Gaborone — Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi has again criticized a 54-year-old partnership with world-leading diamond producer De Beers, saying his country will not back down on demands for an improved deal.
Under the current arrangement, due to expire next month, Botswana gets 25% of rough diamonds mined under its partnership with De Beers, and the company gets the rest. Negotiations on a renewal of the pact, in which Botswana is seeking a higher stake of the profits, are underway.
The stones are mined by Debswana Diamond Company, in which the two partners own equal shares.
Botswana provides De Beers with 70% of its rough diamonds.
Not ‘until death do us part’
Since February, Masisi has ramped up the pressure on the diamond giant. Speaking in Mmadinare, northeast of the capital, Gaborone, on Thursday, he did not mince words.
“This is not [about] ‘until death do us part’ or a permanent agreement,” Masisi said, speaking in the local vernacular, Setswana.
He hinted that the negotiations…