Protests erupt over alleged looting of Zimbabwe diamonds

Zimbabwe police dogsFrom MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – THE government and global industry regulators have been urged to investigate alleged human rights abuses and reported brutality by security forces against civilians protesting the suspected looting of diamond revenue from the Marange fields.

Human rights groups reported armed soldiers and police who fired teargas canisters to disperse the thousands of demonstrating villagers around the diamond fields east of Zimbabwe.

The police, it is reported, argued that the protest had not been authorized under the repressive Public Order Security Act (POSA), which is denounced for limiting freedom of association, public debate and criticism of the government.

Dewa Mavhinga, Southern Africa Director of the Human Rights Watch (HRW), said the government’s heavy-handed response to the situation in Marange was counterproductive and likely to fuel violence.

“Authorities should investigate the violence, hold those responsible for any abuses to account, and open channels for genuine and constructive dialogue to address the communities’ concerns.”

Mavhinga said global rough diamond industry regulatory body, the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, should also ensure it was adequately equipped to investigate allegations of serious human rights abuses and the looting of Marange diamonds.

Armed forces reportedly killed more than 200 people in Chiadzwa, a previously peaceful but impoverished part of Marange, in October 2008.

In March 2016, the then President Robert Mugabe, without providing evidence, told the state broadcaster that diamonds worth more than US$15 billion had been looted in Marange.
– CAJ News

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Posted by on Apr 26 2018. Filed under Africa & World, Featured, Finance, Mining, Mining & Engineering, National, Regional. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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