Eli Izhakoff, President of the World Diamond Council, has supported without reservation the decision issued on May 23 by Ambassador Welile Nhlapo, Chair of the Kimberley Process, to suspend temporarily the Central African Republic (CAR) from the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.
"This is a tough but appropriate measure that will defend both the integrity of the diamond pipeline and, also, ultimately the wellbeing of the people of the Central African Republic," Izhakoff said.
"It is a procedure which has shown itself to be effective in the past. I call on all members of the industry to be vigilant and take all necessary measures to ensure that, until further notice from the KP, no rough diamonds from the CAR are handled and or traded."
In his communique, Ambassador Nhlapo said that, following due diligence, which included the issuance of a vigilance notice in March and a vote by KP members, he had decided to suspend the CAR with immediate effect.
The decision and the situation in the CAR will be reviewed by the KP Working Group on Monitoring, in consultation with other working bodies, at the KP's Intersessional Meeting that will take place in Kimberley, South Africa, on June 4-7.