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Vol 55 No 23

Published 21st November 2014

Central African Republic

Diamonds fund rebels

A UN report that illicit diamonds are financing rebels has dashed the government’s hopes that the ban on exports will be lifted

Diamonds are a vital export for Central African Republic but the main beneficiaries recently are rebels linked either to Anti-Balaka groups or to the Séléka coalition. The interim government's Mines Minister, Joseph Agbo, has been calling for several months for the export ban to be lifted, saying it was 'adding misery to misery'. According to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS), rough diamond exports stood at 371,000 carats, worth US$62.1 million, in 2012, the year before the ban was declared in May 2013. That figure represents about half of CAR's total exports and 20% of budget receipts.

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