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Back to Press Documents
Informative Documents related to the Boycott
Diamond News Archive    

AUF INTERNATIONAL DIAMOND BOYCOTT
MERCENARY CORPORATIONS: LEGACY OF APARTHEID

On October 1, 1999 the leadership of the African Unification Front, declared the international boycott against the diamond industry. The AUF is asking members of the public not to buy diamonds for the following reasons:-

Diamond companies including: Diamond Works, De Beers, Anglo-American, American Diamonds and others, are perpetrating human rights violations on African soil. Millions of Africans have become displaced, sick, or have been killed as a result of violence resulting from competition for control of diamond concessions in the Congo, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone and Angola.

Diamond companies employ soldiers who served in Death Squads in Apartheid South Africa, and use the services of mercenary outfits such as Executive Outcomes, Saracen International, International Defense and Security, and the Gurkha Security Guards.

Diamond companies continue to opearate unsafe mines, and have dumped solid mineral waste, and flooded thousands of acres of land with toxic waste-water. The failure of the mining industry to adhere to safety guidelines in mines and alluvial plains poses a health hazard to all humans.

The diamond industry is exploiting and abusing African labourers. Working conditions for diamond workers are hazardous and have resulted in disease and deaths in South Africa, Botswana, Tanzania, Congo and Angola.     

The entire gems industry is responsible for these abuses, not just certain companies. The entire industry is regulated by a handfull of organs including DeBeers, and the Central Selling Organization.

Almost all of the world's diamonds come out of Africa, and those that do not come from Africa are marketed by DeBeers and the CSO. The entire industry is benefiting from the human rights abuse, political weakness, and military violence in Africa.

NB: The AUF International Diamond Boycott will remain in place indefinately or until the industry stops degrading the environment, ceases the flaunting of labour laws, and ceases to disrupt good civil order in Africa.



PRESS RELEASE - JUNE 2001

Dear All,

It is time to send a message to the diamond industry. We will not accept half-measures and indecision. The abuses must stop NOW while they figure out how to rebuild an industry that routinely violates every human ethic. The diamond industry has the longest record of human rights violations in Africa. Good riddance to DeBeers, it is now time to send the industry the way of the fur industry. No amount of diamonds are worth a human life.

International efforts to agree to an international certification scheme to stop the sale of conflict diamonds have lost momentum after the failed industry talks in Brussels on 25-27 April. The governments of Isreal and Russia, both of which are the worst offenders in the abuse of Africans in their diamond industry practices, blocked mandatory certification.

Representatives of 38 nations, the European Commission, United Nations, World Customs Organisation, Southern African Development Community, World Diamond Council and non-governmental organisations that participated talks have failed to reach concrete agreement over implementing the certification plans. In any case the Certificates of origin that were discussed were merely a way to try and create a loop-hole for an industry that is the principle cause of death and mayhem in Africa.

A statement signed by more than seventy non-governmental organisations lamented that "civil society organisations attending the April 25-27 meeting of the Kimberley Process in Brussels are profoundly disappointed and deeply concerned with the lack of progress in efforts to end the trade in conflict diamonds. Despite strong South African and Belgian leadership, many government representatives stated that they had come to the meeting with no mandate to agree to anything, including even the most vague of wordings on issues that have now been discussed at five previous meetings".

An internationally binding agreement is scehduled for the end of November in Gaborone, paving the way for the United Nations General Assembly to adopt the scheme into international law. So far six conferences have taken place. The next meeting of the Kimberley Process is due to meet in Moscow in July, where it was hoped that the main characteristics of the new certificates of origin would be agreed.

Best regards,
Dan Kashagama
General Secretary
African Unification Front


















    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

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