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Africa's Resources in African Hands

Certified diamonds are blood diamonds too!

In recent years, as a result of U.S. backed wars in Western Africa there have been popular campaigns against buying “conflict” or “blood” diamonds. Rap songs, movie stars and articles in cyberspace warn us against these tainted stones. No conscious, progressive American would buy such a diamond.

These campaigns insist that anyone buying diamond jewelry must be careful to select only those diamonds certified by the accepted, legal Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). This scheme supposedly protects Africa from diamonds mined by the perpetrators of the deadly wars in West Africa characterized by rape, mutilations, displacement and outright slaughter carried out over the past 15 years or so.

The fact is though, it was the powerful DeBeers diamond cartel itself that created the concept of “blood” diamonds, fearful that diamonds coming out of the war-torn areas of West Africa would flood the market and undermine their long standing worldwide control of the price of the stones. The Kimberley process scheme is just that—their scheme to maintain control of the world’s diamond supply.

All diamonds are blood diamonds. All diamonds are conflict diamonds. The brutal Western imperial proxy wars in West Africa over diamond mines have been horrific. These wars, however, are only another chapter in the last hundred years of colonial terror as it has been represented by the diamond trade, controlled by the DeBeers cartel.

The legacy of the diamond is steeped in the slavery, colonialism, genocide and terror that built and maintains the Western capitalist system. We are the beneficiaries of this genocidal system.

Today, diamonds from African soil are worth billions of dollars, wealth that is concentrated mostly in the U.S., Europe, Israel and the white population of South Africa. African people on their own land, laboring in the mines under slave-like conditions for pennies a day have no control over the diamond trade whatsoever and see no benefits from its profits.

Next page: DeBeers founded by British colonizer Cecil Rhodes