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Mining of Diamond in Sierra Leone - Essay Example

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Diamonds are among the most sought after mineral in the world. This is where they derive their name; it means 'unconquerable' in Greek. Diamonds are a form of carbon and are characterized by their luster. They come in a number of colors and are quite hard…
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Mining of Diamond in Sierra Leone
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Download file to see previous pages The latter deposits are easily accessible as they are mostly found along the Coastal areas. Even mining them does not require a large input of resources i.e. a shovel and pan. However, the other type of ore requires a large input of technology such ass hydraulic trucks. The largest percentage of diamonds in the world comes from alluvial deposits while a small percentage comes from kimberlite deposits. (Oomsa, 2002)
There are a number of parties that were involved in the diamond trade in Sierra Leone. The first one was De Beers Company which began in the early twentieth century. They were not the only group interested in diamond trade at that time. Some Lebanese traders used to smuggle diamonds from Sierra Leone to Liberia.
The country's government has played a major role in perpetrating these conflicts surrounding diamonds. After the country gained its independence, a law was passed that allowed independent local miners to obtain licenses. This fueled illegal diamond trade.
To make matters worse, the Sierra Leone kept getting inadequate leaders. One such leader was Prime Minister Steven. He gave himself mining rights and allowed a lot of illegal trade just to popularize his name. This occurred in the late 1960s. He was the one who perpetrated the end of De Beers Company and his ally Mohamed bought shares from De Beers (it had decided to stop involving itself in Sierra Leone).
As the country approached the end of the century the government kept being more and more corrupt thus allowing plenty of foreigners to participate in this illegal trade. After the reign of Prime Minister Steve, another leader took over called Momoh. During the 90's, Sierra Leone started a civil war. This was as a result of unrest among citizens who felt that their needs were not being met by the current government. Profits from diamond trade were simply going to a few powerful individuals. A rebel movement called the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) began its activities in the year 1991. It claimed that it was fighting for the rights of the common man by asking for equitable distribution of profits earned from the diamond trade. This group of rebels obtained resources for acquiring firearms through diamond smuggling. This meant that illegal trade kept getting worse and worse. (Janine, 2006)
There are a number of human rights that were violated by the ongoing civil war in Sierra Leone it lasted for nine years. The rebels took away the right to life because a numerous number of individuals were killed through the dreaded RUF rebel group. About seventy five thousand people were killed through this war. They wanted to instill fear among the locals so that they could yield to their commands. RUF also wanted to illustrate that the government of the day was powerless and couldn't even protect its people.
The war surrounding diamond trade also caused immense suffering among the locals. Some of them were mutilated and their body parts were placed in bags. This was done by most of the rebel soldiers. Women and children were not spared as many were tortured, raped, and taken as captives to work as sex slaves. A number of these women contracted sexually transmitted infections or bore illegitimate children. (Lansana, 2006)
The conflict disempowered most members of the community because they could not be able to fend for themselves after loss of their limbs. Most of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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