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Conflict Diamonds Essay

2263 words - 9 pages

Africa is commonly referred to as "The Heart of the World"; if this were interpreted literally our heart has a serious condition that’s not receiving the attention it so desperately deserves. The purpose of blood diamonds is simple; they’re used as currency to buy warring factions and warlords armaments and fuel civil wars in unstable countries as well as continued guerrilla tyranny throughout countries like Angola and more famously Sierra Leone. When addressing the issue of blood diamonds mined from Sierra Leone, understanding the country’s geography, civil and political aspects are crucial. Blood diamonds often have a misconstrued meaning, and the definition of what they are requires a clear explanation. The brutal process of acquiring the diamonds begins with the actions of a greed driven rebel, to diamond company executives trying to extend their control in the international diamond market. Even with United Nations implementing the Kimberly process there are a few weak links in the chain that make it very easy to bypass the laws that prohibit the purchasing of conflict diamonds. Lastly, workers forced into slavery, most often children, are subject to horrid working conditions and extreme abuse. The issue of Blood diamonds is a complicated subject involving civil war and forced labor that leaves an ominous cloud of transgression over Sierra Leone, as well as numerous other diamond rich countries.
Sierra Leone, resting on the western coast of northwestern Africa, is half the size of the state of Illinois with a total land area of about 30,000 miles (State). Coastline cities are often the most populated with the capital city Freetown, with a population of over 1 million people, lying in the northwest side of the country. Sierra Leone’s geography drastically changes throughout the country, spanning from mangrove swamps to wooded hills, with mountainous plateaus at the countries center as well as many coastal cities and bays. Predominantly an African American country with a strong Muslim influence totaling more than 60 percent, the 5.7 million citizens living in Sierra Leone have established democracy headed by Ernest Bai Koroma in 2005 (State). Sierra Leone is the world’s leader in diamond export. Many would believe that this is the countries main source of profit, but it actually accounts for a small portion in comparison to the countries profit on agricultural exportation. Diamonds weigh in for a whopping total 4.5% of the countries total gross domestic product (WorldPress). The country, being rich in minerals, has been subject of greed and corruption within the government, thus leading to less political interference in the countries stability. Since the 1960’s when much of the political unrest began with the country’s attempt to establish a recognized government was met with many different political theories with factions like the Sir Milton's Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and the All Peoples Congress, education and children’s needs have...

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