Unfortunately, Ibrahim Fofana, a diamond miner, shared a similar fate to the thousands that suffered brutal amputations from the Rebels. Ibrahim Fofana is like many of the miners who are forced to work long brutal hours in diamond mines. And according to UK Channel 5 "The True Story" Documentary Series, “In April 1998 the RUF attacked his village.
Rebels confronted his neighbor demanding diamonds, when he said he had none he was shot and killed. A different fate awaited Ibrahim, they chopped his hands off. ” Diamonds are known to contain such an essential significance in which we take part of in our everyday lives. From fashion statements to wedding rings, diamonds have been in the competitive trading business for years and the demand will continue to grow as long as our society greatly cherishes them. Diamonds are one of the most solicit natural resources available, but unfortunately, the origins of these diamonds are not as pleasant as the diamonds themselves.
Unethical diamond businesses are adding fire to the already heated Africa, and it needs to stop. The high demands for diamonds outside of Africa are primarily the reason these different civil wars have been created, and should be thwarted. When there is a lack of enforcement, control, and basic human rights, action needs to be taken to prevent corrupt business trades and future bloodshed. In times of a civil war being fueled by the “blood” diamonds, Africa is in desperate need of laws and enforcement.
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Enforcing laws and regulations will prevent a majority of murders and give more security to the people suffering from the rebel’s brutal attacks. According to the United Nations, “On 1 December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly adopted, unanimously, a resolution on the role of diamonds in fuelling conflict, breaking the link between the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict, as a contribution to prevention and settlement of conflicts. ” To thwart these unauthorized black-market sales, the government has to get involved and needs to enforce strict laws punishing these felonies.
Also, in other words of the United Nation, “Governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental organizations, diamond traders, financial institutions, arms manufacturers, social and educational institutions and other civil society players need to combine their efforts, demand the strict enforcement of sanctions and encourage real peace. ” Getting all of these key players on the same page will greatly affect the changes of the unethical business, which is known to fund the rebel’s weapons. Although some laws have been placed that undermine some black-market trades, governments are not doing enough to stop them.
There is minimum enforcement, which enables the rebels to freely control the helpless people to work for them. Different parts of the African government should enforce laws in the creation of contracts that encourages legal diamond trades, which would greatly minimize the demand for rebels to try and sell diamonds illegally. To elucidate on the point of a government’s need to enforce diamond trade laws, a brief article from the New Internationalist states, “Ottawa MP Paul Dewar is working to pass the Trade in Conflict Minerals Act' (Bill C-571).
But even if the bill is eventually passed, says Nutt, there will be no way to enforce it. She believes both the government and cell phone producers need to take the initiative. ” Furthermore, the profits from illegal diamond trading pays for the rebel’s weapons, which must be thwarted to prevent future civil wars from breaking out. In most parts of Africa, black-market sales of blood diamonds are the fuel to a civil war’s fire. In terms of profit, rebels use the money from diamonds to buy more weapons and they use them to brutally murder the innocent.
In the words of Barak Richman, professor of law at Duke University, Durham, N. C, “The profits from the "blood" or "conflict" diamond trade--a small but significant fraction of the world market--have been used to finance dictatorial regimes and terrorist organizations”. This elucidates the idea that black market trading rarely benefits the economic status but different corrupt organizations. Businesses should find a way to properly trade legal diamonds, while benefiting the country’s economic system. Although the natural resources in some parts of Africa are rich, the people are extremely poor.
In other words, Richman also states, "The great irony of this, and what concerns the industry most, is that the item is being sold as a part of a romantic, everlasting, and pure relationship, but there are a lot of ugly shadows that have contributed to the industry's success. " Industries must end their contribution to the blood diamonds that fuel this nation’s civil wars. In addition to all the corruption in business and government regulation in Africa, the abominable crimes and inhumane conditions of labor workers in the mines need to end.
With the high demand in diamonds, Rebels used this to their advantage and decided to treat the innocent Africans as their slave worker. According to the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights state, “No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms. No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. ” The unethical business decisions being made with other countries need to end because they are a major cause to these violations of human rights.
These violations deal with innocent people being murdered and arms being amputated for the demand of diamonds. Everyday people live in fear of a rebel attacking their village for their diamonds. If the major diamond corporations would begin to create proper contracts with professional diamond mining industries that hire proper employees, rebels would not have the great demand to force slaves into labor. But most businesses decide to go with the unethical, cheaper option of illegally buying blood diamonds.
Although businesses benefit from the illegal diamond trade, the government must take action to express the pain the African people are going through. In terms of the opposing view, diamond corporations would argue that the African economy is benefited with the profits that the industries offer them. Diamonds also benefit Africa in terms of using the profit to generate different beneficial organizations and schools. According to the organization that run the website, Diamondfacts. org, they have proven that “Diamond revenues enable every child in Botswana to receive free education up to the age of 13. This is greatly beneficial to the African society because there is a lack of education and schools in many parts of Africa. The amount of money diamond sales bring in would benefit the children of Africa and provide hope for the future. Also stated in Diamondfacts. org, “Approximately $8. 5 billion worth of diamonds a year come from African countries” which elucidates the fact that a large amount of money can be made. Also, “an estimated 5 million people have access to appropriate healthcare globally thanks to revenues from diamonds”
The amount of money that is created from the diamonds is enormous, but can also benefit the global economy positively. Which would lead the opposing view to adamantly state that the diamond business in Africa is much needed. It would also give them reason to say that diamonds give the people of Africa a chance to be employed because this would create many more jobs and raise the overall employment. The education system would also improve in terms of the profits earned would open schools. In Botswana, because of diamond revenue, the children are able to go to school for free.
Is this enough to say that the benefits overcome the negative affects? With an economic point of view, one must not make a fallacy of composition on such a crucial topic with lives at stake. One cannot compare the benefits of a small percentage of the African people and expect it to work on every other country. Innocent lives have been brutally taken and blood has shed because of this great demand in diamonds. To disprove that the money brought in by diamonds is mostly beneficial to the African economy, the Unisol Organization states, “approximately $125 million worth of rough diamonds were bought by just Europe.
This means that this staggering amount of money went to fund the RUF who killed thousands of people during the civil war in Sierra Leone. ” These numbers prove that the money not only goes towards building school and creating jobs, but it fuels a civil war with weapon that are paid with using the money earned in diamond trading. Assuming that the diamond trade will mostly benefit the economy is incorrect because a big chunk of it is not reported to the government but to the rebels fighting the civil war.
In other words of the United Nation organization, “Neighboring and other countries can be used as trading and transit grounds for illicit diamonds. Once diamonds are brought to market, their origin is difficult to trace and once polished, they can no longer be identified. ” This elucidates the fact that diamonds can easily be traded in the black-market without a trace. The money does not touch the government and the people are not benefited. In the final analysis of the blood diamond markets, it can be concluded that the money earned by a majority of the diamonds traded are not directly benefiting the African economy.
A fallacy of composition must be avoided when the government thinks that a small success in some parts of a more controlled territory will work in most parts of Africa. There are many organizations fighting to create hope for the people who have been affected in this diamond fueled civil war. The United Nations plays a big part in helping the restoration of human rights, but they cannot do it alone. A major organization, Hands For Africa, is fighting to protect the people and their basic human rights. In their words, “What we can do together?
With one million signatures we can push Congress to put pressure on the international diamond trade. The United States is the premier retail market for diamonds; it has the clout to force a cleanup. Major diamond trading companies seem determined to turn a blind eye. The United States must force that eye open. You can be part of this amazing movement! ” With your help, we can enlighten our society of these appalling stories and can provide the basic necessities that the people of Africa need to survive this horrid civil war. We need you to gather a small community and tell them about the crisis that is happening over blood diamonds.
We are responsible as a society because we cherish and demand the diamonds as a fashion statement. The slave workers of Africa need justice. No human being deserves this gruesome fate.
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