Report / June 15, 2006

Reforming the DRC Diamond Sector

Diamonds, the DRC’s most valuable export, are one of several resources that have contributed to armed conflict in the DRC from 1998 to 2003.
Although armed conflict has decreased in the DRC since the peace agreements signed in 2002, fighting between the national army and various rebel groups has continued in parts of the country, particularly in the east. Some of this fighting has centred around diamond mines and other areas rich in minerals and natural resources.

DRC’s official diamond exports have significantly increased in recent years, largely due to the DRC’s participation in the Kimberley Process – an international mechanism designed to prevent the trade in conflict diamonds. However, the DRC still does not have a strong set of controls in place to track all diamonds from the mine to the point of exports.
As a result, diamonds are still being smuggled in and out of the country.

This document outlines the main challenges facing the reform of the DRC diamond sector and makes recommendations relevant to the DRC government, international donors and the diamond industry.