The problem of conflict diamonds was first made public thanks to the efforts of several international NGOs, who bluntly denounced the links between the diamond trade and the wars in the African continent. NGOs played a major role in denouncing the trade of blood diamonds and ultimately demanding a response from those responsible. Notable about this campaign was its success in uniting unofficial diplomatic channels with a number of official as well as unofficial networks and connections to achieve its goal, thus employing what has been termed as multi-track diplomacy'(Grant & Taylor : 2004, 386).
The conflict diamonds campaign was, according to Global Witness, the combined efforts of multiple international NGOs with the purpose of ending the sale of diamonds that originate from areas under the control of forces that are in opposition to elected and internationally recognized governments, or are in any way connected to those groups (Grant & Taylor : 2004, 389). The campaign has been especially successful in consolidating the idea that purchasing conflict diamonds is a unacceptable practice. Similarly, it has contributed much to the awareness of western diamond consumers who rarely recognized it as an issue.
The British NGO Global Witness played a major role in the anti-blood diamonds trade campaign. Global Witness was in fact the first to publish, in 1998, A Rough Trade: The Role of Companies and Governments in the Angolan Conflict, a report that denounced the role that international diamond companies and governments played in purchasing illegal diamonds from Angola at a time when the Angolan rebel group UNITA, led by Savimbi, enjoyed a monopoly of the diamond exports produced by Angola, thus financing its military activity against the Angolan government (Grant & Taylor : 2004, 390). This was the first step towards making conflict diamonds a human rights issue, and demanding a response by those powerful enough to halt the trade of... [continues]
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