Civilians in Africa
This essay is on a world issue, exploitation of civilians in Africa due to blood diamonds and in this essay you have to answer the question why immediate global action is of utmost significance Blood diamonds also referred to as to conflict diamonds or war diamonds are diamonds which are mined in war zones and usually sold in order to finance the activities of a warlord, the efforts of an invading war or an insurgency mostly in African countries (Campbell 126). The effect of blood diamonds in Africa and especially in countries that mine the germ is so adverse that it calls global action.
Most of these countries have experienced civil war that has lasted for several years all because of the desire to have control over the mines. These wars are also sustained by the diamonds. The impact on human rights is so great that if no immediate action is taken, the humanitarian situation in these countries after some time can only be left to our imagination. All countries that mine diamonds in Africa with the exception of South Africa have gone through years of war civil war which is attributed to blood diamonds.
These countries include Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic Congo, Angola, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Zimbabwe. Liberia for example was accused for funding the insurgency of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone. Liberia offered training and arms to RUF soldiers in exchange for diamonds. The RU F is said to have violated human rights of many citizens in the country especially those who were opposed to them. The violations imprisonment and torture of those opposed to RUF.
The prisoners were then forced to work in mine fields looking for diamonds that would fund the movement. RUF also amputated the arms of those who opposed their rule so that they would not vote (United Nations Department… para. 1) In addition to all this, they forced children to become soldiers by subjecting them to drugs hence brain washing them (Campbell 126). The Sierra Leone situation is just an example of the effect of blood diamonds. Liberia itself has also engaged in civil war as a result of blood diamonds.
In addition to this, the country through its leader president Taylor was accused of selling has been accused of selling diamonds to al-Qaeda, a group known for its terrorism activities. In this way, blood diamonds contribute to terrorism activities which have caused thousands of innocent lives to be lost and property worth billions of money to be destroyed. Most of these countries have however resumed peace and are trying to reconstruct after years of war. Others such as Cote d’Ivoire have had to stop all diamond mining activities because its effect on there country’s peace.
In Congo Brazzaville, civil war had started because of the country exporting high amounts of diamonds that it did not even mine. This describes the extend to which the negative impact of blood diamonds goes to (Campbell 128). The effect is so extreme that even countries that do not mine it but neighbour those that engage in its mining or are on the route of its exportation have their peace threatened. Zimbabwe’s diamonds are also on the verge of being declared blood diamonds because of their effect on the country’s political situation.
It has not yet been established whether they contribute to the power struggle between the country’s two major political parties that has caused a humanitarian crisis in the country. The diamond industry in Zimbabwe is characterised by smuggling and as such, it is being monitored by the World Diamond Council. The Democratic republic of Congo is currently the only diamond mining country that has not been able to find a lasting peace. Even today, there is a civil war going on in the country whose funding is attributed to blood diamonds (United Nations Department…
para4-10). It should be noted that it is not just African countries or businessmen that buy these diamonds hence in the process help fund the wars. The heavy presence of Europeans and individuals from other continents such as Asia and even Americans in these war torn countries can not be explained in any other way apart from seeking to buy these diamonds which are relatively cheaper than the legitimate diamonds. Democratic Republic of Congo is a live example of non-African buyers of these diamonds.
The movie, ‘Black Diamond’ illustrated this in Sierra Leone. The wars in these countries are in fact blamed on black diamonds. Critics have even accused some developed countries for taking advantage of the civil wars to steal diamonds from these countries or buy them at exploitative prices. Some countries are even accused of arming rebellion so that the wars may continue creating opportunities for them to exploit the diamonds in these countries (Tamm 144). Blood diamonds hence play a very major role in fuelling and sustaining of wars.
These diamonds while contribute to prolonging of wars that are very brutal in parts of Africa especially in countries that mine them, they are making other continents more prosperous and developed (Campbell 129). This is exploitation of the African civilians. It should be noted that the individuals who work in the mines are either forced as they are prisoners of war or are paid very little. The diamonds are then sold to individuals usually foreigners at very low prices or in exchange of arms and weapons which are of no economic significance to the civilians (Philippe 1).
Worthy of taking note is the fact that as much as diamonds are some of the most precious stones hence very expensive, Africa which is the number one producer of the germ remains poorest. Worse is the fact that t he countries that mine it are not even the richest on the continent. In fact all of them are either still experiencing civil wars or healing from the wars which always destroy infrastructure and increase poverty amongst civilians as a result of the destruction that characterizes wars (Campbell 12-130).
Most of these countries have also lost most of their young and productive citizens to the wars. This has resulted to great economic under development in the countries in spite of them having diamond resources. Blood diamonds do not only exploit African civilians economically such that they do not get money for their value. The tragic conflicts that come as a result of the wars can also be considered exploitative to these countries. This wars result violations of human rights such as right life, right to vote, right to food and shelter amongst other rights.
Children and women’s rights are also been violated by the wars. These violations include rape and children being forced to withdraw from school in order to become child soldiers. The fact that the countries and individuals who buy these diamonds do not go through such wars but continue to prosper and develop paints a picture of exploitation of the diamond producing countries. It is very significant for immediate global action to be taken in order to curb the exploitation of the civilians in these countries and the humanitarian crisis in the regions.
The trade in blood diamonds is not just an African but a global one as these diamonds are sold globally once they come out of these countries. The trade however has to be stopped because of its negative impact on the countries that mine the diamonds and their neighbours. It is evident that the wars in these countries will not end as long as black diamonds exist; a good example is the prolonged war in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In order to stop the drastic effects of these wars on the civilians, a global action needs to be taken immediately. Works cited Campbell, Greg.
Blood diamonds: tracing the deadly path of the world’s most precious stones. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press. (2002) Philippe Le. Fuelling War: Natural Resources and Armed Conflicts. London: Routledge. (2005) Tamm, Ingrid J. Diamonds In Peace and War: Severing the Conflict Diamond Connection. Cambridge, Mass: World peace foundation. (2002). United Nations Department of Public Information. Conflict Diamonds, Sanctions and War. Retrieved 10th June from <http://www. un. org/peace/africa/Diamond. html>. Rotten Tomatoes. Blood Diamond (2006). Retrieved 10th June from, <http://www. rottentomatoes. com/Sample Essay of RushEssay.com