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Conflict Diamonds - Essay Example

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Conflict Diamonds The most enthralling accounts of crime, competition and diamond trade are what the media presents as that of ‘conflict diamonds’. Although diamond is cultivated in many peaceful regions like Canada, Australia, Russia, etc, these regions never interest the media…
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Conflict Diamonds
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Download file to see previous pages These wars till date have caused a loss of around 3.7 million lives. Now that the war in Sierra Leone and Angola are over, and DRC is also cooling down, the problem of conflict diamonds still exist (Seigel, 133; Conflict Diamonds: Did someone die for that diamond). In 1992, the UN Security Council took steps to solve the problem, but was a failure. In 1993, embargo was imposed on arms trade and diamond exports by the UN Security Council. In 1997, military takeover in Sierra Leone and collapse of Lome’ peace agreement in 2000 showed the same picture. In 2000, an embargo on diamond export from Sierra Nevada was also proposed, but all these did little to solve the crisis situation in these African countries. Causes and Impacts The direct impact of the ‘conflict diamonds’ situation can be seen as the two main problems that need to be discussed here - one is the refugee problem and the other being the child soldiers. The source of this ongoing refugee problem started from December 1989 with a rebellion between Liberia and Ivory Coast. It was reported that by March 1990, almost 84,000 Liberians had sought refuge in the neighboring country of Guinea, which was where most fleeing people would seek shelter. When talks of negotiation broke off between the governments of both these countries, a fierce rebellion triggered in Liberia in June 1990, and the refugees were now starting to take shelter in Sierra Leone in large numbers. Most people residing in the common area of border like that of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone started crossing the borders in the form of refugees. These refugees, instead of taking the longer routes, came through the shortest of the ways as crow flies to attend to periodic churches and with alibi of businesses. One major problem was that these refugees, instead of living in the refugee camps started cohabiting in local areas with local people. Land provided to them by the local authorities was used to settle down by constructing rough unplanned houses as the neighboring areas started becoming overcrowded. Initially, there was co-operation from the host country, but tensions started arising when their numbers started multiplying. Even in some areas, the number of refugees exceeded the number of local people. Tensions started elevating when the rural Liberian refugees could not quite cope up with the urban styles of dressing and mind-set. The tensions were elevated further when there were reduction of already very little resources, mainly due to sloth reaction of the aid agencies. The hosts were never prepared to share their impoverished resources (Magbaily Fyle, 37-47). The second and graver problem arising from the conflict of blood diamond is the increase in the size of child soldiers. According to United Nations (UN), number of child soldiers increased from 200,000 to 300,000 during the period ranging from 1988 to 2002. The increasing use of child soldiers are a slur in the face of the wide claims of various international laws that claim to exert their influence in shielding children from both forceful and voluntary deployment in civil wars throughout Africa. The Liberian war of 1989-1995 shows not the state’s army, but an incredible proportion of children among the rebels. Some conflicts also show a different trend of deploying more child soldiers by the government itself. In Africa, by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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