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DATE=10/7/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=U-N - ANGOLA - DIAMONDS (L - ONLY) NUMBER=2-254776 BYLINE=MAX RUSTON DATELINE=UNITED NATIONS CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: Diplomats at the United Nations today (Thursday) welcomed new private-sector measures aimed at reducing diamond sales by Angola's UNITA rebel group. The measures are designed to reduce UNITA's ability to purchase new weapons, as we hear from our U-N correspondent Max Ruston. TEXT: Members of the U-N Security Council responded individually to a decision by South Africa's De Beers diamond group to stop buying diamonds from Angola. De Beers' decision is aimed at supporting international sanctions against Angola's UNITA opposition group. The president of the U-N Security Council's Angola Sanctions Committee, Canadian Ambassador Robert Fowler, welcomed the De Beers decision. /// FIRST FOWLER ACT /// I don't think we are going to stop cold anybody from selling UNITA diamonds or buying UNITA diamonds. This step, though, is going to put a major crimp in it. /// END ACT /// Mr. Fowler says diamond sales are the primary fuel for Angola's civil war, providing funds for UNITA to purchase weapons. /// SECOND FOWLER ACT /// Our estimate is that UNITA has earned three to four billion dollars over the last eight years in diamond sales. /// END ACT /// Mr. Fowler does not know what portion - if any - of UNITA's diamond sales has gone through De Beers. But he says De Beers' decision to place an embargo on the purchase of Angolan diamonds should send a clear message to diamond dealers around the world that such trading will no longer be profitable. De Beers says its embargo will not affect a contract already in place to buy diamonds from a joint venture with the Angolan government and an Australian mining company. Diplomats say the ease with which UNITA has been able to raise funds for arms purchases is partially responsible for the breakdown of Angola's 1994 Lusaka Peace Accord, which was to have ended more than two decades of civil war in the country. The peace accord broke down last year after UNITA leader Jonas Savimbi refused to abide by his pledges to disarm his soldiers and hand over to the government areas of the country under UNITA control. (Signed) NEB/UN/MPR/LSF/ENE/gm 07-Oct-1999 16:06 PM EDT (07-Oct-1999 2006 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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