AfricanBlood Diamonds is a terminology used to make reference to diamondsused to finance and promote conflicts in various African regions.This diamond is essentially mined in war zone areas and the proceedsfrom its sale are extensively used in the financing of variousmilitia insurgencies that tend to disrupt peace and harmony invarious countries in addition to collapsing existing governments andshading blood, (Janine, 2007). The financial proceeds from thesesales are actually massively invested in the purchase of deadlyweaponry that help in the escalation of war.
The have caused so much trouble to various Africancountries such as has been the case in Liberia, Angola, DemocraticRepublic of Congo, Ivory Coast and even the Republic of Congo amongothers, (Zoellner, 2006). The blood diamonds have played a giant rolein the escalation of war in these countries for the past severalyears and the UN and US have actually issued bans and executiveorders stopping the trade of diamonds from countries marked ascontaining blood diamonds.
InAngola, war existed from 1974-2001 between the government and theUnion for Total Independence for Angola (UNITA) and it was discoveredthat the sale of diamonds was the source of finances and weaponry forthe insurgent group UNITA, (Janine, 2007). The war caused massivedisruptions of development in Angola in addition to contributing tothe death of several people. A coup in Ivory Coast I the year 1999plunged the country into civil war. The country developed a gatewayof selling illegal diamonds from its own mines in addition to thosefrom neighboring countries like Sierra-Leone and Liberia. This tradeprovided enough cash for the purchase of weaponry that caused massiveanarchy to the people of Ivory Coast, (Tamm, 2002).
Liberiaequally engaged in civil war between the years 1989-2003. The civilwar was discovered to be strengthened by the sale of diamonds formilitia funding. Additionally, the Liberian President, Charles Taylorwas discovered to be perpetuating war in Sierra-Leone by exchangingweaponry with diamonds with the insurgent groups in Sierra-Leone,(Tamm, 2002). Taylor was however charged with the facilitating ofcrimes against humanity at The Hague, found guilty and imprisoned.Most of the so called blood diamonds in Africa are actually producedunder unfavorable conditions in addition to using child labor. Thewars brought about by the insurgent groups that seem well equippedespecially from the sale of the diamonds disrupt schooling hencemaking the children available for diamond mining, (Zoellner, 2006).The wars further cause troubles by disrupting medical servicedevelopments, infrastructure and agriculture in addition to derailingall forms of development while still causing the death and maiming ofseveral people.
Tosolve the problems of the blood diamonds, the United Nations and theUnited States issued sanctions against any form of trade fromcountries mapped as containing illegal diamonds in a bid to weakenmilitias and bring a solution to the civil wars witnessed in suchcountries, (Tamm, 2002). Additionally, there was established a systemreferred to as the Kimberly Certification based in South Africa thatwas mandated with the certification of the countries permitted toparticipate in diamond trade, (Janine, 2007). The system was supposedto certify whether a country’s diamonds were from a conflict regionor not. However, there still exist challenges in the administrationof this system due to challenges of corruption and transparency.
Thus,blood diamonds have en of major concern in the world diamond trade.They have caused massive havoc in Africa as they have been the majorcatalyst of various civil wars in the continent. Various measureshave been instituted to curb the trade and this has actually helpedsolve the extents of the problems to a huge extent.
Janine,R. (2007). Glitterand Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel.New York:
Tamm,I., J. (2002). Diamondsin Peace and War: Severing the Conflict Diamond Connection.
Cambridge,Mass: World Peace Foundation.
Zoellner,T. (2006). TheHeartless Stone: A Journey the Money Through the World Diamonds,
Deceitand Desire.New York: St. Martin’s Press.