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Blood Diamonds

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What are Blood Diamonds?
Blood Diamonds, also known as Conflict Diamonds, are used in the illegal trading of diamonds to finance conflict, civil wars and human rights abuses in Africa. Profits from this illegal diamond trade in diamonds have been used by warlords and rebels in Africa to buy arms. The countries involved in the illicit trading of blood diamonds include Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. 

The History of African Blood Diamonds - Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is a country in West Africa which is bordered by Guinea on the north and Liberia on the south, with the Atlantic Ocean on the west of this African country. Between 1991 and 2000, Sierra Leone endured a devastating civil war. The major source of hard currency in Sierra Leone consists of the diamond mining. The Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in Sierra Leone attempted to overthrow the government, and an illicit diamond trade was used to fund the war effort.

These gems were referred to as African Blood Diamonds or Conflict Diamonds. The Civil War in Sierra Leone claimed over 75,000 lives and caused 500,000 to become refugees, and displaced half of the population of Sierra Leone (4.5 million people) to become displaced. From 1989 to 2003 Liberia, an adjoining country of Sierra Leone, was also engaged in a civil war and became the main route for exporting conflict or blood diamonds from Sierra Leone.

History - The United Nations (UN) highlights the issue of African Blood Diamonds
The United Nations identified the issue of African Blood Diamonds being used as a source of funding for the civil wars in Africa in 1998.

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History - Meeting in Kimberley, South Africa to discuss Blood Diamonds
In May 2000 a meeting of the diamond producing countries of South Africa was convened in Kimberley, South Africa. The illicit trade in conflict or blood diamonds was discussed and how to halt the trade and a process of assuring buyers that diamonds had not been used to finance or contribute to the internal violence in Africa.

Blood Diamond History - Banning the Trade in African Blood / Conflict Diamonds
The trade in the Conflict or Blood Diamonds of Africa, including those from Sierra Leone, was curbed by the World Diamond Council on January 17 - 18 2001 when the the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was created to:

  • Implement an international certification system strictly regulating the export and import of diamonds
  • Introduce legislation in all countries to accept only officially sealed packages of diamonds
  • All diamond rough would be certified as coming from a non-conflict source.
  • To bring pressure on countries to impose criminal charges on anyone trafficking in conflict diamonds

The KPCS ( Kimberley Process Certification Scheme ) and its recommendations were given approval by the UN ( United Nations) on March 13, 2002. It was agreed that all rough diamonds would be certified as coming from a non-conflict source.

Conflict / Blood Diamond History - Action by the US following UN resolutions
The United States is the largest consumer of diamonds in the world. The United States has acted in accordance with the UN resolutions as follows:

  • January 18, 2001: President Clinton issued Executive Order 13194 prohibiting the importation of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone
  • May 22, 2001: President Bush issued Executive Order 13213 prohibiting the importation of rough diamonds from Liberia
  • July 29, 2003: Clean Diamond Trade Act (CDTA) implemented which states "As the consumer of a majority of the world’s supply of diamonds, the United States has an obligation to help sever the link between diamonds and conflict and press for implementation of an effective solution."
  • The CDTA US law requires that all US diamond retailers buy diamonds from manufacturers who have documentation warranting that the merchandise was obtained through legitimate channels
  • Canada has also passed legislation to control the import, export and transit of rough diamond in Canada.

Conflict History - The Trade in Conflict or Blood Diamonds continues...
Despite resolutions, sanctions and laws the illegal trade in Conflict or Blood Diamonds continues. The illicit diamond trade is believed to fund armed conflict in the Côte D'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) in Africa and may finance terrorists groups such as al Qaeda, although this has not been proved.

The Blood Diamond Movie
The 2006 Blood Diamond movie is a thrilling drama starring Leonardo Dicaprio. For Additional Information about this subject please click the following link:

Blood Diamond Movie

Conflict / Blood Diamond - Africa - African - Guide - Sierra Leone - Facts - Information
Info about the Blood Diamond movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio as Danny Archer

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