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How is it possible that a tiny carbon based stone could effect the lives of millions upon millions of Africans as well as the economies of numerous African nations so drastically The answer lies within human nature and our infatuation with these so called valuable pieces of Earth To own a diamond is the dream of countless people through out the world but what most are not aware of is the price that could have been paid to bring the gem to their hands Innumerable innocent civilians have lost their lives just so that special someone can look good for the night Not all diamonds that come out of Africa are from areas in conflict but it is estimated that up to 10-15 of the worlds rough diamonds do NY Times This is a scary statistic that should make a potential diamond purchasers think before he or she buys In many parts of Africa diamonds are the only means of industry There are mines controlled by the governments rebel groups and at the same time poor and desperate Africans dig through rocks in streams hoping to find that one diamond that will feed their families for the week Despite all of the violence and brutality sales of diamonds actually rose 11 in 1999 In fact Americans buy over half of the worlds diamond jewelry NY Times These statistics point to the fact that most of the world is ignorant to the violence and brutality occurring constantly in nations such as Angola Sierra Leone and Liberia Yet while diamonds fuel conflict in these countries they fuel the stable economies in countries such as Namibia and Botswana Angola has the potential to be a wealthy developed African nation since it possesses large petroleum and diamond reserves but due to nearly four decades of war remains to be seriously underdeveloped Lewis The nation of Angola is perhaps the most conflicted region
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