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Diamonds Controlled by African Rebels Essay

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A beautiful precious diamond can last forever, but what most people do not know is that a majority of our diamonds come from Africa. The civil wars in Africa over diamonds began around 1961 and ended in 2003. Conflict diamonds were rampant and it would be difficult to say if any jewelry sold prior to 2003 was conflict free. Conflict diamonds are diamonds that have been mined and controlled by African rebels. The rebels would use the profits from selling conflict diamonds to fund illegal activity and to purchase more weapons for their armies. When rebels had control of the diamond mines, they killed approximately 4 million people and displaced countless families.

The acts of violence that were performed by the rebels in Africa were horrific. Adults along with children were murdered, mutilated, tortured, and raped. One rebel army called the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone, performed these despicable acts of violence to order to instill fear in the community. People that worked in the diamond mines that did not perform up to the standards of the rebels would lose a body part as punishment. Rebels would continue to do this from one village to another in order “to take control of the mines in the area” (Hoyt). It is estimated that in Sierra Leone, over 20,000 people suffered mutilation. The acts that the rebels performed to these innocent victims was clearly a violation to their human rights. The RUF collected 125 million a year from the sale of diamonds to fund their war on the government and the people of Sierra Leone.

Some of the highest producing diamond mines are countries in Africa. Countries that had some of the highest rate of conflict were Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Democratic Republic of C...


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... the market as legal, there was nothing that could be done because the Ivory Coast does not participate in the agreement. Proponents choose to ignore what critics are saying and insist that "99.8 percent of the world's diamonds are now legitimate and conflict-free" (Hoyt).

The Kimberley Process Agreement has a long road ahead trying to convince countries to continue to participate and to follow the guidelines of the agreement. Amnesty International and the United Nations have a lot of work to do to find ways to punish countries that violate human rights with out causing war. The CFDC will continue to campaign and inform people of how to make sure that their purchase is conflict free and to gain support from the diamond trade on educating consumers. With the help of these organizations and many others it will help save the lives of millions from violence or death.


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