Diamonds in Conflict - Archived Articles


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Central Africa To Clean Up Diamond Trade (November 17, 2004)

Mining ministers from Angola, the Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo Republic and Gabon signed a declaration setting up an organization to monitor the rough diamond trade in central Africa. The organization will be "a first step" towards a larger African diamond organization. (Sunday Times)

Diamonds Keep Botswana's Economy Sparkling (October 31, 2004)

Diamond earnings in Botswana make up 60 percent of government revenue and are the driving force behind the country's economy. Botswana houses the world's richest diamond mine, Jwaneng, which prides itself on "faithfully enforcing 'blood diamonds' regulations." As such, Jwaneng managers "take issue" with rights-groups that accuse the government and diamond industry of forcibly resettling people to make way for mining, and that raise concerns about worker rights and labor unrest. (Agence France Presse)

UN Ties Al Qaeda Figure to Diamonds (June 28, 2004)

The Wall Street Journal reports that al Qaeda surveyed potential diamond-trading operations in Liberia and acquired diamonds from war-torn Sierra Leone. UN war crimes prosecutors believe that conflict diamond trading in West Africa might have been a "central component of al Qaeda's finances."

Global Aid Needed to Make Diamond Trade Sparkle (March 19, 2004)

Despite the ongoing illegal diamond trade in Sierra Leone, a Canadian NGO has urged the international community to help the country convert "blood diamonds" into "development diamonds," the export of which can provide the country with revenue to invest in "health, education and other vital infrastructure." (Inter Press Service)

West 'Has Failed to Stop' Congo War Profiteering from War (March 17, 2004)

A British-based research organization accuses industrialized countries of failing to act against companies profiting from illegal activities, such as trading conflict diamonds, which exacerbated the war in Democratic Republic of Congo. The spokesperson of the organization argues that "most governments have been long on excuses, but short on action" in punishing the named companies. (Independent)

Dying for Diamonds (March 15, 2004)

In light of the continuing illegal diamond trade in many parts of Africa, the author urges state governments and end consumers to strictly observe any UN initiatives, such as the Kimberly Process, which are designed to prohibit conflict diamond sales. (Korea Times)

Angola: New Body to Monitor Diamond-Mining Sector (February 19, 2004)

During the Angolan civil war, the former rebel group Unita sold illegal diamonds on Angola's loosely controlled gem market to fund its war against the government. The Angolan government is now seeking to establish a security body to monitor the poorly regulated diamond-mining sector. (UN Integrated Regional Information Networks)

India's Diamond Trade Reveals Flawed Side (February 19, 2004)

The death of an Indian diamond trader in Angola has raised suspicions of an Indian link with conflict diamonds. Although the Indian diamond industry has asserted that India strictly observes the Kimberly Process, "there are good reasons to believe that some of these conflict diamonds, estimated to form about 4 percent of the global diamond trade, may well be sieving into India," says Asia Times


War Crimes Court Eyes 'Blood Diamond' Buyers (September 23, 2003)

The International Criminal Court could charge "blood diamond" buyers with complicity in war crimes and genocide. The Court holds third parties legally responsible, as much as "anyone who actually carried out those atrocities," marking a big step forward in stopping the spiral of conflict. (Reuters)

The New Diamond Age (September 11, 2003)

Two start-up companies utilize groundbreaking scientific technology to create diamonds. This article from Wired explores the possibility of diamond-based semiconductors and ponders the ramifications for the De Beers diamond cartel. Will consumers show interest in diamonds that are mass-produced but genuinely "conflict-free"?

Diamond Origin 'Can Be Determined' (July 25, 2003)

The BBC reports that Belgian scientists have uncovered a way to determine the source of each diamond to the mine from which it came. This scientific breakthrough has the potential to eliminate ‘conflict diamonds' from the legitimate diamond trade.

UN Council Ends Bans on Sierra Leone Diamonds (June 4, 2003)

The Security Council determined that Sierra Leone no longer threatens international peace and security by trading in conflict diamonds. A government-initiated certification plan and cooperation with external regulators ended a 3-year period of sanctions on the country. (Reuters)

Drug Gangs Go to London's Diamond Dealers for Cash (March 9, 2003)

Diamonds are fast replacing more traditional methods of money laundering. Besides being very easy to transport across borders, the diamond trade also represents one of the few remaining industries where large cash transactions can be carried out with complete anonymity. (Guardian)

"Soaked in Blood" (January 23, 2003)

Shortly after the Kimberley Process diamond certification scheme came into effect, Al-Ahram published this backgrounder about the initiatives of Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada in exposing the links between diamonds and conflict in African states.


Al-Qaida Tied to Africa Diamonds Trade (December 30, 2002)

Recent investigations reveal that Liberian diamonds financed al-Qaeda. The news comes as no surprise, given that investigators have been aware of al-Qaeda's diamond connection for over a year. (Washington Post)

Diamonds Are a Tyrant's Best Friend (December 8, 2002)

Business Report looks at a little-known diamond company that the UN report on DRC accuses of "trading with the wrong kind of people" and "the wrong kind of diamonds."

UN Security Council Extends Prohibition (December 5, 2002)

As the illicit diamond trade in Sierra Leone remains a threat to security, the UN Security Council decided to extend the prohibition on direct or indirect import of rough diamonds from Sierra Leone for a new period of six months. (Presswire)

Blood Out of a Stone (November, 2002)

A representative from De Beers weighs in on "A Rough Trade," the seminal report by Global Witness that alerted the international community to the problem of conflict diamonds. His comments demonstrate the often uneasy relationship between the diamond industry and non-governmental organizations. (Leadership)

DRC Loses $8m Pa on Diamonds (October 23, 2002)

The Congolese Deputy Minister for Mining and Oil estimates that his country, the world's leading diamond producer, has lost $800m a year because neighboring countries illegally extract diamonds. (News24)

Bin Laden's Dollars 20m African 'Blood Diamond' Deals (October 20, 2002)

Before September 11, Al-Qaida converted millions of dollars into diamonds from the RUF (Revolutionary United Front) in Sierra Leone. Terrorist organizations "can easily transport (diamonds) over borders without detection and convert them back into banknotes whenever they need the money." (Observer)

From War Zones to Shopping Malls (October 17, 2002)

Millions are dying because insatiable consumer societies import natural resources regardless of their origins. Companies and rich nations that benefit from cheap raw materials such as coltan, diamonds and wood turn a blind eye to this humanitarian crisis. (Worldwatch)

Toward People-Friendly Diamonds (August 20, 2002)

Greg Campbell underlines the weaknesses of the Kimberley process in eradicating conflict diamonds. For him, the only solution is to end the conflicts themselves, by the "diligent intervention" of either the UN or a yet-to-materialize competent pan-African peacekeeping force. (Christian Science Monitor)

Scientists Struggle to Identify Conflict Diamonds (August 10, 2002)

Can chemistry and physics help to identify conflict diamonds? This article explores ways science could complement the Kimberley Process. (Science News)

Hard Currency: The Criminalized Diamond Economy of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and its Neighbors (June, 2002)

This report makes apparent "the irony ( ... ) that the Democratic Republic of the Congo is ranked as one of the world's top ten diamond producers but remains one of the least developed countries". (Partnership Africa Canada)

Sierra Leone's Troubling Stones (May, 22, 2002)

The peace agreement signed in January has yet to bring changes to Sierra Leone's diamond-rich Kono district. However, as prosperity relies on the successful supervision of such rich fields, lack of government funding can jeopardize the national diamond-taxing mechanisms. (Christian Science Monitor)

Blood Diamonds Kept War Flowing (April 2, 2002)

Despite a UN embargo on Unita diamonds since 1993, Unita rebels continued selling the precious stones, earning some $500 million every year from the illegal diamond trade. Rebels found "arms dealers prepared to trade weapons for the gems, mainly in the former eastern bloc." (South African Press Association)

Smuggling Is Easy (March 14, 2002)

Dealers in the Central African Republic admit that the trade in illegal conflict diamonds is "booming." The ease with which traders can circumvent regulations underscores the need for regular, independent, and external monitoring of national controls systems. (Economist)




'Conflict Diamonds' Evade UN Sanctions (December 2001)

Despite UN sanctions, countries such as Angola and Liberia continue to smuggle diamonds to neighbouring countries for sale on world markets. This article in Africa Recoveryexplains gaps in previous sanctions regimes, and the emerging Kimberley Process agreement on international controls.

Digging up Congo's Dirty Gems (December 30, 2001)

Recent evidence links international terrorist groups to diamond smugglers operating out of the Democratic Republic of Congo. This new evidence reenforces the need for effective international controls to stem the flow of diamonds from conflict zones. (Washington Post)

UN Worried At Illicit Diamond Trade (December 20, 2001)

The Security Council praises the disarmament process in Sierra Leone but remains concerned with the role played by the illicit trade in diamonds. Rebel groups in Sierra Leone buy their weapons through the traffic in "conflict diamonds". (Business Day)

Diamonds Are A Rebel's Best Friend (December 12, 2001)

Illicit gems are the currency of choice for Africa's warlords. Up to $100 million worth of diamonds are mined annually by rebels in Sierra Leone alone. A new deal among African ministers aims to curtail the trade through a certification scheme. (Guardian)

House Passes Conflict Diamonds Bill (November 30, 2001)

The Clean Diamonds Act bill proposes to give the president authority to impose sanctions on any country which does not have a certification scheme, and in the interest of "national security." However, the bill is a compromise on a more comprehensive earlier version, which called for automatic sanctions against countries without diamond certification controls. (Rapaport News)

Diamonds Slow Sierra Leone Peace (November 25, 2001)

RUF rebels are continuing to delay the disarmanent programme and the return of rebel-held territories to the government. Though the rebels continue to make political demands, the main motivation for the delay lies in the desire to "pluck as many gems as possible" during the interim period. (Reuters)

Kampala Diamond Exports Triple, Says UN Congo Report (November 22, 2001)

A recent UN report revealed that Uganda, which holds no know diamond deposits, saw a tripling in diamond exports in the last eight months. The illegal smuggling of natural resource wealth through the DRC's neighboring countries continues to pose a barrier to a lasting peace in the region. (Monitor)

Security Council Needs to Tighten Sanctions Against UNITA Rebels in Angola (November 16, 2001)

Cutting the profits from diamond smuggling is the only way to "blunt [the rebel's] war machine" and force the Angolan rebels to adhere to the peace accords, says the Belgium Ambassador to the UN.(Associated Press)

Al Qaeda Cash Tied to Diamond Trade (November 2, 2001)

Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda network has greatly profited from the illicit trade in diamonds mined by rebels in Sierra Leone. Intelligence sources report that more diamonds than usual were bought since July 2001, a clear sign of money laundering. (Washington Post)

Supplementary Report of the Monitoring Mechanism on Sanctions against UNITA (October 12, 2001)

This report discusses the limits of the current diamond sanctions against UNITA. It recommends that the UN establish a permanent mechanism to ensure ongoing monitoring of targeted sanctions regimes and illicit trafficking in high-value commodities in armed conflicts.

New Report Casts Doubt on Effectiveness of 'Conflict Diamonds' Ban (October 16, 2001)

The UN supplementary report on the UNITA diamonds sanctions examines the shortcomings of the current monitoring mechanism. State and non-state actors continue to smuggle illicit diamonds, thus undermining the sanctions regime and providing UNITA with revenue to sustain its campaign. (SouthScan)

UN to Investigate Alleged Looting by Zimbabwe in DRC (September 13, 2001)

The United Nations has begun to investigate the extent of alleged looting by Zimbabwean military and government officials of the mineral resources of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. (Financial Gazette

Sierra Leone Seizes Illegal Diamonds (August 28, 2001)

Backed by UNAMSIL, rebels and the government of Sierra Leone launched last month a major operation to seize illegal conflict diamonds to help disarmament. But police said the ban had failed to stop the flow of diamonds.(Reuters)

No Liberian Diamonds in Bush America (May 24, 2001)

In response to Security Council Resolution 1343 imposing sanctions on Liberia for its support to the RUF, Bush issued an Executive Order prohibiting the importation of all Liberian rough diamonds into the US. (Perspective)

Senator Judd Gregg Introduces Conflict Diamonds Act to Senate (May 4, 2001)

On April 26, 2001, Senator Gregg introduced the "Conflict Diamonds Act of 2001" prohibiting importation of bloody stones in the US. The text of the Act is included. (Rapaport

Diamonds of Death (April 23, 2001)

Ken Silverstein from The Nation denounces the role and the power of corporations in the business of conflict diamonds.

Congo Joins Illegal Gem Trade Fight (April 30, 2001)

Following Sierra Leone and Angola, the DRC has signed a certification deal with diamond producers. (CNN)

Diamond Trade's Tragic Flaw (April 29, 2001)

The Washington Poststudies the role of the diamond industry and De Beers in the fight against conflict diamonds.

Diamond Rules Slow in Developing (April 27, 2001)

"The time for hiding behind vague bureaucratic working and platitudes is over ..." claim humanitarian organizations at the diamond meeting. Meanwhile, governments explain that the process is long and difficult. (Guardian)

Belgium Accused Continuing Sale of Unita Diamonds (April 24, 2001)

A secret report of the Belgium General Intelligence Service indicates that Antwerp has continued to buy diamonds from Unita despite the UN sanctions imposed on "bloody diamonds". (Panafrican News Agency)

Congo Cancels Israeli-Diamond Supply (April 21, 2001)

Joseph Kabila revoked the monopoly deal on diamonds his father contracted with the Israeli-based firm International Diamond Industries. The deal created an underground market and favored smuggling, reported the UN report on natural resources. (Associated Press)

UN Asks US Firm to Follow the Money in Angola (April 19, 2001)

For the first time, the UN plans to hire a US private investigative company to help enforce its sanctions in Angola, where rebels still smuggle $100 millions in diamonds. (Reuters)

UN Panel on Congo Exploitation Calls for Embargo Against Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda (April 16, 2001)

The report of the UN panel on the illegal exploitation of natural resources says that the three countries systematically exploit Congo's resources like coltan, diamonds, copper, cobalt and gold and urges the Security Council to impose sanctions. It also recommends considering international prosecution of individuals, companies and government officials. (Associated Press)

Liberia Bans Import of 'Blood Diamonds' Following UN Strictures (March 19, 2001)

The ban on uncertified diamonds that Liberia announced the day before the UN imposed sanctions, just came into effect. Will it be sufficient for the Security Council ?(Agence France-Presse)

Botswana Defends Diamonds from Campaign Against Blood Gems (March 14, 2001)

Worried that the country will become a victim of the diamond conflict's bloody war, Botswana launches a campaign to promote certified "clean" diamonds. (Associated Press)

UN Imposes Sanctions on Liberia's Diamond Exports (March 7, 2001)

The Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution imposing sanctions against Liberia. Criticism of UN sanctions has led to this recent resolution having more precise criteria for implementation. (Reuters)

UN Moves Toward Ban on Liberia Diamond Exports (March 1, 2001)

The Security Council is about to pass a resolution imposing sanctions on Liberia. But the date of passage is uncertain since West African countries want two more months to give a chance to Taylor to fulfill the requirements. (Reuters)

Defence Defends Congo Kinshasa Mine (February 28, 2001)

The Namibian reveals that Laurent Kabila offered a diamond mine to Namibia as a reward for military support, an acquisition the Namibian Defense minister denies.

Defence Defends Congo Kinshasa Mine (February 28, 2001)

The Namibianreveals that Laurent Kabila offered a diamond mine to Namibia as a reward for military support, an acquisition the Namibian Defense minister denies.

Angola Calls on UN to Consider Sanctions on Countries Violating Unita Diamond Embargo (February 23, 2001)

The Angolan foreign minister asked the Security Council to take action against countries violating the arms and diamond embargo against Angola's Unita rebels.(Associated Press)

Angola, Sierra Leone Introduce Diamonds Certification (February 19, 2001)

The international conflict diamonds meeting ends with the introduction of identification marks on Angolan and Sierra Leonean diamonds. (Panafrican News Agency)

We Mourn For Sierra Leone's Children (February 17, 2001)

The Perspectivecriticizes the Security Council's decision to delay sanctions against Taylor.

UN Delays Liberia Sanctions (February 16, 2001)

The Security Council accepted to delay the diamond and travel ban for two months to give a last chance to African countries to negotiate with Taylor. It symbolically re-imposed the already existing arms-embargo. (BBC)

Conflict Diamonds Under Discussions At Forum (February 15, 2001)

An international forum on diamonds is opening in Nigeria to join efforts to prevent the trade of conflict diamonds.(Panafrican News Agency)

Has the Diamond Industry Forgotten its Vows? (February 13, 2001)

On the eve of Valentine's Day, Global Witness calls for the development of a system of self-regulation on diamonds. Would you give your lover a conflict diamond.

Liberia Claims Sanctions Victory (February 6, 2001)

Liberia counts on the division among permanent members of the Security Council to escape sanctions. (Perspective)

France's Stance on Sanctions Viewed as Affront to Liberians (February 5, 2001)

Arguing that sanctions are "punitive and negative", France will support sanctions against Liberia conditionally, only if they exclude the timber and logging industry. Is it something to do with the fact that France is one of the major importers of Liberian timber? (Perspective)

UN Diplomats Counter Liberia's Claims of Innocence (February 2, 2001)

Yet again the Security Council is about to adopt a new arms embargo on Liberia, although the Liberian foreign minister claims that his country was the target of "unsubstantiated allegations of diamond smuggling and gun running." (Rapaport Trade Wire)

West African Nations Criticize UN (January 26, 2001)

Gambia and Burkina Faso disapprove of the UN decision to impose sanctions on Liberia and criticize the blood diamonds report issued by the Security Council in which they are cited. (BBC)

Liberia Lifts Ban on Visas for US Officials and Families (January 26, 2001)

Liberia ends their ban on visas for US officials in order to improve bilateral relations with the new Bush administration. Of course, this has nothing to do with the Liberian effort to prevent the imposition of new UN sanctions! (Associated Press)

US Urges UN to Ban Liberian Diamonds and Timber (January 18, 2001)

After a delay caused by infighting among the permanent members of the Security Council, a draft resolution is finally introduced in the Council calling for a global embargo on Liberia's diamonds and timber, as well as flight and travel bans. (Reuters)


UN Exposes Angola Diamond Trade (December 22, 2000)

The Security Council report on conflict diamonds from Angola says that De Beers bears some responsibility for the illicit diamond trade. Meanwhile, Canada calls for the creation of a permanent board to monitor sanctions on conflict diamonds. (BBC)

Angola Rebels Arm Despite Sanctions (December 21, 2000)

The Security Council's Angola diamond report analyzes the situation in the war-torn country, and suggests that while Unita's conventional war capacity has been mostly destroyed, Unita insurgents are still operating in allegedly government-controlled areas. (United Press International)

Liberian Government Reaction To UN Diamond Report (December 21, 2000)

Monrovia responds to accusations of involvement in the Sierra Leone war, and denounces the Security Council's sanctions proposal. (

Sierra Leone Report Blocked in Security Council (December 20, 2000)

The Ukraine, apparently dismayed about the mention of Ukrainian nationals in the Sierra Leone diamond report, is delaying the report's formal consideration by the Security Council. This means no sanctions against Liberia, for now. (Inter Press Service)

UN Confirms Liberia's Role in Smuggling of Diamonds (December 20, 2000)

A UN report on conflict diamonds presents "unequivocal and overwhelming evidence that Liberia has been actively supporting the RUF at all levels," and recommends that the Security Council impose a diamond embargo on Liberia. (New York Times)

Burkina Faso Co-Operates on Arms (December 3, 2000)

Accused of breaking the arms embargo against rebels in Sierra Leone and Angola by trading arms for diamonds, Burkina Faso says that it will allow a UN-supervised institution to monitor its arms imports. (BBC)

African Diplomat Moves UN to Endorse Diamond Certification (December 1, 2000)

A non-binding General Assembly resolution, sponsored by South Africa, paves the way for an international certification scheme for rough diamonds, based on the various national schemes. (PANA – PanAfrican News Agency)

UN Panel: Dealers Buying Illegal Diamonds from Angolan Rebels (October 31, 2000)

The five-member panel, created by the Security Council to investigate the trade in conflict diamonds, confirms that Unita continues to mine and sell diamonds. The panel is still looking into reports that several countries have violated sanctions. (Associated Press)

Governments Defy Unita Sanctions (October 30, 2000)

An internal UN reveals that Uganda, Rwanda and Burkina Faso have failed to uphold UN sanctions barring Angola's Unita rebels from acquiring arms and trading in diamonds. Togo is the only named African country which has banned transactions of Angolan diamonds not covered by a certificate of origin. (BBC)

Tainted Gems Lose Sparkle as Prices Fall (October 27, 2000)

Alex Yearsley of Global Witness says that Antwerp, Belgium, the world's main diamond trading center, "is starting to turn down conflict diamonds". However, falling prices have become a timely bonanza for DeBeers, to get rid of its stockpile of diamonds. (Christian Science Monitor)

Unita Defy Diamond Ban (October 27, 2000)

In contradiction to an Angolan government statement, Unita maintains that it has access to diamond-producing areas, and will continue to trade diamonds for the foreseeable future. (BBC)

London Conference Tackles Global Diamond Certification (October 26, 2000)

This press release form the conference only gives vague consideration and aims for implementing a diamond certification scheme. It especially highlights acting with respect for states' sovereignty - over the need for addressing the conflict situation and the necessity for independent monitoring it seems.

Diamond Operations, Negotiations and Accusations (October 20, 2000)

The Sierra Leone government has begun issuing certificates and operating a monitoring system in compliance with the UN embargo. Diamond negotiations between Angola and De Beers begin, and Liberia protests accusations of diamond smuggling. (Rapaport TradeWire)

Conflict Diamonds Being Squeezed (October 4, 2000)

At a Pretoria meeting, ministers from diamond-producing countries agree on a mechanism for global diamond certification. The next step, they say, is a UN General Assembly resolution leading to an international treaty. (Angola Peace Monitor)

Diamond Exports to Resume Next Week: Sierra Leone Minister (October 4, 2000)

Exports of diamonds from Sierra Leone could resume next week following the introduction of certificates guaranteeing the origin of the gems. (Agence France-Presse)

Diamond Traders Act on Africa War Issue (September 8, 2000)

The World Diamond Council expects to set up a computerized global registry before the Christmas shopping season that will help curb the sale of gems used to finance wars in Africa. The registry is to give each diamond a certificate of origin, identified from the time it is mined until it is sold to consumers. (Bloomberg News/New York Times)

Compliance with UN Embargo Agreed (August 25, 2000)

Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, and Guinea have agreed to comply with the UN embargo on the trade of gems from conflict areas by banning the importation of rough diamonds from rebel-held parts of Sierra Leone.Also news meetings of the SADC, the World Diamond Council and the Conflict Diamonds Working Group. (Rapaport TradeWire)

Controversy Over Diamonds Made Into Virtue by De Beers (August 22, 2000)

New York Timesdiscusses De Beers' politics in the time when the issue of "conflict" diamonds has come under close public scrutiny. The company has not only managed to ward off criticism, but has thrived recently by embracing the issue and using it to its own advantage.

UN Diamond Investigation Panel Announced (August 18, 2000)

Safiatou Ba-N'Daw, former energy minister from the Ivory Coast and once a senior official of the World Bank, will head the Nairobi based panel. The panel will investigate diamonds and other natural resources that are illegally exploited to fuel a many-sided conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). (Rapaport TradeWire)

Sierra Leone Diamond Certification Wins UN Approval (August 9, 2000)

A certification program, where certificates of origin would be numbered on forgery-proof security paper, was approved by the Security Council committee monitoring sanctions in the hope of bringing legitimate money in to the Sierra Leonean government. A matching numbered label on the sealed parcel of rough diamonds, with a warning that any tampering is a violation of the Security Council resolution, must also be returned by the recipient. (Associated Press)

Southern Africa to Draft Policy on Conflict Diamonds (August 1, 2000)

The Southern African Development Community's (SADC) mining sector is exploring ways to intervene in the conflict diamonds plague in Africa. (Reuters)

The West Hopes to Curtail Diamond Trading, But Without the Money and Troops
(August 2, 2000)

By imposing a strict diamond embargo on Sierra Leone, the US and UK hope to slowly de-motivate the rebels into a political settlement. Yet could this strategy work without physically forcing the rebels out of the diamond mining fields? (New York Times)

UN Tries to Go to Root of Conflict in Sierra Leone (August 1, 2000)

The UN Security Council Sanction Committee's public hearing on the Sierra Leonean diamond trade is a first step. Further questions regarding the transaction of arms and diamonds need to be asked to get at the heart of the matter.(Xinhua News Agency)

Two African Nations Said to Break UN Diamond Embargo (August 1, 2000)

"Taylor is Milosevic in Africa with diamonds," says the US Ambassador to the UN. At the UN Security Council hearing on "conflict diamonds," the US and the UK named and shamed Liberia and Burkina Faso's leaders for profiting from the "conflict diamonds" in Sierra Leone.(New York Times)

Liberia Denies Diamond Trafficking in Sierra Leone (August 1, 2000)

Although denying the Liberian government's involvement with "conflict diamonds," the Liberian Foreign Minister admitted that "small poor countries just do not have the capacity to tackle the complex syndicates of illegal [diamond] trade on their own." (Agence France Presse)

Peter Hain's Speech at the World Diamond Congress (July 2000)

The British Minister of State is at the World Diamond Congress not to "name and shame" but to "name and praise" the serious action taken by the diamond industry to tackle "conflict diamonds" in Africa.(

EU Proposes Ban on Sierra Leone 'Conflict Diamonds' (July 26, 2000)

Following the UN and the World Diamond Congress, the European Union seeks to join the united front against "conflict diamonds." (CNN/ Reuters)

UN Hearing Set on Illicit Diamonds from Sierra Leone (July 25, 2000)

Ambassador Chowdhury of Bangladesh, the chairman of the UN Sierra Leone sanctions committee, has called for a public hearing on "conflict diamonds." (Xinhua News Agency)

How a Little Band of London Activists Forced the Diamond Trade to Confront the Blood on its Hands (July 24, 2000)

Global Witness, an NGO based in London, deftly linked the trade in illicit diamonds with bloody African wars and forced into the public consciousness the uncomfortable truth that diamonds can be the best friend for rebel forces. (Independent - London)

Britain and Russia Discuss Plan for 'Diamond Summit' (July 22, 2000)

Russia, which is somewhat cautious towards the campaign against "conflict diamonds", was called upon by the UK to jointly hold a diamond summit. (Independent)

Precious Stones Don't Kill, Guns Do (July 21, 2000)

At the height of the fervent campaigns against "conflict diamonds," the arms embargoes against Angola and Sierra Leone are a "joke." Kenneth Roth from Human Rights Watch argues both sides of the illicit trade – diamonds and arms – must be slammed to get at the heart of the "dirty business." (Los Angeles Times )

G8 Miyazaki Initiatives for Conflict Prevention (July 2000)

Excerpts from the G8 Miyazaki Initiatives, which states the illicit trade of diamonds. Cooperation of the G8, which accounts for the bulk of global market for diamonds, is essential. (Group of 8)

'Blood Diamonds' Talks Upset Alrosa ( July 19, 2000)

A top Russian diamond executive walked away from the march against "conflict diamonds." He warned that action against "dirty diamonds" could go too far and interfere in other countries' internal affairs. ( Moscow Times/Independent Press)

Getting Engaged With - Politically Correct Diamonds? (July 19, 2000)

The World Diamond Congress will now aim for morally and politically correct diamonds. What's the consumer's view? "I want a diamond. Where it comes from, how it got here, I don't really care."(Associated Press)

IDMA Resolution on Conflict Diamonds (July 2000)

The full text of the 9-point proposal to limit conflict diamonds by the International Diamond Manufacturers' Association. IDMA consists of the 10 main diamond centers which are primarily responsible for polishing and marketing diamonds. (Diamond News)

Sierra Leone: Positive Impact of UN Ban on Uncertified Diamond Sales Reported (July 16, 2000)

Even before the implementation of the UN sanctions, Sierra Leone has felt the positive impact in the diamond exporting economy already. (BBC / Concord Times)

Canada's Edge: Blood-Free Gems (July 18, 2000)

Diamonds won't be forever if a broad consumer boycott against "conflict diamonds" torpedoes the diamond industry. Seeing the potential threat of financial damage, the industry scurried to their feet to detach themselves from the "conflict diamonds." (Christian Science Monitor)

Dealers to Outlaw 'Conflict Diamonds' (July 18, 2000)

The Foreign Officer Minister of the UK said that change might come too late for the Africans who have suffered from conflicts in the "diamond" states. Yet the diamond industry's action is "exactly what [is] needed." (Guardian)

UN Sets Up Panel on Angola Diamond Probe (July 13, 2000)

Action against violators of the sanction will be discussed in the UN Security Council after the newly selected experts panel further investigate the diamond trade in Angola. (Xinhua News Agency)

France Calls for UN Body to Monitor Illegal Diamond Trade (July 12, 2000)

An UN independent group of experts should keep a sharp eye on illegal trade in diamonds and other raw materials used to fund conflicts, France says. (Agence France Presse )

Africa Should Mull Oil and Diamond Union to End Conflict: Annan (July 10, 2000)

UN Secretary General suggested creating an "African oil and diamond union" modeling after the European Union. He described the EU as the "world's most successful conflict prevention mechanism." (Agence France Presse)

G-8 Foreign Ministers to Discuss UNSC Reform (July 7, 2000)

For the first time, the issue of UN Security Council reform will be included in the Group of 8 summit document. The G8 will also discuss problems of "conflict diamonds" in Africa and aim for the elimination of small arms. (Yomiuri Shinbun)

Meaningless UN Sanctions As Liberia is Pardoned (July 7, 2000)

Unable to include Liberia in diamond sanctions, The Perspective argues that "to punish Sierra Leone and pardon Liberia is to create better conditions for more [diamond and weapon] smuggling and therefore more war." (The Perspective)

Singling Out Sierra Leone, UN Council Sets Gem Ban (July 6, 2000)

No more putting bandaids on open wounds. The UN Security Council resolution of a time-limited embargo on Sierra Leone diamond is "intended to get at the roots of the war." (New York Times)

Rapaport Report: "Transparency, Beneficiation, and Legitimization"

A proposal by Mr. Martin Rapaport, a prominent figure in the diamond industry, to eradicate "conflict diamonds" from Africa through regulation. He urges active NGO participation in monitoring and detecting the illicit diamonds. See also Rough Controls and Guilt Trip, also by Martin Rapaport. (Rapaport Diamond Corporation)

Full Report by World Bank : Economic Causes of Civil Conflict and Their Implications for Policy (June 15, 2000)

The full text of the World Bank report mentioned below.

UN Council May Vote Soon Sierra Leone Diamond Ban (June 30, 2000)

The UN Security Council is in the home-stretch for adopting a resolution to impose an embargo on Sierra Leone diamonds. Currently, the proposal is a time-limited embargo until Sierra Leone can establish a legitimate certification system of diamonds. (Reuters)

UNSC Resolution Draft Security Council Resolution on Sierra Leone (UK) (June 26, 2000)

A draft resolution that specifically points to illicit diamond trade as the factor fuelling conflict in Sierra Leone. Cooperation by the diamond industry, governments, and NGOs is urged to achieve transparency in the diamond trade. (

Industry Agrees Crackdown Aimed at Ending Sale of 'Blood Diamonds' (June 29, 2000)

At a meeting hosted by the UK government, the big diamond importing countries agreed to a seven-point plan to crackdown on "conflict diamonds" from Africa. This plan follows the string of proposals by the diamond industry, Diamond High Council, and governments. (Independent)

Indian Diamond Importers Spurn Stones from African Conflict Zones (June 26, 2000)

India joins the wave of states banning "conflict diamonds" from Africa. India is an important checkpoint for illicit diamonds as it is the world's largest importer of small rough diamonds, which are cut, polished, and exported out to the global diamond trade. (Agence France Presse )

Belgian Council Tightens Controls on Diamond Trade (June 28, 2000)

The Belgium's Diamond High Council (HRD), which was criticized by the UN for the lax control over "conflict diamonds," is shaping up. In order to identify and eradicate these diamonds, the HRD has gained collaboration from Angola, and is close to a similar deal with Sierra Leone. (Reuters)

Diamonds Buy Peace for Sierra Leone City (June 24, 2000)

In the diamond areas in Sierra Leone, both rebels and pro-government militias dig diamonds side by side, and ordinary citizens help rebels sell their diamonds. Although the civil war is approaching the mining areas, these people are "too busy mining diamonds to want to fight." (The Guardian)

UN Peacekeeps for Rival Gangsters (June 2, 2000)

Rebels are not only the threat. What really undermined the peace in Sierra Leone is the struggle between two rival diamond mining groups, determined to gain control of mineral wealth of Sierra Leone which is under the military and commercial influence of Liberian President Charles Taylor. (Le Monde Diplomatique)

Liberia Urges Probe into Alleged Role in Sierra Leone Diamond Trade (June 14, 2000)

Accusing the Liberian President's involvement with the Sierra Leonean rebels, the UK blocked an EU aid package to Liberia. A Liberian Minister lashed back by demanding an international commission of inquiry to find proof of the UK's allegations. (Xinhua News Agency)

World Bank Blames Diamonds and Drugs for Many Wars (June 16, 2000)

The World Bank's report reveals that most civil wars in the world are motivated by the greedy squabbling over profitable commodities, such as diamonds and oil, not economic or religious purists.
( New York Times)

Diamond Miner Halts Stock Listing Plans (June 13, 2000)

Questions about the ties with war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo and Zimbabwe governments has indirectly pressured the diamond-mining company Oryx Natural Resources to postpone its planned listing on the London Stock Exchange. (New York Times)

Jewels Boycott Would Hit Innocent, Not Warlords (June 7, 2000)

As the campaign against Africa's "conflict diamonds" intensifies, the Guardian reports that only 4% of diamonds traded in the world are related to the civil wars in Africa. (The Guardian (London))

ECOWAS Plans To Probe Illegal Diamond Trade Sierra Leone (June 2, 2000)

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has decided to conduct an inquiry to stop the flow of rebel income from illegal diamond trade in Sierra Leone. The African leaders also resolved to send in ECOWAS troops under the UN framework. (Panafrican News Agency/Africanews)

Unreliable Allies (May 31, 2000)

ECOWAS, in cooperation with the UN, will send troops to take back the rebel-controlled diamond mines in Sierra Leone. Liberia will join the ECOWAS force, but it is Liberia that has profited significantly from the illicit diamond trade of Sierra Leonean rebels. (

Steps to Curb "Dirty Gems" (May 31, 2000)

Nor surprisingly, differing views of NGOs, governments, and diamond industry figures, were apparent at the forum to discuss world diamond trade. Yet the forum, which will make proposals to the Organization of African Unity, was a success in terms of urging the necessity of regulations in diamond trade.(Africa Energy & Mining)

De Beers Changes The Rules Contract With Customers Will Cover Conflict Diamonds From War Zones (May 31, 2000)

De Beers, which controls about 60% of the world's diamond trade, announced that it will formalize a contract between the Central Selling Organization (CSO) and customers in order to ban "conflict" diamond trading. (Buisness Day (South Africa) Times Media Limited

Diamond Miners in Congo Seek Stock Listing in London (May 30, 2000)

As profits from illicit diamond trade support rebel fighting in Africa, Oryx Diamonds is seeking to be listed on the Stock Exchange. Oryx claims that their diamonds, mined in the Democratic Republic of Congo, are not "conflict diamonds," and the profit will support the DRC to fight off rebels. (Post Express )

Can Clinton Administration "Africa Guru", Rev. Jackson, Help (May 18, 2000)

President Clinton sent special African envoy Reverend Jesse Jackson to solve the crisis in Sierra Leone. One must wonder Rev. Jackson's motives. He is linked with the Liberian President, who allegedly supports the rebels in Sierra Leone. (The Perspective

Prepared Testimony of Howard F. Jeter Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Before the House International Relations Committee Subcommittee on Africa Subject - Sierra Leone & Conflict Diamonds (May 9, 2000)

This testimony provides a comprehensive analysis of the conflict-fueling illicit diamond trade in Africa, and points out the necessity for a UN experts panel to investigate the situation. Amb. Fowler of Canada directs such a panel for Angola, and the UN Security Council considers establishing a similar panel for the Democratic Republic of Congo. (Federal News Service, Inc)

UN Warns It Will Enforce Trading Bans for Angola (April 19, 2000)

The Security Council put on notice any country or leader breaking international sanctions by trading with a rebel movement in Angola. In the next six months, international monitors will collect information on sanctions violators and those found guilty could be subject to sanctions themselves. (New York Times)

Gems that Fuel African Wars Hard to Track (April 12, 2000)

The Diamond High Council, center of 85% of the world's diamond trade in Belgium, is accused of buying diamonds from rebels in Angola and Sierra Leone. The chief of the Diamond Council's Angolan task force denies this accusation, but admits that despite close scrutiny, it is difficult to detect illegal diamond smugglings. (The Gazette)

Botswana:Diamond Economy Under Threat (April 10, 2000)

In its campaign against the diamond industry, Global Witness, a UK-based NGO, calls for consumer action against the industry as a result of the on-going civil wars in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sierra Leone which are financed from diamond sales. (Mmegi/The Reporter , Gaborone)

Africa's Gems: Warfare's Best Friend (April 6, 2000)

An in depth report from the New York Timesclearly tracing the relationship between ongoing conflicts in Africa and the current prosperity of the diamond industry.

De Beers: Come Clean to Be Clean (March 24, 2000)

An editorial from Mail & Guardiannoting that though De Beers now guarantess that no diamonds from rebel-held zones will be used for their sales, they cannot change a history of business methods that have funded wars, knowingly or not.

Spoils Of War (March 15, 2000)

An article from the (Nando Times) pointing out the difficulty of stopping a conflict, like the one in Angola, that is highly profitable for a number of oil and diamond TNCs.

Belgium's Diamond Imports Questioned Authorities Say They are Keen to Apply Embargo on Unita Gems (March 14, 2000)

Belgium, which trades approximately 80% of the world's diamonds, is exploring stricter measures to enforce the UN embargo against Angolan rebel's diamond exports. Belgium also aims to fight antidiamond propaganda emphasizing that the majority of the diamond trade is not associated with conflicts in Africa. (Buisness Day (South Africa) Times Media Limited )

De Beers Tries to Ensure Gems Don't Finance Insurrection (March 1, 2000)

To prove that the diamond trade has not supported war against governments in Africa, De Beers,the giant of the industry, will include on its invoices a formal guarantee that its stones do "not include any diamonds which come from any area in Africa controlled by forces rebelling against the legitimate government." (New York Times)

Bigger Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend (February 13, 2000)

Diamond sales are booming among the new-rich brokers, bankers and e-commerce magnates. But many diamonds come from war-torn African countries. As a report by Global Witness reminds us, the diamond trade has played a major role in funding conflict in Angola, contributing to an estimated 300,000 deaths between 1992 and 1994. (Associated Press)

De Beers Fails To Win Award (January 19, 2000)

Despite pressure from NGOs and governments, De Beers, the world's largest diamond corporation continues to ignore reports that its diamond mining operations are fueling conflicts throughout Africa. (Nando Media)

Security Council Holds Open Briefing on Situation in Angola (January 18,2000)

This UN press release (SC/6785) reports the Security Council open briefing on the situation in Angola. This is indicative of a trend in an increasing number of open briefings in the Security Council. Some speakers blame the protracted conflict on the activities of the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA).

Diamond Industry Fueling War in Sierra Leone (January 12, 2000)

An article from the UN News Serviceabout a Canadian report which ties the diamond industry to Sierra Leone's brutal civil war.

UN Sanctions Committee Chair Says UNITA Sanctions Tighter Now (January 8, 2000)

New York Times reports on Canadian Ambassador Fowler's push this month to tighten sanctions on Angola.

Angola Hails De Beers Diamond Embargo, Wants Action (October 7, 1999)

De Beers said the move was taken to help prevent UNITA from financing its war against the Angolan government with the proceeds of diamond sales.

Is the Price of Diamonds Too High? Angola's Return to War Funded by Diamond Trade (December 14, 1998)

A Global Witness Report on how international diamond traders are essentially encouraging the civil war in Angola