Conflicts funded by Diamonds from Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone's history is brutal and amazing, one of the poorest countries, yet valuable resources are plentiful. It doesn't make a lot of sense until you realize that diamonds from Sierra Leone have been traded illegally for a long time. This trading can fund conflict and civil war, fuel corruption and leave the innocent with nothing. The exploitation of the reserves in this country led to continued battling with both the rebel forces and the various governments accusing each other of being corrupt. Cross border trafficking of diamonds from Sierra Leone has stripped the country of countless amounts of funding and despite attempts to crack down on this trade, it still continued relentlessly.
Trading of diamonds from Sierra Leone has long since been a source of power and finance to those willing to go to extremes to succeed. It is the innocent citizens of this country who have already suffered when the Revolutionary United Front and the Government opposed and fought over areas close to diamond mines. People have been raped, murdered and mutilated all for the sake of diamonds. Children were recruited to both sides and brainwashed and the aftermath of the conflicts has been huge levels of unemployment. Even during times of supposed peace, atrocities were still continuing and a lot of the problems were exacerbated by outside influences such as diamond traders interested in purchasing illegally trafficked diamonds from Sierra Leone at a low price.
Protecting Diamonds from Sierra Leone
The United Nations have attempted to bring peace to Sierra Leone but realizing that the diamonds were continuing the problems and making disarmament a problem, they established an 18 month ban on exports of diamonds from Sierra Leone in 2000. Only diamonds that were certified and originated in Freetown and legally sold were permitted to be traded. Corrupt members from all factions were mining diamonds and selling them to fund the purchase of weapons and certain activities so the logical progression was to impose sanctions on neighboring countries such as Liberia as well as banning the mining of diamonds from 2001.
Over the years countless attempts have been made to solve the crisis in Sierra Leone and to prevent diamonds from being used for criminal activities. It has never really clicked together and residents of Sierra Leone have always had to prepare themselves against the possibility of civil war and even worse, further fighting for control of the diamond mines. The innocent people of Sierra Leone have been cursed with valuable resources, especially diamond mines and they have been constantly taken advantage of over the years so that criminals can profit under the pretence of fighting for their country.