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25 february 2019

Angolan diamond cooperatives resume exploration

15 february 2019

Angola has allowed 16 diamond exploration cooperatives to resume their operations that were halted last September during the country’s "Operation Transparency", according to local news reports.
Police commissioner António Bernardo said the state-owned diamond company, Endiama, had issued the licences to cooperatives operating in the Malanje, Bié, Lunda-Norte and Lunda-Sul Provinces.
The authorised cooperatives, he said, were instructed to observe their boundaries.
Each cooperative was granted 200 square kilometers for exploration and the licences were renewable after every two years.
The Angolan government had cancelled licences of 122 co-operatives engaged in diamond exploration.
Police seized equipment used in the irregular exploration of diamonds.
Angola was also said last November to have closed 279 diamond trading stores for not declaring their sales to the concerned state organs.
Police confiscated just over $1 million, about R1 million and more than 12,000 carats of diamonds.
Over 400,000 illegal immigrants who resided in diamond-rich areas were said to have left the country voluntarily, while 14,636 others were deported.
However, the Human Rights Watch said the immigrants were forcibly deported and urged Angola to suspend the deportation of refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo as well as conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into alleged abuses by state security forces.
The United Nations alleged that Angolan security forces and allied ethnic Tshokwe youth shot dead at least six Congolese during Operation Transparency in Lunda North province bordering Congo.
However, Luanda denied that its security forces committed human rights abuses against migrants during the operation.

Mathew Nyaungwa, Editor in Chief of the African Bureau, Rough&Polished