facilitate communications between Jonas Savimbi and his army, and the internal and external wings of UNITA. "Electronic technology is becoming an increasingly important asset for UNITA in its propaganda campaign. Use and abuse of Internet web sites and e-mail by UNITA enables the rebels to maintain an even higher profile than the group had prior to the prohibition of its representational activities pursuant to Security Council resolution 1127 (1997)," the report states.

The mechanism says the "most important UNITA representatives are found in Belgium, Burkina Faso, France, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Switzerland, Togo and the US" - with Portugal being the most important UNITA base in Europe. It lists two Ireland-based websites run by Colm Croasdell and Leon Dias as UNITA sites. It says that Joffre Justino, a vocal UNITA representative in Portugal, as well as Jonas Savimbi and other senior UNITA officials use e-mail addresses administered in Portugal. "Although these facts have been brought to the attention of the Irish and Portuguese authorities, neither government has succeeded in closing the sites," the mechanism writes.

Many ways to sell a diamond

Turning its attention to UNITA's diamond trading, the mechanism says UNITA probably sells between 25 and 30 percent of the illegal diamonds leaving Angola, excluding sales from stockpiles. It is estimated that about US $1 million worth of illicit diamonds leave Angola each day. While the mechanism has not been able to accurately detail UNITA's diamond stockpile, it says it has information that Savimbi himself holds a stockpile of coloured diamonds. The only coloured stones found in Angola are pink and yellow.

While saying that information on UNITA's diamond trading systems are incredibly patchy because it is one of the secrets UNITA guards most tightly, the mechanism says: - It has heard repeated reports that UNITA has been selling diamonds from its stockpile during 2001 - that UNITA is selling diamonds to dealers by tender using third countries, selling directly to friendly dealers, engaging in small opportunistic sales to raise money for food and medicines and is bartering diamonds for anything from arms to food and medicines. - it is possible, based on information provided by a UNITA defector, that Malange and the Angolan interior remain important mining areas for UNITA - it holds the view that UNITA is still in possession of some diamond mines in the provinces of Lunda Norte, Uige and Bie, among others.

In spite of various attempts, the mechanism has not been able to track end-buyers, even though it has identified various South African-linked dealers as possible middle-men, saying only that Savimbi himself seems to be controlling mined diamonds and that Zambia and the DRC remain important conduits. Quoting the defector, the mechanism says: "He described seeing six sealed opaque plastic sacks, about 16"X10", filled with diamonds, arrive through this route in March 2001."

If the Kimberley Process, aimed at keeping UNITA and other rebel forces from selling diamonds to fund their wars, ends its last meeting successfully in Botswana in November, then the sale of such diamonds could be severely curtailed. However, there is still, among others, disagreement over the certification system being proposed. And analysts and diamond experts alike agrees that criminal syndicates will always find a way of doing business.

It's war - business as usual

So, while the mechanism reports cooperation from some individual states, it seems that a lack of intelligence sharing among governments, sophisticated smuggling modus operandi, the secrecy of the diamond and arms trades and the mechanism's lack of capacity conspire to ensure that Savimbi can operate with a degree of impunity.

In the last six months the mechanism, through a wide range of interviews and its own investigations, has determined that UNITA is now built along a classical guerrilla cell structure, with operatives knowing only what they have to in order to carry out operations. It has also discovered that the rebel movement no longer has the civilian/administrative structure it used to have and that many civilians in its areas of control starve - unless they have senior connections.

It says there is ample evidence that UNITA's leadership is concentrated in the province of Moxico, where the government recently launched a major offensive, sending civilians and UNITA cells fleeing.

"For security reasons and because of the military offensive of the government troops, the various organisational units are not kept together. Jonas Savimbi is said to move with 14 or 15 highly trained military guards and a male nurse," the mechanism says, adding that several other senior UNITA members on the UN list of officials who are subject to sanctions, seem to be based in Moxico.

In addition, Savimbi, via a satellite communications system, continues to be able to reach any of the UNITA representatives abroad. More importantly though, his firm hold on the rebel movement (which has seen many of his detractors, defectors and powerful military leaders killed) keeps Savimbi in constant contact with his military commanders throughout the country via a good radio network. This has enabled them to plan and execute attacks throughout the country in the past six months, in defence of UNITA's smuggling routes and in search of food, medicines and arms.



Message-Id: <> From: "Africa Action" <> Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 09:42:48 -0500 Subject: Africa: Conflict Diamonds, 1/2

Editor: Ali B. Ali-Dinar

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