The Real Story & History of Conflict Blood Diamonds

What Are Conflict Blood Diamonds?

By Nick Zistronia (South Africa)
October, 14 2017

blood diamonds africa
What are "conflict blood diamonds"? This is actually a term that was made popular by the December, 8th, 2006 movie Blood Diamond (official trailer)  This powerful movie, directed by Edward Zwick was about the 1990s Civil War in Sierra Leone Africa. Leonardo DiCaprio played a white South African who is on a quest for what would be considered today a conflict blood diamond that could change everything about his destiny.

First Inside View of "Bloody" Diamond Trade

Of course, in this movie, we get one of the first inside views (albeit it through a work of historical fiction) of how the diamond trade affects the people and Africa and ultimately how these conflict blood diamonds create massive violence against humanity in an attempt to exploit labor and protect resources for the end goal of getting valuable diamonds and in return money for them.

Not only are these blood diamonds which are mined at the expense of local inhabitants bad in the sense that they create a lot of bloodshed but there is also the concept of a conflict Blood Diamond which takes the evil further. A conflict blood diamond is a diamond that was mined and a war zone an order to fund a war of aggression. 

Imagine You Are in Africa

So if you can imagine now you are in Africa and food and water and shelter are scarce. The ones with power have figured out that resources provide the ultimate security so the more aggressive inhabitants of the land fight over those resources. The winners are often called warlords and they exact whatever measures necessary in order to keep their power and resources. 

Those resources required for everyday living are one type of resources. And another type are those resources that can be sold internationally like diamonds, oil, exotic hardwoods Etc. These are sold for cash to buy weapons and other Goods that cannot be so easily obtained from the land. 

It becomes morally wrong for consumers to buy these conflict blood diamonds because it helps to fund Wars of Insurgency that make life miserable and horrible for many people continents away. Now blood diamonds and the United States are fairly scarce because of efforts by activist to eliminate and curtail the conflict blood diamond trade.

What's Being Done to Stop It

Almost two decades ago, South African diamond states created something call, The Kimberley Process (after a May, 2000 meeting in Kimberley, South Africa), in which they talked about ways to curb the flow conflict diamonds that were funding rebel faction violence which often intended to overthrow government. Now those countries participating must issue a certificate of origin for rough diamonds that are exported, along with an affirmation that diamond profits will not fund conflict. 

Kimberly Process Certification Failure

Although the certification to stop blood diamond trade was well intended, some report that it did not work, and in fact created more corruptions (when African officials are bribed $50 or $100 to issue a certificate)

Are Blood Diamonds Still an Issue in 2017?

According to an article on Next Web, companies like Brilliant Earth, have made claims ensuring that their diamonds are "tracked from dirt to door leaving the company with an uncanny ability to ensure the rock on your finger didn’t cost an African worker an arm, leg, or family member."This source goes on to say that investigators found that (after speaking with nearly a dozen diamond experts, etc.) conflict blood diamonds are far extinct, and that there is virtually no way to know for sure whether a diamond purchased online is blood free or not. 

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