What do you understand by Blood Diamonds? Critically examine the performance of Kimberley Process in limiting the number of conflict diamonds entering the market.

Some regions in Africa are rich in Diamonds. The Central African and West African countries are politically unstable where armed revolutionary group control diamond mines. They sell the rough diamonds and use the proceeds to finance their operations, purchasing arms and ammunition.

Due to this, major diamond companies have continuously fuelled the arms conflict, war and human rights abuses in these parts of Western Africa and are called conflict diamonds or blood diamonds or war diamonds or hot diamonds or dirty diamonds. Thus, blood diamonds are rough diamonds illegally mined in conflict zones.

Kimberly Process which was initiated in 2002 is basically a certification system which imposes many prerequisites on countries to make sure that diamond loads do not come from conflict zones. The certification scheme lays out requirements for controlling production and trade but allows rough diamond shipments to be branded “conflict-free.”

Kimberly Process needs a proof by the diamond producing countries that the money made by selling the diamonds would not be used to fund criminal or revolutionary activities. It imposes requirements on its members, including national legislation and institutions; export, import and internal controls; transparency and exchanging data. Shipments of rough diamonds must be accompanied by a certificate of guarantee that they are “conflict-free.” No member can import gems from a non-member.

Only countries that subscribe to the Kimberley Process are allowed to trade in rough diamonds. Kimberley Process has been moderately successful in limiting the number of conflict diamonds entering the market.

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