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The Diamond Chain
Conflict Diamonds
Cleaner Diamonds
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Conflict Diamonds
"Little was known / of Sierra Leone / and how it connects to the diamonds we own / … Over here, it’s a drug trade /we die from drugs. / Over there, they die from what we buy from drugs. / The diamonds, the chains, the bracelets, the charmses / I thought my Jesus piece was so harmless / ’til I seen a picture of a shortie armless."
Lyrics from "Diamonds from Sierra Leone" by Kanye West.

What’s his message?

Download a poem by Saa Mathias Bendu who is from Sierra Leone. How does his message compare?

Diamonds from Sierra Leone by Kanye West

The roughest link in the chain

Amputee, Angola
© J.B.Russell/Panos Pictures
‘Conflict’ (or ‘blood’) diamonds are gems mined in war zones. Rebel groups use money from selling diamonds to buy guns and other military hardware.

There are many victims – from diamond miners that work in dangerous conditions to others caught in the crossfire of the conflicts financed by diamond deals.

Some the world’s poorest countries have paid the price for their diamond supplies, especially in West Africa. Here, about 3.7 million people have died in diamond-fuelled wars. Millions of others have lost their homes and livelihoods. The price of diamonds

Workers wash gravel to find diamonds in Sierra Leone. Workers washing gravel for diamonds, Sierra Leone
© Harrison Mitchell/Global Witness

Newspaper As a freelance reporter you are on a potentially dangerous mission to get to the bottom of this ‘conflict diamond’ situation. You are going undercover to Sierra Leone, a country that has really paid the price for ‘conflict diamonds’ in recent years.

  • Create a powerpoint to present your story to newspaper editors so you can sell it to the highest bidder.
  • Download a ready-made template for your powerpoint.
  • Download a list of links to information and pictures to start your investigation!

Compare your presentations – who has the snappiest, newsworthy angle on the conflict diamond issue?

Go to On Camera to solve a mystery about another kind of conflict diamond, or visit the next page to find out how the diamond industry is cleaning up its act.
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Angola Democratic Republic of Congo Sierra Leone