U.S. Vows to Block Marange Diamond Sales

By Peter Bolder|
Attempts by Robert Mugabe’s regime in Zimbabwe to bypass a U.S. government ban on the disputed Marange “blood diamonds” have suffered a setback after Washington vowed to thwart the moves.
The U.S. government said it would prevent the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC) diamond conglomerate from conducting business through the American financial system.
The U.S., which consumes two thirds of global diamond production, broke ranks with Europe after the EU lifted a ban on the ZMDC in September.
U.S. ambassador to Harare, David Bruce Wharton confirmed the position to journalists.
“On the issue of diamond transactions, some companies are on the list for targetted sanctions,” Wharton said. “If those companies attempt to do business with the U.S. financial system, U.S. laws will apply. There are, of course, other ways to do business. I want to make clear that we don’t wish to impose our policy position on the Europeans. If transactions occur through the U.S. financial system our laws will apply to them.”
Mugabe’s government is making efforts to trade the Marange diamonds through the Antwerp Diamond Centre in Belgium. Previous attempts to sell the gems through Dubai suffered setbacks after the ZMDC was fleeced by middlemen, according to government officials.


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