News / Africa

Cameroon, Chad Tighten Their Borders to Stem Flow of Conflict Diamonds

African Union (AU) peacekeepers guard a commercial convoy making its way to the border of Cameroon, near Bangui, March 8, 2014.
African Union (AU) peacekeepers guard a commercial convoy making its way to the border of Cameroon, near Bangui, March 8, 2014.
Cameroon and Chad are tightening border security to halt the illegal flow of diamonds -- known as "blood diamonds" --  said to be sponsoring armed groups in neighboring Central African Republic, the governments of the two countries said in a strategist meeting in Yaounde.

In an interview with VOA, Cameroon's mining minister Emmanuel Mbonde said the government has taken measures to address the growing problem, including deploying more border staff to identify all diamonds and assure their traceability.  Only certified diamonds are authorized to be exported.

CAR was officially suspended from global diamond trade last November by the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme, KPCS, an international government, industry and civil society initiative to stem the flow of conflict diamonds. Jaff Napoleon, a member of the civil society, says if Cameroon's admittance in the KPCS last year allows the conflict diamonds to transit through its territory, it may also be suspended.

"If it is established that diamonds are actually leaving Central Africa [Republic], entering the commercial circuit through Cameroon, Cameroon will be suspended just like Central African Republic. That is why there is need for  sub-regional consultations. How do we make sure that diamonds do not really contribute to fuel conflicts," said Napoleon.

Napoleon also told VOA that so-called conflict - or blood - diamonds are rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. He said Chad is already aware that the international community will impose sanctions if precious stones are allowed to pass through its territory.

"If you go down memory lane, you know the conflicts in Sierra Leone, you know the conflict in Liberia, in Angola, basically diamonds were used to fuel these conflicts and you know it led to untold human suffering," Napoleon stated. "And now with the situation in Central Africa, how do we make sure that what happened in Sierra Leone, in Liberia, in Angola does not also happened in Central Africa?"

The Central African Republic descended into a bloody conflict 15 months ago, with Muslim fighters and Christian groups attacking each other. The United Nations and humanitarian agencies report that more than 1,000 people have been killed and one million others have been displaced by the violence.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid