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Diamonds and Armed Conflict in Sierra Leone: Proposal for Implementation of a New Diamond Policy and Operations

USAID Office of Transition Initiative

Abstract


The link between diamonds and armed conflict in Sierra Leone is obvious, and has been exposed, investigated, and deplored by humanitarians, journalists, politicians, and diamond industry leaders. Less obvious are the complex, entrenched relationships between exploitative systems of financial intermediation and resource management, poverty, and the spectacular, mysterious wealth of the diamond trade. Diamonds have facilitated, not caused, armed conflict. Pre-war economic and social injustice, which developed during the war into the illegal, and finally criminal, behavior common of the diamond traffic, must be addressed as a complex development problem. To ignore it is to perpetuate the conditions that gave rise to the war, and invite its resurgence.

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West Africa Review. ISSN: 1525-4488 (online).
Editors: Adeleke Adeeko, Nkiru Nzegwu, Tejumola Olaniyan and Olufemi Taiwo; Book Editor: .

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