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Diamond Mine Yetwene and UNITA’s Responsibility

1990: Diamond Mine Yetwene Is Going Through Investigation Process

December 1998

he fighting continues in Angola. November 8 the Yetwene diamond mine was attacked by a group of 50 armed men. Eight workers were killed outright, including two Canadians, 18 were wounded and several taken hostage. No diamonds were taken, but other minor thefts and damage to equipment occurred.

Diamond Works, based in Canada, stated that five employees were still missing and unaccounted for. The Canadian employees have been flown to the near-by city of Luanda. A company spokesperson stated that Diamond Works believes that the UNITA rebel army was responsible for the attack on the mine. However, eyewitnesses stated that though some of the men were wearing items identified with UNITA, others were wearing uniforms of local police and military. UNITA has stated that it is investigating the attack.

The mine normally produces 5,000 to 6,000 carats per month in a total of 50% of the total production of the company. It is not known at this time when production will resume.

One of the workers believed taken hostage walked into the town of Lucapa about 12 miles away from the Yetwene mine on November 11. He had escaped during the attack and hid in the jungle. Unfortunately, the man had no news of the other workers still missing and thought to be held by UNITA rebels.


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