So now the big question is how? how are blood diamonds responsible for terror? and, how do they find their way to the international trade market?
Well,this is done with the help of a very intricately devised way!
The process by which Blood Diamonds make their way to the market are shown below.
so here is how it works...
STEP ONE: The Revolutionary United Front(RUF) creates a sense of terror in the areas they get a stronghold upon.They are involved in lots of killings,amputations,rape etc.After terrorising the local people,they force them to work in diamond mines.Any slight mistake by the workers,and they are instantly killed in cold blood.The workers are always under the watch of RUF "commandoes".Many a times,the so called "Commandoes" are a mere child of 10-15 years!
A Child Soldier.
STEP TWO: The mined diamonds are then assembled and are soon smuggled into neighbouring Liberia.The smuggling is done either by RUF smugglers or by freelance smugglers,who do it just for money!
The smuggling is often done by different means like stuffing the diamonds in the intestines of sheep,or either masquerading it with some other convoy etc.The smuggled diamonds are rarely,in fact never detected.And guess what? The RUF gets arms and ammos in return for the diamonds from pro RUF units based there!
STEP THREE: Soon enough the diamonds enter Liberia.Now this is where the real transit is done.Once the diamonds reach Liberia,they are taken by some anonymous middlemen to the customs.Here the real business is done! What the customs do is that in exchange for bribe or other favours or sometimes,simply out of fear,they classisfies the diamond as "Mined In Liberia" !
Once the diamond gets this tag,no one bothers to ask about its origin and it becomes like millions of other diamonds! Sparkling and Dazzling!
A cartoon depicting custom checks.
STEP FOUR:After this is done,the diamonds easily make their way to Antwerp,belgium where they reach the sorting tables.No more questions are asked.It is like any other diamond there.After sorting they are sent overseas.By now the diamond's origin is completely untraceable!
STEP FIVE:The diamonds soon enter India,Asia.Since the diamonds already have a legal status,so they are freely admitted in the Indian market.Here they are polished and cut alongwith diamonds from other parts of the world.The diamond is ready for trade!
STEP SIX:At last it reaches the consumer market.And who knows the diamond we just brought is a conflict diamond? responsible for the loss of someone's limbs,ears or tongues and lips!! And unknowingly we financed the war and terror!!
A diamond ready to be sold.
And what about RUF during all these times? Well,they get arms and ammos and once the diamonds are legalised and exported,they again get the money and they use it to equip themselves with latest arms and ammunitions to fight the government troops!
Although the Share of Blood Diamonds in the international diamond market is low,but in a multi-billion dollar industry,they get hundreds of millions of dollars for arms purchase !!!!
Revolutionary united Front(RUF)
And whats more to it is that many countries buy diamonds from Liberia and other places and seldom do they bother about the origin,but after the initiation of "The Kimberley Process" this is being checked!
DIAMOND ROUTES IN SIERRA LEONE