Africa’s Blood Diamonds
A blood diamond (also called a conflict diamond, converted diamond, hot diamond, or war diamond) is a term used for a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, an invading army’s war efforts, or a warlord’s activity.
A Brief History of Liberia’s War
► 1989-2003, Liberia was engaged in a civil war.
► 2000, Liberian president Charles G. Taylor accused of supporting Sierra Leone insurgency by exchanging weapons and training for diamonds.
► 2005, Marked the most free and fair elections in Liberian history.
► 2005, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, a Harvard-trained economist and former Minister of Finance, was elected as the first female president in Africa.
► May 30, 2012, Taylor began a 50-year sentence in a high security prison in the United Kingdom.
In 2011, Sirleaf was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, jointly with Leymah Gbowee of Liberia and Tawakel Karman of Yemen. The women were recognized “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”
In 2013, Sirleaf was conferred the Indira Gandhi Prize by President of India Pranab Mukherjee.
Having regained peace, Liberia is attempting to construct a legitimate diamond mining industry. The UN has lifted sanctions and Liberia is now a member of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS).