Los diamantes de sangre y el conflicto en Costa de Marfil

Desde que se desató el conflicto en las pasadas elecciones del 28 de noviembre de Costa de Marfil, han habido asesinatos, secuestros y hasta 14.000 desplazados a Liberia. A diferencia de otros conflictos africanos, la comunidad internacional ha respondido rápido. Por ejemplo, la Unión Europea ha prohibido al presidente usurpador (Laurent Gbagbo) viajar a Europa y además se preparan sanciones económicas.

Un elemento para entender la preocupación de las potencias occidentales es que, como explica la siguiente nota de AFP, el país marfileño cuenta con grandes recursos en diamantes, que han sido -y continúan siéndolo- fuente de graves conflictos en el país. En 1999 hubo un golpe de Estado militar y en 2002 una guerra civil que duró al menos cinco años. De hecho, desde el 2005 una resolución del Consejo de Seguridad prohibe importar diamantes de Costa de Marfil.

Date: 28 Dec 2010

By Tim Witcher (AFP)

UNITED NATIONS — Ivory Coast is the world's biggest remaining source of conflict diamonds and the main international watchdog says it is stepping up efforts to stop the glittering trade financing new conflict in the tense country.

Tens, possibly hundreds, of millions of dollars worth of diamonds have in recent years been smuggled out of Ivory Coast, where Alassane Ouattara -- backed by the international community -- and incumbent Laurent Gbagbo are in a showdown for the presidency.

Private monitor groups say most get fake certificates of origin and consumers buy them as end of year holiday gifts without knowing where they really came from.

But the head of the Kimberley Process watchdog said "laborious" work is being done by geologists, customs officers and other investigators based on lessons learned from earlier "blood diamond" wars in Africa.

"The KP system is highly vigilant on making sure that these diamonds will not serve as a source of financing" for any group in Ivory Coast, Boaz Hirsch, the Israeli chairman of the Kimberley group, told AFP in an exclusive interview.

The 75-nation watchdog was set up as a result of a meeting in Kimberley, South Africa, 10 years ago as the diamond trade fuelled devastating wars in Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone and Liberia.

Diamonds from the Seguela and Tortiya regions of northern Ivory Coast helped pay for the civil war in 2002 and tore apart the west African country. A UN group of experts reported this year that despite a UN embargo since 2005 the diamond trade goes on.

Ironically, the ban originated out of claims that the diamond trade was used to support the rebels behind the 2002 rebellion against Gbagbo, the man that the UN now wants to stand down.

The UN experts' report said neighboring Burkina Faso, Guinea, Liberia and Mali were "unable or unwilling" to enforce the UN diamond embargo.

Kimberley Process leaders, who work with the World Diamond Council and international customs authorities, consider this a rare blot on its record.

"The only diamonds recognized today as blood diamonds are from Cote d'Ivoire," said Hirsch, using the country's widely used French name.

Leer la nota completa en ReliefWeb.

Partidarios del presidente electo relatan la violencia que sufren / Fuente: BFM


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