Human Rights Abuse By The Zimbabwe Military In The Diamond Fields

The head of the investigating team from the Kimberly Process Certification Scheme which monitors blood diamonds, Mr Kpandel Fayia has accused the Zimbabwe military for gross human rights violations.

According to the financial gazette Zimbabwe, an interim report accused the government as well as the military for the violations. The team also said that the military should be removed from the diamond fields if Zimbabwe is to continue trading in diamonds.

People wounded by police/armed forces trained dog bites and batons were also interviewed by the Kimberly Process team. The interim report was forwarded to the Minister of Mines Zimbabwe, Mr Obert Mpofu. The minister responded by saying that he was preparing a response to the allegations and the army will pull out only when a potential investor has been identified. The investor will then be expected to provide the security. He also noted that the army cannot pull out overnight  from the large mining area of 77,000 hectares, which would leave the area vulnerable to illegal mining which was the reason why the army was put there in the first place.

Human Rights Watch, a New York based group has accused the Zimbabwe Police and Armed forces of gross human rights violations. According to a report by the group the Armed forces killed over 200 people while taking over the diamond fields in the Marange area. The report also accuses the armed forces of burying some of the victims in mass graves. Over 100 witnesses which includes soldiers as well as children were interviewed for the report.

External Link: Zimbabwe Financial Gazette

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