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Diamonds in Sierra Lionne and the Impact the Business Has on the Social and Political Areas of Sierra Lionne - Term Paper Example

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"Diamonds in Sierra Lionne and the Impact the Business Has on the Social and Political Areas of Sierra Lionne" paper profiles the ‘blood diamond’ industry and the problems it creates then concludes with suggestions to alleviate this horrific humanitarian catastrophe. …
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Diamonds in Sierra Lionne and the Impact the Business Has on the Social and Political Areas of Sierra Lionne
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Download file to see previous pages Diamonds are commonly associated with glamour, love, and affluence but the discovery that they were financing conflicts in Sierra Leone, The Congo, Liberia, and Angola took the ‘shine off the stone.’  “In some African countries, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo tens of thousands of civilians have over the past years been killed or tortured and millions have been displaced” (International Secretariat, 2006). Many came to realize that they not only financed genocide and other acts of vulgar inhumanity by purchasing a diamond but were also wearing and flaunting this symbol of human suffering. The main source of this horrific revelation to the world community was last year’s movie ‘Blood Diamond’ which attempted to alert the masses to the atrocities occurring in Africa. Until then, this situation was largely ignored by Western governments and news media. In one scene of the movie, the character Maddy Bowen witnesses a massive refugee camp that contains more than a million displaced, poverty-stricken, desperate people and says “we’ll only get a glimpse of it on CNN, somewhere between Sports and Weather” (Zwick, 2006).

Rebel militias deal in the illegal diamond trade for many reasons. The most obvious is that the diamond’s value-to-weight ratio is very high which allows for great amounts of capital to be easily transported. Diamonds are mined with low-profile, rudimentary tools and in various regions, many of which are remote making it all but impossible to adequately patrol. Additionally, determining the source of individual diamonds is tremendously problematic although efforts have been made in this respect such as the Angolan government issuing tamper-proof ‘certificates of origin.’ In this nation, the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), an anti-government group backed by the U.S. government, is heavily involved in the extraction and distribution of illegal diamonds.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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