"[Ivory Coast] is the only country where, strictly speaking, you do have conflict diamonds," says Stéphane Chardon, the chairman of the Kimberley Process's Working Group on Monitoring. "I think this is a very volatile situation. At this stage, the main goal is to prevent [Ivorian] diamonds from contributing to any wrongdoing."
A country divided
The New Forces have controlled the northern half of Ivory Coast since 2002. Nearly all of Ivory Coast's diamond deposits are located in the north, where the rebel group levies taxes on the production and trade of the stones.
The UN prohibited all imports of Ivorian diamonds in 2005, citing links to the rebels. The embargo has been extended ever since.
Despite the ban, diamond extraction is booming in the north-central Ivorian district of Séguéla, where new deposits have "significantly increased" the country's rough diamond production, a group of experts concluded in a report for the UN Sanctions Committee in April.
The total value of diamond production in Ivory Coast has been estimated at between $18 million and $20 million, says Mr. Chardon. He stresses that the figure represents only a fraction of a percent of the $9 billion global trade in the stones.