Blood diamond

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In relation to diamond trading, conflict diamond (also called a converted diamond, blood diamond, hot diamond, or a war diamond) refers to a diamond mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency, invading army's war efforts, or a warlord's activity, usually in Africa[1] where around two-thirds of the world's diamonds are extracted.[2]




Angola, a colony of Portugal, gained independence on November 11, 1975. Although independent, the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA), the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA), and the National Liberation Front of Angola (FNLA) fought in a civil war from 1974 to 2001. Between 1992 and 1998, in violation of the 1991 Bicesse Accords, UNITA sold diamonds, in the value of US$3.72 billion,[3] to finance its war with the government.[4] The UN recognized the role that diamonds played in funding the UNITA rebels and in 1998 passed United Nations Security Council Resolution 1173 and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1176, banning the purchase of conflict diamonds from Angola.[4][5][5] Resolution 1173 was the first resolution of the UN which specifically mentioned diamonds in the context of funding a war. Reports estimated that as much as 20% of the total production in the 1980s were being sold for illegal purposes, and 19% were specifically conflict in nature.[6] By 1999, the illegal diamond trade was estimated by the World Diamond Council to have been reduced to 3.06% of the world's diamond production.[7][8] The World Diamond Council reported that by 2004 this percentage had fallen to approximately 1%.[6][8]

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