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Blood Diamonds Diamonds may enjoy a romantic image as a girls best friend but have you ever thought about where your diamonds come from youre engagement ring your wedding band or any other diamonds that you might own I often wondered where they came from and then I found out How would you feel if I told you this precious stone also plays a far less appealing role The diamond that you put on a loved ones finger or the one they put on yours helped cut off the finger or the hand of a child in Sierra Leone Masland 30 Diamonds are forever says diamond cartel DeBeers But human lives and human limbs arent Consider Maria an 8-month-old baby girl in Sierra Leone In an act of unfathomable cruelty the rebel terrorists of the Revolutionary United Front RUF hacked off her arm Cockburn 2002 The RUF mob has sought to impose its will in Sierra Leone by chopping off thousands of civilians hands feet and ears Thousands more have been slaughtered and left to rot in village streets Men women children civilian soldier it makes no difference to the RUF These diamonds help to finance some of the worlds bloodiest conflicts These diamonds are known as blood diamonds meaning they are diamonds that are used to purchase weapons in order to sustain violent conflict against innocent civilians The scenario is applicable in two cases 1 when armed opposition groups use diamonds to fund warfare against democratically elected governments andor 2 when armed groups or terrorist organizations use diamonds to purchase weapons to sustain campaigns of human rights abuses against civilians in order to gain and maintain control over people territory and recourses United Nations 2002 These illicit blood diamonds fund and prolong conflicts in Angola Sierra Leone Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo but also these diamonds are being accused of funding international terrorism Recent reports suggest that Al
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