f_0015498_13578 - United Nations Resolutions and the...

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United Nations Resolutions and the Struggle to Curb the Illicit Trade in Conflict Diamonds in Sub-Saharan Africa Mungbalemwe Koyame ……………. Abstract This article examines the extent to which revenues from the trade in rough diamonds have funded civil war in African countries and the difficulties encountered by the United Nations in putting an end to it. As case studies, the article considers the conflicts in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Sierra Leone where the illicit trade in rough diamonds, also referred to as “conflict diamonds” or “blood diamonds,” provided most of the funds used by rebel groups in their war efforts. The article further examines the role played by the diamond industry, the international community and diamond importing countries such as the United States and Belgium in the trade of conflict diamonds. The article concludes that several resolutions passed by the United Nations Security Council concerning “conflict diamonds” were at times not successful because of indifference on the part of the international community. B.S. (Kinshasa); M.S., Ph.D.(Illinois at Urbana-Champaign); Associate Professor of Economics, Florida Memorial University. E-mail: [email protected] Cite as: 1 Afr. J. Legal Stud. 2 (2005) 80-101. © The Africa Law Institute. All rights reserved. AJLS is a free peer-reviewed and interdisciplinary journal published by The Africa Law Institute. To download or comment on current articles, sign-up for future issues or submit a manuscript, please visit <http://www.africalawinstitute.org/ajls>. AJLS is indexed in CIAO Net, HeinOnline, Lexis-Nexis, ProQuest, Quicklaw and Westlaw.
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1 Afr. J. Legal. Stud. 2 (2005) 80-101 I. Introduction Sub-Saharan Africa is blessed with a vast potential for natural resources. However, this endowment in natural resources has not led to economic and social growth but rather to suffering and social strife from the colonial to the post-colonial era. In the past three decades for instance, countries such as Angola, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (“DRC”) were all lured into civil wars financed mainly by the sale of natural resources such as diamonds, gold, colombo-tantalite (coltan) and timber to name a few. These natural resources were often exploited illegally, then smuggled out of the country and sold on the international market, with the proceeds used to purchase weapons. In the past decade alone, some 3.7 million people lost their lives while 6.5 million became refugees as a result of civil wars in these three countries. 1 In Angola, the civil war lasted for nearly three decades, from 1975 to 2002. The conflict in Sierra Leone spanned 10 years, starting in 1991 and ending in 2002. In the DRC, the civil war in the post-Mobutu era started in 1998 and ended in 2002.
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f_0015498_13578 - United Nations Resolutions and the...

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