At least 300,000 migrants are involved in diamond mining activity in the eastern Lunda Norte province of Angola, mostly illegally, according to Special Rapporteur of the United Nations on Human Rights of Migrants, François Crépeau. He has just concluded an eight-day visit to Angola, at the invitation of the government, to see the scale of the problem. Illegal diamond mining in Angola and smuggling of gems to neighboring states has long been a problem for Angola.
Crépeau said that the country will create diamond mining cooperatives and mechanisms to ensure the purchase of diamonds at informal markets in a bid to curb the activity. He denied that the children of foreign migrants mining for diamonds are being held in detention centers for foreigners in the provinces of Luanda, Cabinda and Lunda Norte, according to the allafrica.com report. He said that during the talks he held with government officials he learnt of many challenges facing Angola on diversification of its economy following years of civil war.