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Angolan police seize over 100 diamonds from illegal miners

17 june 2020
Illegal mining in Angola                                                                                                Image credit:  Journeyman.TV, 1996

The Angolan police seized 131 diamonds from illegal miners over the past weekend in the municipalities of Chitato, Capenda Camulemba and Cuango, in Lunda Norte province, according to state-media. 
Lunda Norte province borders with the province of Kwango, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
State-owned news agency, Angop reports that the diamonds, whose value was not immediately established, were seized during a joint operation of the Border Guard Police (PGF) and the Criminal Investigation Service (SIC) in the diamond mining areas.
The National Police said 71 stones were seized in the municipality of Chitato, 59 in Capenda Camulemba and one in Cuango.
The police worked with citizens to apprehend the people involved in the illegal mining of diamonds.
They also arrested 50 illegal immigrants. 
The Angolan police said last February that they seized 6,579 carats of rough diamonds in the Lunda Norte Province as part of its Operation Transparency in 2019.
The Provincial Civil Protection Commission said then that 19 cars and $275,000 were also seized in the province during the operation.  
The operation was launched in December 2018 to combat illegal diamond mining, illegal immigration, administrative infractions, among other things. 
Angola had more than 700 small diamond prospectors prior to operation transparency, which was carried out in 2018 by the ministry of the interior.  
Only 260 of them were said to have met the requirements to continue prospecting. 
Angola’s Operation Transparency was heavily criticised last year by the Human Rights Watch for deporting immigrants with force.   
The United Nations also 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