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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