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Blood diamonds are funding wars that together have cost about 3.7 million lives.
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Congo's Conflict Minerals: The Next Blood Diamonds | …

Global attention to these blood diamonds can be a critically important means of curtailing Mugabe's human rights violations and securing a genuinely inclusive government. The diamond fields could be worth billions of pounds and make a vital contribution to rebuilding a country brought to ruin by Mr. Mugabe's economic mismanagement.

"Blood Diamonds - Conflict Diamonds What Is the Kimberly Process?" Blood Diamonds.
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Eight years ago, in the aftermath of horrific abuses committed by West African rebel groups enriched by diamond wealth, an international body backed by the United Nations (the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme) was founded to ensure that traders and consumers could identify blood diamonds and prevent their trade.

The Democratic Republic of Congo reports approximately 2.5 million deaths, and another 2 million displaced people due to conflict diamonds.
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Under a UN resolution, an international certification scheme for rough diamonds was set up in 2003 to halt the trading of blood diamonds, in an effort to ensure they could not be used to finance conflict.

The flow of conflict diamonds has originated mainly from Sierra Leone, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia and Ivory Coast.
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Taylor allegedly used blood diamonds from the RUF to buy weapons which he is said to have shipped from Burkina Faso to the Sierra Leone junta at the Magburaka airfield in October 1997.

Blood Diamonds: What They Are & How To Avoid …

Blood diamonds, also known as "conflict diamonds," are stones that are usually produced in areas controlled by rebel forces that are opposed to internationally recognized governments. The rebels sell these diamonds, and the money is used to purchase arms and fund their military actions.

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Blood diamonds are often produced through the forced labor of men, women and children under deplorable working conditions. They are also stolen during shipment or seized by attacking the mining operations of legitimate producers. These attacks can be on the scale of a large military operation.

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Australia, Canada, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania—these countries have been able to invest the revenue from diamonds into the development of infrastructure, schools and hospitals for the good of the communities where diamonds are found. Diamond-rich Botswana has used its mines, which are partially owned by the state, to fund infrastructure, education and health care, as well as set aside a rainy-day fund of nearly $7 billion. But Botswana has something essential that other African countries do not: a government known for being both functional and honest.

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The KP review mission recently found that diamonds in eastern Zimbabwe are mined under conditions of serious human rights abuses, with endemic smuggling and rampant corruption, in breach of the standards set by the organization. But little can be done about it because the KP works by consensus. Because its members include Namibia, Russia and South Africa, which support President Robert Mugabe, the group decided in November 2009 not to suspend Zimbabwe or ban the sale of its stones.

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The group's weak excuse was a technicality in the KP mandate that defines blood diamonds as those mined by abusive rebel groups, not abusive governments. Clearly, it should not matter who carries out the abuses. The Kimberley Process did urge Zimbabwe to remove its military from the diamond fields and make other crucial reforms, but the situation in the Marange diamond fields in eastern Zimbabwe remains largely unchanged.