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.
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.
Diamonds are Forever...
An Impartial Guide to Diamonds