Diamonds in Conflict


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This section looks at how the mining and trade of diamonds fuels deadly conflicts. Since the early years of the 20th century, when Cecil Rhodes sowed tribal strife in South Africa to gain control of rich diamond deposits, diamonds have often been associated with violence and misery – the very opposite of the advertising images of diamonds as symbols of joy and love. The connection between diamonds and conflicts goes far beyond rebel groups seizing control of diamond-rich areas and selling the precious gems for arms and war supplies. Large diamond companies are involved in this deadly game, along with traders, transport companies, arms smugglers and financial firms. Most such conflicts arise in Africa, where valuable gem diamonds are largely found. During the 1990s, diamonds fueled the civil war in Angola with terrible consequences. In 1999, the UN Security Council acted to enforce sanctions on diamond sales by the UNITA rebel group and the conflict finally ended a short time later. But since then, further diamond-related conflicts have raged in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This page explores the issues in detail, including debates and opinions from the UN, NGOs, the diamond industry, governments, and other parties.

Debates and General Articles

This page posts documents and reports on diamonds in conflict, as well as articles concerning diamonds in conflict in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ivory Coast, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Kimberley Process

This section covers the Kimberley Process which set up an internationally recognized certification system for rough diamonds.

NGO Opinions and Initiatives

This section posts NGO reports and information on NGO initiatives on diamonds in conflict.

UN Documents

This page provides key UN documents on diamonds in conflict.