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The Land of Conflict: Ivory Coast diamonds

Ivory Coast (or Cote d’Ivoire) is a country in West Africa. Since the late 1990s, it has experienced extreme political instability, with one coup  in 1999, and two civil wars raging between 2002 and 2007, and during 2010-2011. According to European Union data, between 200,000 and 300,000 people in the Ivory Coast make a living from the country’s diamond trade, which amounts to between 50,000 and 300,000 carats annually.

The political and social unrest has led the UN to impose a decade-long ban on rough diamonds originating from the country. The ban was lifted in April, 2014, when the 15-member council voted unanimously to end the sanctions, which were imposed on Ivorian diamonds in 2005. In November 2013, the Kimberley Process signaled to the UN that the ban on Ivorian diamonds was no longer necessary.

According to available KP figures, Ivory Coast is a member of KP’s artisanal and alluvial working group since 2006. In 2014, according to KP, the country produced 1,074 carats with an estimated value of $112,223.

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