The African country has been unable to export diamonds since 2013, when it was suspended from the Kimberley Process (KP) on concern that a rebel group was using the gems to fund illegal activities.
The deal between Central African Republic’s minister for mines, Joseph Agbo, and Viken Arslanian, an executive of Sodiam, the nation’s main diamond miner, followed meetings chaired by Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of the KP for 2016, the UAE newspaper reported March 12. Bin Sulayem is also the executive chairman of the Dubai Multi-Commodities Centre free zone.
“The effective resumption of exports was one of the main priorities of the KP chairmanship 2016 and I am particularly proud that we have been able to break the deadlock,” the report cited Bin Sulayem as saying.
Since the nation’s suspension from the KP, precious stones have been mined in the country, mainly at the Berberati pit. The election of Faustin-Archange Touadera as the African country’s prime minister in February was widely seen as a step forward, following years of strife. A roadmap for the Republic’s return to the KP was presented last year.