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Vol 41 No 16

Published 4th August 2000

Tracking Angola's gems

A scheme to register diamonds and diggers may help to regulate the trade

Angola has started registering the first of 300-350,000 garimpeiros, the 'informal' diamond diggers who find stones where the big companies don't look. This is the government's latest move to convince the world that it wants to stop corruption in its diamond business and to squeeze out of official channels the 'conflict diamonds' (AC Vol 41 Nos 11 & 13), sold by the rebel União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola. In April, the International Monetary Fund agreed on a programme of economic reforms, monitored by its own staff. At that time, the Luanda government accepted a full audit of the notoriously murky oil accounts but the diamond accounts were left aside as, in the words of one official, 'just too much of a lost cause'.

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