Zimbabwe Diamond Embargo Costs Nation $30 Million

Trade not permitted due to human-rights abuses


A trade embargo on diamonds from Zimbabwe's Marange fields has cost the southern African nation about $30 million, Mines Minister Obert Mpofu said.

The U.S., the European Union, Australia and New Zealand don't allow individuals or companies to trade with designated members of President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party, or businesses associated with the party. Western nations cite human-rights abuses, including the killing of gem diggers at Marange, as the reason for targeted sanctions.

"We estimate that to date $30 million has been confiscated by agencies in transit to Zimbabwe and I know this is a concern to all of us," Mpofu said in an interview in the northwestern resort town of Victoria Falls, near the border with Zambia. "It doesn't show any concern about livelihood of Zimbabweans."