Revolutionary United Front of Sierra Leone
This Paper was created to explain the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) of Sierra Leone. The RUF was a rebel army that fought a failed ten-year insurrection in Sierra Leone, starting in 1991 and ending in 2002. The group funded itself largely through the extraction and sale of diamonds obtained in areas of Sierra Leone under its control. These diamonds became known as conflict diamonds, conflict diamonds are diamonds illegally traded to fund conflict in war-torn areas, particularly in central and western Africa. This paper will explain how the RUF took control of Sierra Leone’s diamond mines. What the RUF did in the long run to the country of Sierra Leone, and what the western world did to stop this brutality in western Africa.
First the history of diamonds in Sierra Leone, the first diamond was found in Sierra Leone in the 1930. Before the discovery, the former British Colony was a dumping-ground for freed slaves. The legal and illegal trade in diamonds has shaped the history of the land and its citizens. Every significant story of modern day Sierra Leone can be seen linked its diamonds. By 1937 Sierra Leone was mining one million carats yearly and by 1970 production had reached a climax of 2 million carats. Between 1930 and 1998, roughly 55 million carats were mined in Sierra Leone. At an average price of $270 US dollars per carat, the total value is close to $15 billion US dollars.
In 1935, the colonial authorities accomplished an agreement with the DeBeers mining company giving it special mining and prospecting rights over the entire country for 99 years. But by 1956 there was an estimated 75,000 illegal miners in the heart of the diamond region. These situations lead to smuggling on a vast scale, mostly by Madingo and Lebanese traders. Insecurity in the early 1950's forced Lebanese smugglers to re-route their trade through Liberia. Battling to keep control of the trade, DeBeers set up a buying office in Monrovia...