Blood Diamonds in Africa

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Edwin Lopez
Ms. Korbelack
English 121
13 November 2012
“Blood” Diamonds in Africa
“In Sierra Leone, more than 10,000 people have suffered amputation because of the diamond trade, which has become a trademark atrocity for the rebels”. Unfortunately, Ibrahim Fofana, a diamond miner, shared a similar fate to the thousands that suffered brutal amputations from the Rebels. Ibrahim Fofana is like many of the miners who are forced to work long brutal hours in diamond mines. And according to UK Channel 5 "The True Story" Documentary Series, “In April 1998 the RUF attacked his village. Rebels confronted his neighbor demanding diamonds, when he said he had none he was shot and killed. A different fate awaited Ibrahim, they chopped his hands off.” Diamonds are known to contain such an essential significance in which we take part of in our everyday lives. From fashion statements to wedding rings, diamonds have been in the competitive trading business for years and the demand will continue to grow as long as our society greatly cherishes them. Diamonds are one of the most solicit natural resources available, but unfortunately, the origins of these diamonds are not as pleasant as the diamonds themselves. Unethical diamond businesses are adding fire to the already heated Africa, and it needs to stop. The high demands for diamonds outside of Africa are primarily the reason these different civil wars have been created, and should be thwarted. When there is a lack of enforcement, control, and basic human rights, action needs to be taken to prevent corrupt business trades and future bloodshed. In times of a civil war being fueled by the “blood” diamonds, Africa is in desperate need of laws and enforcement. Enforcing laws and regulations will prevent a majority of murders and give more security to the people suffering from the rebel’s brutal attacks. According to the United Nations, “On 1 December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, unanimously, a resolution on the role of diamonds in fuelling conflict, breaking the link between the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict, as a contribution to prevention and settlement of conflicts.” To thwart these unauthorized black-market sales, the government has to get involved and needs to enforce strict laws punishing these felonies. Also, in other words of the United Nation, “Governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, diamond traders, financial institutions, arms manufacturers, social and educational institutions and other civil society players need to combine their efforts, demand the strict enforcement of sanctions and encourage real peace.” Getting all of these key players on the same page will greatly affect the changes of the unethical business, which is known to fund the rebel’s weapons. Although some laws have been placed that undermine some black-market trades, governments are not doing enough to stop them. There is minimum enforcement, which enables the rebels to freely control the helpless people to work for them. Different parts of the African government should enforce laws in the creation of contracts that encourages legal diamond trades, which would greatly minimize the demand for rebels to try and sell diamonds illegally. To elucidate on the point of a government’s need to enforce diamond trade laws, a brief article from the New Internationalist states, “Ottawa MP Paul Dewar is working to pass the Trade in Conflict Minerals Act' (Bill C-571). But even if the bill is eventually passed, says Nutt, there will be no way to enforce it. She believes both the government and cell phone producers need to take the initiative.” Furthermore, the profits from illegal diamond trading pays for the rebel’s weapons, which must be thwarted to prevent future civil wars from breaking out. In most parts of Africa, black-market sales of blood diamonds are the fuel to a civil war’s fire. In terms of profit, rebels use the money from diamonds to...
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