Angola to Focus on CAR Challenges as KP Chair

Luanda: Angola, which is set to lead the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) next year, says that it will focus on following up on the situation in Central Africa Republic (CAR) and Venezuela.

CAR was temporarily suspended from the KP in May 2013 after a coalition of rebels threw President Francois Bozize out of office.

The World Diamond Council (WDC) recently said production of diamonds in the CAR was continuing and there was also evidence of diamonds from the country reaching the markets despite the KP ban. It said until the temporary suspension was lifted, trade in rough diamonds from the CAR was considered illicit, and members of the industry found to be involved in such activities would be subject to sanctions.

Angop news agency quoted an Angolan official, Estanislau Buio as saying that the country would also focus on Venezuela, which unilaterally exited from the scheme in 2008.

Other priorities for 2015 included assisting Cote d’Ivoire and Guinea in resuming their rough diamond exports and the development of artisanal and low-scale diamond exploration.

He also said KP would work to assist recently admitted countries and improve dialogue with the KP civil society.