Diamond War- the Un Stand

by Dana H - Date: 2006-11-26 - Word Count: 527 Share This!

Diamonds and the continuous perpetration of war and violence in the countries of Africa have been involved in a long and arduous cycle over so many years. The story is basically the same for many different countries. Rebel factions launch wars against the government. To fund their activities, their main action is to take control of the diamond rich areas in their country and force the people to mine diamonds for them, hence the term diamond war. The rough diamonds are then smuggled out to other countries and sold to the world market. In the midst of this struggle, it is the common people who suffer. They are the ones caught in between the cycle of violence. Though this has been the reality, for over a decade, the international community was unable, or unwilling, to do anything about it.

Diamond War Recognition
It was only in December 1, 2000 that the United Nations came up with a resolution to deal with the situation. Finally, the suffering of the African people became too much to ignore. The UN formally recognized the role that blood diamonds play in fuelling the wars and conflicts in Africa and decided to take some measures in order to put a stop to the vicious activities there.
In the UN General Assembly resolution, it was made clear that sanctions were needed in order for the illegal mining and trading of diamonds to stop. The idea was that if only legitimate diamonds were mined and sold, it would cut off the funds of the rebels and thus contribute to peace and ultimately, development. The UN asserts that everyone involved must participate in order for the measures to be effective.

From 2000 until last year, the UN has carried out many studies and imposed sanctions on individual countries and rebel groups involved in the mining and trading of blood diamonds and diamond wars. Key countries which have had sanctions brought upon them are Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and the Ivory Coast for their involvement in diamond wars. Sanctions came in the form of arms embargoes, travel, and financial restrictions especially for known leaders of the rebel groups. The UN has also come up with a monitoring mechanism for the countries involved. This monitoring mechanism aims to address the traffic of diamonds as well as arms - diamonds going out of the said countries and arms coming in from Eastern European countries.

Diamonds Wars Continue
Despite the continuing efforts of the UN to curb this illicit trade, reports show that the mining of blood diamonds still occur. This is especially true for the countries with rebel controlled areas. Somehow, blood diamonds still find a way out of these countries and into the world market. Somehow, arms still find their way into the rebels'' hands. As the UN itself stated, everyone must participate and be vigilant in this fight against conflict diamonds. From the international diamond market, to the local officials'' everyone must give his two cents worth in order for real progress to be made. Until that happens we must live with the reality that everyday, people and children are being abused, maimed, and killed in the name of blood diamonds.

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