A UN sanctions committee imposed an asset freeze on Kardiam, a diamond trading house based in Antwerp, Belgium, which has been the major diamond trading hub worldwide for centuries.
The sanctions experts say Kardiam is the Belgian arm of the CAR’s diamond trading company Badica. In addition to the asset freeze, the sanctions will make trade with the firm illegal. The UN says the firm supports armed groups in CAR through illegal trading in diamonds and gold.
The sanctions committee also slapped a global travel ban and an asset freeze on anti-balaka militia leader Alfred Yekatom, known as Colonel “Rambo.”
Another anti-balaka commander, Habib Soussou, was added to the sanctions blacklist as was a former Seleka general, Oumar Younous, described as a Sudanese diamond smuggler close to former president Michel Djotodia.
The first UN sanctions were imposed in 2014, after a coup against longtime leader Francois Bozize a year earlier triggered an armed conflict between Christian anti-balaka militias and Muslim Seleka rebels that has been raging for more than three years.
Central African Republic was a major exporter of diamonds until May 2013, when the Kimberley Process banned shipment of its rough diamonds.
Read more at DW