Last year, Global Witness said illicit diamond revenues had provided off-budget financing to security forces controlled by Mugabe's ZANU-PF party that had a history of violence and intimidation surrounding elections.

The group said Wednesday any easing of curbs on Zimbabwe's diamond industry would likely mean more cash for Mugabe's loyalist police and military just months before 2013 elections.

"The European Union should hold a steady course and restrict trade with diamond mining operations in Marange until free and fair elections have taken place," Global Witness said.

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