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The Kimberley Process Certifi cation Scheme for Rough Diamonds

Research reports

The trade in conflict diamonds began in the early 1990s with Jonas Savimbi’s UNITA in Angola, but was quickly copied by the Revolutionary United Front in Sierra Leone, with assistance from Liberia’s warlord president, Charles Taylor. It was then taken up by rebel armies in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and has affected the diamond industries of Guinea, Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire as well. As much as 15% of the world’s $10 billion annual diamond production fell into the category of conflict diamonds in the late 1990s. Hundreds of thousands of people died as a direct result of these wars, and many more died of indirect causes.

Ian Smillie