Monday, September 20, 2010

Diamonds sharpen Zimbabwe power struggle

Zimbabwe’s generals are accumulating a secret slush fund from diamond sales, a campaign group claims. Diplomats fear the vast mines put the army in a powerful position to dictate the terms of succession after the death of Robert Mugabe.

The warning comes days after Zimbabwe’s pro-democracy prime minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, appealed to lower ranked army and police not to participate in any coup against the constitutional order when Mr Mugabe, 86, finally dies.

The military’s control over the vast Marange fields — the source of a quarter of the world’s diamonds — has become an important factor in the future of Zimbabwe.

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