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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blood diamonds, a sordid bankroller of war


Supermodel Naomi Campbell's testimony in the war crimes trial of former Liberian dictator Charles Taylor is the latest flash of glamour to shine on the sordid issue of blood diamonds.


Campbell's testimony on the so-called "blood diamond gift" she allegedly received from Taylor in 1997 has made headlines around the world, bringing fresh attention to Taylor's three-year-old trial and the larger issue of diamond sales that finance wars and abusive regimes.

"Ms Campbell's testimony reminds us of the damage that can be done by power-hungry individuals who illegally exploit their country's natural resource wealth to wage campaigns of violence and brutality against civilians," said Oliver Courtney, a spokesman for Global Witness.

The anti-blood diamond group said the supermodel's testimony "draws fresh attention to the problems which still plague the international diamond trade".

Campbell on Thursday told a court in The Hague she had received a gift of "dirty-looking stones" she assumed were from Taylor after a 1997 dinner hosted by Nelson Mandela.

Taylor, Liberia's president from 1997 to 2003, is charged with murder, rape and enslavement for his alleged role in the 1991-2001 civil war in neighbouring Sierra Leone that claimed some 120,000 lives.

He is accused of receiving illegally mined diamonds in return for arming rebels who enlisted child soldiers and murdered, raped and maimed civilians, cutting off their limbs and carving initials into their bodies.

The conflict was portrayed in the 2006 film "Blood Diamond", starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which depicted many of the war's atrocities.

Sierra Leone is one of several diamond-rich countries whose natural wealth has been used to finance bloody wars and gruesome human rights abuses in recent years.

The list also includes Angola, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all of which have suffered wars fuelled partly by money earned on diamond sales.

Human rights activists have also accused Guinea, Venezuela, Congo and Zimbabwe of profiting from the sale of diamonds linked to human rights abuses.

The United Nations in 2000 voted to create an international certification scheme to stop the trade in diamonds used to finance violence.

Launched in 2002, the Kimberley Process monitors member countries and requires international shipments of rough diamonds to be accompanied by a certificate guaranteeing they are "conflict-free".

But while activists have praised the scheme for reducing the number of conflict diamonds on the global market, they say problems remain.

Global Witness used Campbell's high-profile testimony Thursday as a platform to appeal for Kimberley Process monitors to crack down on Zimbabwe, where the watchdog documented gross military abuses against civilians by soldiers guarding the Marange diamond fields.

"Once again, diamond wealth is propping up a system of violence, abuse and illicit activity with horrendous consequences for a civilian population that should be benefitting from its country's natural resources," Global Witness said.

Monitors had in January halted the sale of stones from Marange, one of the largest diamond finds in history, but last month agreed to allow Zimbabwe to resume limited sales.

AFP

Related Post:

The Scandalous Cost of Diamonds
(Post includes some info about the Diamond Wars in Africa. It also features the Blood Diamond poem by Paul Davis)

Featured Book:

Glitter & Greed: The Secret World of the Diamond Cartel by Janine Roberts

Available at Amazon.com or Kalahari.net (South Africa)


Product Description:
Rare, romantic, and forever: The diamond industry depends on these myths to reap billions of dollars of profit. This sensational investigation explodes such fallacies and reveals how multimillion-dollar advertising campaigns create the impression of rarity and romance. It reveals a very secret and unromantic world, one that is dominated and controlled by a handful of mighty corporations.


3 comments :

Greyling said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Absolute greed and merciless exploitation of the poor- that is in short the true description of the diamond mining industry.

Diamonds are far more common than what people have been led to believe and are actually only worth a fraction of their current inflated value.

This fact was quickly noted by the diamond cartels at an early stage prompting them to horde hundreds of thousands of uncut diamonds so as to artificially control the prices and market.

The likes of De Beers e.c.t. are nothing more than Alibaba and the forty thieves working hand in hand with scum like Charles Taylor. Responsible for the murder and neglect of thousands upon thousands of men, woman and children.

Just another example of Zionist atrocities.

Anonymous said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Interesting to see the photos of old buddy Nelson Mandela next to this criminal - and everybody just keeps on assuming that our hero Nelson didn't share in the spoils...

Greyling, where the hell do you get a zionist atrocity out of a nigger who steals from his own people? You're nuts mate.

Race Equality Secret Service said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

WHITE POWER BLACK BLOOD

BNP (Black National Party)

The BNP (Black National Party) has been created to expedite the work of the Race Equality Secret Service (RESS).

The BNP (Black National Party) gets stronger as "STORMFRONT" gets weaker.

http://raceequalitysecretservice.blogspot.com/2010/02/bnp-black-national-party.html

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