August 17th, 2007

Slate- Diamonds are a Guerilla’s Best Friend

Slate logoThere is a diamond article in Slate today about the effect of war on the big diamond miners in conflict regions:

Five years ago, most citizens of Angola were getting by on less than a dollar a day despite their country’s rich deposits of diamonds and oil. After decades of civil war, they were poorer than they had been 30 years earlier upon independence. Then Jonas Savimbi, commander of the UNITA rebel group, was killed in combat with government forces, leaving UNITA in disarray. As the citizens of Angola poured into the streets of their capital, Luanda, to celebrate, the rebels’ fall augured newfound prosperity as well as peace.

The article describes that doing business in conflict regions requires investment in mercenaries to protect the mining operations and bribes to pay off the local governments.

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