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Race and History Forum

West fuels trade in blood diamonds

EDITOR — Blood diamonds, also known as ‘‘conflict diamonds’’, are diamonds that come from war-torn parts of Africa, mined under circumstances that violate basic human rights.

Arguments are that since diamonds are so valuable, they can be used to fund illegal and unethical practices, for example rebel movements attempting to overthrow legitimate governments.

Reports say that by knowingly and/or unknowingly purchasing blood diamonds, Westerners may be enabling horrific practices.

This is my question to African governments under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme: when actually did the issue of blood diamonds start? Is it a yesteryear issue or this is an issue whose genesis should be revisited?

Shouldn't we go back to colonisation when the true conflict on Africa’s mineral resources started? And who was responsible for that?

Were Africans involved?

Blood diamonds are also like prostitution. If those who seek services of commercial sex workers stop, then this will eliminate prostitution. That these blood diamonds end up on the market in the West, is where the real problem is.

Both dealers in blood diamonds are equally guilty, and should receive the same penalties. It is unfair that only Africa is seen as the one driving this evil act, which in the first place never started with them. We cannot just criminalise the miners without criminalising those who illegally purchase these precious stones.


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