A leaked embassy cable posted online by Wikileaks shows that the Zimbabwean government planned to forcibly displace 25,000 villagers in a diamond-rich section of the country early last year.

The January 23, 2009 cable shows that a local chief informed the embassy at Harare, the capital city, that the military was planning to force the residents from their homes.

“The military operation is intended to establish control over the diamond fields as well as to provide village-based housing to troops. The plan was temporarily delayed due to the discovery of gold ore in the region where the villagers were to be relocated,” the cable read. The gold was being mined by a Russian company.

The exact region of Zimbabwe where the villagers lived was redacted from the cable.

The source said that the area was designated a “‘government reserve area’ and consequently, it was authorized to displace all the local residents.'”

The chief was trying to establish a fund to raise money for the villagers to mount a legal defense against the government.

The incomplete cable ends with officials saying that the Zimbabwean government planned to use the diamonds to shore up their economy.

About The Author

John Guilfoil is the editor-in-chief of Blast: Boston's Online Magazine and the Blast Magazine Network. He can be reached at [email protected]. Tweet @johnguilfoil.

Leave a Reply