Blood diamonds: an analysis of the link between conflict and diamonds in Africa

No. 39 – March 2015
Authors: Marianna Griffini
Language: English
Blood diamonds
Civil wars in Africa
Kimberley Process

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This report investigates the phenomenon of blood diamonds, which has a catastrophic effect on the economy and politics of the African countries involved. Indeed, the diamonds that are metaphorically tainted by blood are exploited to finance civil wars, instead of being used to spur economic growth. Despite their enormous significance for the politics and the economy of the African countries involved in the phenomenon, regrettably blood diamonds have not received extensive media coverage so far and have not been thoroughly analysed in the academic literature on the topic. The purpose of this analysis is to define blood diamonds and their significance, to expose the flaws that plague the Kimberley Process, which is ostensibly meant to stem the flow of blood diamonds, and to examine case studies of blood diamonds in the 2000s and nowadays. Due to the paucity of focus in the existent literature and in the media on this scorching issue, this research, involving qualitative methods of analysis of secondary and primary sources, will contribute to the study of the link between diamonds and communal conflict in Africa, by shedding light on the significance of blood diamonds and on their continuing existence, despite a joint commitment to eradicate this plague. This report, analyzing the link between blood diamonds and conflict investigates the effectiveness of the Kimberley Process and the appropriate measures in order to strengthen it. It delves also into cases studies of blood diamonds and critically examines the case of a country like Botswana where blood diamonds actually did not exist, but diamonds were aptly used to stimulate development. Finally, concluding remarks are presented, in order to make the argument that blood diamonds are alive and well in Zimbabwe and in the Central African Republic, despite a concerted effort to eradicate them, although most of the diamonds originating from African countries are now conflict-free.