The office of the Kimberley Process (KP) chair has clarified reports of a deal to resume diamond exports from the Central African Republic (CAR).
Earlier in March, Joseph Agbo, CAR’s minister of mines, met with Viken Arslanian, an executive of Sodiam, the country’s largest diamond miner, and agreed to follow a framework set out in July 2015 to gain KP compliance. The meetings were facilitated by KP chair Ahmed Bin Sulayem.
“The outcome was that both groups would abide by what was agreed in Luanda in July 2015 and to request the KP Monitoring Group provide a timetable for the resumption of diamond exports,” Evgeny Garanin, a spokesperson for Bin Sulayem, said in an email to Rapaport News.
The 2015 agreement noted that CAR could resume rough exports when it implements a program that, among other things, compelled it to ensure traceability of diamonds from certain areas defined as compliant zones.
Garanin added that the chair has shared the outcome of the meeting with the Monitoring Group, which will review the agreement and consider further action. The matter is likely to come up for discussion again at the KP intersessional meeting in Dubai from May 23 to 26.
UAE newspaper The National on March 12 cited Bin Sulayem saying he had managed to“break the deadlock” in the quest to restart exports from the Central African Republic.