Magazine article New Internationalist

Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World's Most Precious Stones

Magazine article New Internationalist

Blood Diamonds: Tracing the Deadly Path of the World's Most Precious Stones

Article excerpt

(Westview Press, ISBN 0 8133 3939 1)

Diamonds originating in war zones - `conflict diamonds' or, less euphemistically, `blood diamonds' - amount for about four or five per cent of global output. While this may be a small percentage - something stressed repeatedly by De Beers, the cartel which virtually controls the world diamond market - it has been estimated that this bloody trade has caused 3.7 million deaths and displaced 6 million Africans.

Greg Campbell's absorbing investigation opens in sickeningly graphic but appropriate fashion with an account of a brutal and commonplace atrocity as teenage fighters of the Sierra Leone rebel gang, The Revolutionary United Front, chop off the hands of innocent villagers caught up in the fighting.

Campbell's book clarifies why the bloodiest and most protracted African wars have been fought in those countries - Sierra Leone, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo - with abundant natural resources. …

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