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Vol 58 No 17

Published 25th August 2017

Central African Republic

Desperate for a diamond fix

After three years outside the international market, the government is anxious to return, even though the gems could be profiting the militias

Diamond exports from Central African Republic totalled $60 million in 2012, close to 20% of the government's entire revenue of $335 mn., and half its total exports. This is the prize that President Faustin-Archange Touadéra desperately wants for his exchequer. Yet for three years from May 2013, when violence flared into virtual civil war, a total ban on CAR diamond exports was decreed by the Kimberley Process, the international system set up to prevent the diamond trade funding armed groups. The ban was partially lifted in May 2016, and now the government wants all restrictions removed, even though the parts of the country declared 'compliant' with Kimberley are anything but. Other parts of the country are still suffering widespread looting and murder, along with massive internal displacement of people.

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