Blood diamond

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Diamond mining in Sierra Leone

According to the definition of the Kimberley Agreement, a blood diamond or conflict diamond is a diamond , the proceeds of which are used to finance violent conflicts . They are mostly illegally mined and sold (mostly exported) in conflict areas in order to finance rebel or invasion troops, and thus contribute to the prolongation or intensification of a conflict. This makes them part of the conflict raw materials .

Since human rights are still being violated in many mining areas even after the official peace agreement, some organizations are advocating an expansion of the aforementioned definition. According to them, all diamonds are designated as blood diamonds that are mined in violation of human rights.

First measures

The United Nations General Assembly denounced the sale of conflict diamonds in a unanimous resolution of December 1, 2000 (A / RES / 55/56). They argue that their trade-funded armies fight legitimate governments, commit human rights abuses, and wage devastating wars. The resolution thus targeted suppliers of conflict diamonds such as the UNITA rebels in Angola and the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) rebels in Sierra Leone , who thus financed their wars against the government. The UN is trying to introduce certification mechanisms to reduce the amount of conflict diamonds on the world market.

The World Diamond Congress in Antwerp on July 19, 2000 accepted a resolution with the aim of strengthening the diamond industry's ability to prevent the sale of conflict diamonds. The industry claimed that anyone who continues to trade in diamonds of unknown origin will be excluded from the business. An undercover research conducted by Weltwoche in January 2001 showed that this was not the case .

The Fatal Transactions campaign also provides information on the political and economic connections between wars in Africa and the exploitation of resources . It was founded in autumn 1999 by Medico international together with the British research institute Global Witness , the Netherland Institute for Southern Africa (NIZA) and the Belgian IPIS Institute. The campaign helped bring about the Kimberley Process through public pressure.

The Kimberley Process

It is practically impossible to see the exact origin of a diamond because certificates are often forged. Nevertheless, at the beginning of 2003 the diamond industry and the diamond importing and exporting countries agreed on a self-regulation mechanism with the so-called Kimberley Process , which tries to prevent diamond smuggling by means of state certificates of origin. The problem with such declarations of self-commitment, however, is that they are not binding, offer hardly any sanction options and, moreover, are difficult to check by independent institutions. In the European Union, however, there has been a legally binding EU regulation since the end of 2002 , which binds and obliges all Union states. An embargo on diamonds from Liberia, imposed in 2001, was lifted in 2007 at the instigation of the Liberian government under Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf .

Other substances are sometimes sold in the same way as conflict diamonds, e.g. B. Coltan . In connection with the entanglement of natural resources, poverty and civil wars, one speaks of a so-called “ resource curse ”.

Reception in the media

The subject of conflict diamonds has been addressed in a number of recent films. Above all, the Hollywood drama Blood Diamond with Leonardo DiCaprio ensured that the public was aware of the issue in 2006. In the James Bond film Die Another Day (2002), much of the plot relates to smuggling conflict diamonds. Other films that relate to the problem of conflict diamonds are Black Diamonds (2007) and Lord of War (2005) with Nicolas Cage; the latter goes into the margins of the victims of the wars in West Africa.

In 2005 described Donna Leon in Commissario Brunetti's 14th case Blood from a Stone (dt. Blood from a Stone , 2006) a resistance fighter in the Chokwe , of the civil war in Angola brings rough diamonds to buy weapons to Italy.

See also


  • Greg Campbell: Deadly Stones. The global diamond trade and its consequences , EVA, Hamburg 2003, ISBN 978-3-434-50554-9
  • Bread for the World (Ed.): Clean Diamonds? , 2003, ISBN 978-3-86099-762-8
  • medico international: The stuff of war. Raw materials and conflicts in Africa , Frankfurt 2005, download at:

Web links

Wiktionary: blood diamond  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: conflict diamond  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. 55/56 The role of diamonds in fueling conflict: breaking the link between the illicit transaction of rough diamonds and armed conflict as a contribution to prevention and settlement of conflicts . December 1, 2000.
  2. World Week of January 11, 2001 ( Memento of March 15, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  3. Regulation (EC) No. 2368/2002 of the Council of December 20, 2002 on the implementation of the Kimberley Process certification system for international trade in rough diamonds
  4. BBC News: UN lifts Liberia diamond sale ban