The Kimberly Process evaluation mission in Cameroon, led by Congolese Maurice Miema, has been visiting the Eastern Cameroon mining region since 7 December 2016, we learned from reliable sources.
Throughout the successive meetings with the Governor of the region, in Bertoua, and the Préfet of Kadey, in Batouri, the Kimberly Process experts have assessed the risks in seeing cross-border exchanges between CAR and Cameroon become a channel to facilitate the traffic of blood diamonds coming from the Central African Republic.
“Cameroon is not a transit point for Central African rebel diamonds. And if you want to efficiently fight this traffic, help the Central African government to take full control of their country!”, advised Grégoire Mvongo, Governor of the Eastern Region. And Emmanuel Alpha, Préfet of Kadey, added: “in camos where close to 60,000 refugees live and are managed by the UN-HCR, no activity of this type has been reported”.
After these meetings with the public authorities of the Eastern region, the Kimberly Process team of experts carried out inspection missions in the towns of Boumbé Bakari, Boumbé Château, Gbiti and Roma, well-known for being diamond mining sites. The goal of these site visits was to, we learned, assess the security of the trading systems.
First evaluation mission of this diamond tracking international mechanism since Cameroon became a member of this initiative in 2012, the current Kimberly Process experts’ mission was preceded by a damning report against Cameroon. Published by Partnership Africa Canada and entitled “from conflict to illicit: Mapping the diamond trade form Central African Republic to Cameroon”, this report presents Cameroon as a hub for the exports of blood diamonds coming from CAR, due to insufficient monitoring and corruption in the civil service.
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