Conflict Diamonds Effect on Security & Peace in Africa
| International Relations
Hassan Sarfraz Khan
Throughout the history, for one reason or another mankind has been fighting wars. Human being has been selfish when it comes to fulfilling his own desires. Men fought for the basic individual needs like food and then it was countries which started fighting to fulfill their people needs and wants. This is why Natural Resources like Diamond, Oil and Water are blamed for the plunging the countries into a state of war. Every state is trying to acquire these resources and to do this they are not hesitant to make any move; no matter what the consequences are. Conflicts over diamonds started in early 80s in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone and then spread to different countries across Africa. The social, political and economic conditions started depending upon the mining activities of diamond. The paper argues that Diamond Conflicts are blamed for most of the unrest that has been created in the recent two to three decades in Africa, with the rest of the world constantly involved in the destruction of this continent by trading Blood Diamond. Diamonds or ‘Blood Diamonds’
No one can ever imagine that the diamond they are buying to add happiness in their lives, reaches them are covered with blood of the people of Africa. The value that has been added to the beauty and worth of diamonds in fact comes at the expense of thousands of deaths, reason why they are known as ‘Blood Diamonds’. Still no one is concerned and why would they be, when illegal diamond trade is worth US$ 56 billion dollars, contributing a lot to certain economies of the world. The other side of the picture however, tells us that the civil war broke out due to the blood diamond trade has left 6.5 million refugees and 3.7 million people dead in the last one decade. African governments and rebels have been used against each other to carry on the illegal mining and trade. This mess continued until United Nation started to take some initiatives to stop the illegal trade and safeguard the lives of thousands but the roots are spread so deep into the world trade that it has not been yet removed from the face of the earth. Even after the involvement of United Nation, the issue of Blood Diamonds was not fully exposed to the rest of the world. Media in early 2000s carried out lot of work in presenting the realities behind the Diamond Trade followed by a Hollywood movie named ‘Blood Diamond’ which alarmed a lot of leaders on international forums. Framing of Illegal Diamond Mining and Trade
a. Theoretical Framing
Natural resources have been one of the primary causes of the conflicts going around the world. Diamonds are blamed for most of the damage in African Nations, Oil for the destruction and unrest in Middle East and Water in different countries; like Indo-Pakistan deteriorating relationships resulting in economic disturbance in the region. These conflicts have their effects both at inter-state and intra state levels; solutions to these issues have become global concerns, which is why individual institutions like United Nations can’t handle them all alone. Paivi Lujala, Nils Petter Gleditsch and Elisabeth Gilmore argued that Natural Resources give all three ingredients that can fuel a civil war; opportunity, motivation & Identity. Mainly it’s the rebels of a country who started exploring and using the resources for their own interests. Among these interests are, financing arms against the governments, earning more and more money to get rich or using trade to build empires to rule upon. Rebels are given opportunities by the foreign businessmen of major multi nationals who started illegal trading with them, allowing them to continue in their motives. These motives and opportunities allow different groups to come together and work under one flag as long as their individual...
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