Americas Adoration for Africa’s Diamonds Essay

1930 Words 8 Pages
Diamonds are a symbol of love, exchanged to arrange the vows of marriage and a promise to be together forever. Unfortunately, the means of obtaining this symbolic diamond may very well be the very opposite of what they are meant to represent, oppression and violence. While at its peak conflict diamonds were 4% of the total diamond market, now it is down to 1%. However, 1% of a 16 billion dollar a year industry is copiousness. Subsequently, why is it that our greed and desire to want these precious stones greater than the loss of life and exploitation of an entire civilization? Many argue that the international community is still looking the other way in regards to Africa’s crisis with the laissez-faire approach of constructing …show more content…
Additionally, there is the illegal drug trade and arms trade, all of which are helping fuel the long standing conflicts and limit the growth of the economies of these countries. However, the one illegal trade that has gotten the most attention in recent years is the unlawful trade of conflict diamonds. “The terms conflict diamonds or blood diamonds refer to gems that have been used by rebel groups to pay for wars that have killed and displaced millions of people in Africa, the source of an estimated 65 percent of the world’s diamonds.” (Navarro) Across several of the countries of Africa, conflict diamonds have financed and are still paying for wars within their own countries. The diamonds that came from Angola, Sierra Leone, Cote d'Ivoire, Liberia, and The Congo have been under scrutiny for their countries history of violence. They were mined and sold by rebel armies such as the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) largely to finance the purchase of weapons. These weapons will eventually be used in the attempted overthrow the legitimate governments of the country. The diamonds have become so lucrative for the corrupt governments and uncontrollable rebels that the fighting has become a useful cover; for the diamond smuggling enterprises. In Sierra Leone for example, “between 1991 and 2002 over 50,000 people were killed, over 2 million displaced within the

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