BBC BLOGS - Andrew Harding on Africa
IN ASSOCIATION WITH
« Previous | Main | Next »

Models, diamonds and Sierra Leone

Andrew Harding | 11:41 UK time, Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Diamond miners near the town of Bo in Sierra Leone
"Who? No. Sorry... We have not heard of this lady."

Naomi Campbell is, unsurprisingly, not a household name in Sierra Leone. But that may be about to change, as the British model and celebrity prepares to become a reluctant, and perhaps significant, participant in the war crimes trial of former Liberian President Charles Taylor - one of the alleged financiers and organisers of Sierra Leone's long and peculiarly horrific civil war.Model Naomi Campbell, who is not a household name in Sierra Leone

On the outskirts of Sierra Leone's graceful but dilapidated sea-side capital, Freetown, a group of amputees sheltered from an afternoon rainstorm, and listened with interest to news about Ms Campbell's role as a prosecution witness - subpoenaed to appear at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague on Thursday, to confirm whether she was given diamonds in 1997 by Mr Taylor, at a party hosted by Nelson Mandela when he was South Africa's president.


"I don't know her. But if she will tell the truth and help the prosecution, that will be a great thing," said Jabaty Mambu, who still bandages the stump of his right arm. His hand was chopped off when he was 16 years old by RUF rebels, who rampaged through Freetown in 1999, killing and mutilating thousands of civilians. "They held me down and cut it off," he said. "It is hard to say 'I forgive you.'"

Edward Conte, who lost his left arm in a similar way, believes Charles Taylor is guilty of the allegations he faces at The Hague. "He should be kept in a lonesome place until he dies."

Petulant

Brenda Hollis is the prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone. The solemn, soft-spoken US lawyer has spent the past two years leading rebels, government soldiers, diamond dealers and survivors through their testimonies as she builds her case against the former leader of neighbouring Liberia.
Diamond dealer Alusine Kamara says there are no longer 'blood diamonds' in Sierra Leone

Now she must handle the famously petulant Ms Campbell, who has refused to be interviewed by the prosecution team and will only do so now under a subpoena.

"If a person has a reputation for being difficult, or doesn't have a reputation for being difficult, the approach is still the same," said Ms Hollis in carefully measured tones. "How she responds will dictate whatever follow-up approach we may take."

The media attention generated by Naomi Campbell's brief role in the trial - the first of its kind of an African head of state - is clearly a source of irritation for the prosecution team. "It's unfortunate.... I wouldn't say we're frustrated... but it would be unfortunate if the focus of the international community were only brought back to the trial because of the presence of a celebrity," said Ms Hollis, on a visit to Sierra Leone.

Still, the prosecution insists Ms Campbell's testimony will be worth any attendant complications. "Naomi Campbell has an important part of the story," said Ms Hollis. "After [the Mandela] dinner she was visited by men who gave her diamonds and said they came from Charles Taylor. That's important because it shows his possession of rough diamonds and contradicts his claims that he did not have any. It's also close to the time that a large shipment of arms was brought into Sierra Leone," she said.

'Curse'

These days, Sierra Leone's famously high-quality diamond fields are no longer targeted by rebel armies.
Diamond entrepreneur Aloysius Wai believes diamonds have mainly been a curse for Sierra Leone

Some three hours drive inland from Freetown, in the town of Bo, diamond dealer Alusine Kamara sorted through a small pile of shiny stones. He said he bought about $50,000 (about £30,000) worth every month from local miners. "No blood diamonds now," he said, pulling out an official document. "See, everything legalised - 90% controlled by the state."

In the woods outside town, entrepreneur and private diamond miner Aloysius Wai watched two of his workers shake top-soil through sieves as they stood in a water-logged pit. "If diamonds make people get a living then it is not a curse, but if it is used to kill people and buy ammunition and destroy... generations then it is a curse," Mr Wai said. So where does Sierra Leone stand on the blessing-curse scale? "Eighty percent it's a curse here."

Back in Freetown, Edward Conte is now president of an association of amputees. "This trial is important to stop impunity," he said. "It will show to all other people who want to do that thing tomorrow, and they will think, 'Oh, I will be held responsible for what I did.'"

Japaty Mambu, pictured here aged 16, says his scar means he will never forget Sierra Leone's civil war

His vice-president, Ismael Daramy, came over to talk. Rebel soldiers cut off both his arms in 1998 when they found him in a diamond field. "We can talk about forgiveness and reconciliation but what provisions are being made for the victims," he said. "I'm thinking what will happen to me and my children in the future. I'm living on the street and begging to get something for my family, while the international community spends millions of dollars trying a single man."

But Japaty Mambu, now 27 years old, insisted that Sierra Leone was already on the mend. He and some friends recently built a chicken coop and are waiting for their first eggs. He also plays for an amputee football team and travelled to Spain before the World Cup to meet their national team. "I think we are on the right track with reconciliation," he said. "Eleven years have passed by and I have confidence I'm strong enough to do a lot of things. So I'm relaxed, but I can't forget it, because the scar is always there."

Comments

or register to comment.

  • 1. At 12:51pm on 04 Aug 2010, TheHague wrote:

    Correction: should be "subpoenaed to appear at the Special Court for Sierra Leone in The Hague" rather than at the "International Criminal Court" in the first section.

    Complain about this comment

  • 2. At 1:34pm on 04 Aug 2010, ewa_ko wrote:

    Ms Campbell is not subpoenaed to appear at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, she is to appear at the Special Court for Sierra Leone where Charles Taylor is being tried.
    The Special Court for Sierra Leone's trial of Charles Taylor is taking place at the courtroom of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in The Hague.
    This is all available on the public website. FYI.

    Complain about this comment

  • 3. At 2:23pm on 04 Aug 2010, Wach wrote:

    Thank you very much Mr Harding. Its been 11 years after the war, but the wounds created are still in the process of healing. The question is" Can the Special Court of Sierra Leone acquire enough information from Ms Campbell, since it appears that she does not want to participate at all?"

    Complain about this comment

  • 4. At 2:57pm on 04 Aug 2010, rogerblack wrote:

    What a charade! The international community keeps dancing around this issue, rather than getting down to the gory details of why, who and what. Naomi has nothing to do with what happened in SL and she will not provide any evidence worthy of a solution. Not sure how Brenda Hollis can justify summoning her as a material witnesses just because she was given rough diamonds. Just ridiculous!

    Andrew what happened in SL was a tribal war of epic proportion. Charles Taylor's rebels where involved so were rebels from Burkinafaso. This whole fiasco started back in the early 1990 and went into full swing in 1992 when the NPRC overthrew the then APC Government. My point is Naomi has nothing to do with ordinary Sierra Leoneans getting their hands cut off, if Brenda Hollis really cares about justice and wants to know the facts then she needs to go back to the drawing board and start from the beginning.

    Is Brenda Hollis ready to make a career defining call and take a risk in search of the truth? Because the stakes are high as the truth will affect many prominent Sierra Leoneans and foreign nationals who have benefitted from this tribal war that Charles Taylor also profited from.

    If Brenda really cares about the truth and wants closure for all those that have suffered then I will advise her to seek the one individual currently in Freetown who was privy to classified information about the dealings of the RFU with Charles Taylor and the execution of the tribal war. Until then please stop insulting the intelligence of law abiding Sierra Leoneans with celebrity news on an issue that took so many lives for things they know nothing about. It's not only a charade but an affront to justice, and takes the biscuit on all levels.

    Below is a link to an article written in response to some misguided information presented by certain sections of the SL community to keep the good people of SL misinform and confuse. Check it out and you might learn a thing or two about what really went down, and why Brenda's Celebrity witness is anything but a joke and an insult.

    http://standardtimespress.net/cgi-bin/artman/publish/article_4716.shtml

    Complain about this comment

  • 5. At 5:42pm on 04 Aug 2010, Salone Pikin wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 6. At 1:44pm on 05 Aug 2010, Bryce Malton wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 7. At 1:59pm on 05 Aug 2010, Pamela Thornhill wrote:

    I was disappointed with Ms Campbell's recent testimony at The Hague. Particularly, I was struck by her comments 'I didn't want to be here... I don't want to get involved'. Thankfully, there are persons who do get involved and work tirelessly, sacrificing so much to change the injustices of our world.

    Complain about this comment

  • 8. At 3:07pm on 05 Aug 2010, Mze-djimba wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 9. At 4:04pm on 05 Aug 2010, Positive Change wrote:

    I saw the testimony of Noami Campbell today and it instead gives reasons that Charles Taylor "may not be connected" to any blood diamond saga. This is the assumption until, it is proven otherwise. That therefore means that Noami's testimony would likely not be of an tangible evidence.
    This does not however, vindicate Mr. Taylor of the alledge crimes. However, he must be proven innocent or guilty by the prosecutors.

    What makes me worried is the double standard justice of the Special Court stuff. It is more of a place to employ a few elites and pay them fabulous sums of money. It seems more of a big farce aimed deceiving ignorant Africans and pleasing neo-colonial agents and angering and mocking pan Africanists.

    If at all Mr Taylor supported the RUF rebels in exchange for diamond which he then used to buy weapons, it implies that those to whom he sold the weapons should be at the Haque as well. These were the people who were supposedly pushing Taylor who in turn, pushed the rebels and the end was maiming and rapings, lootings etc.

    To therefore parade only Taylor as the supposed killer is total nonsense of the first order. Let the gurus in America and Europe where the diamond was allegedly sold and weapons bought be arrested too.
    It is only at that juncture i may be tempted to believe that, the court and prosecutors are serious. Anything short of this is a farce.

    I do not even want to go to the extend of calling the names of other prime ministers and presidents who have invaded and are still invading foreign sovereign countries and killing, maiming and raping. That is another issue of its own.

    Complain about this comment

  • 10. At 4:44pm on 05 Aug 2010, Nick Dickinson wrote:

    Watching Naomi Campbell questioned in the Special Court for Sierra Leone this morning was fascinating. It was an amazing juxtaposition, the super-model at the super-court. She looked truly out of place. It is hard to imagine a more serious, less frivolous, thing than a war crimes trial - Ms Campbell (and her profession) is of course the exact opposite of this. It's hard not to see the parallels between her and the other beautiful, glittering, utterly useless objects at the centre of this trial - the blood diamonds.

    Complain about this comment

  • 11. At 5:22pm on 05 Aug 2010, Ian wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 12. At 6:10pm on 05 Aug 2010, ASASEWURA wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 13. At 10:06pm on 05 Aug 2010, foday wrote:

    WHY IS NAOMI CAMPBELL ON TRIAL ANYWAY? SHE IS JUST A PAWN IN THE GAME AND WE ALL KNOW THAT.

    IF THE INTERNATIONAL COURT IS SERIOUS ABOUT PROSECUTING CHARLES TAYLOR THEY SHOULD BRING THE SOUTH AFRICAN COMPANY,DE BEARS,ON TRIAL. AFTER ALL THEY WERE THE BIGGEST BUYERS OF BLOOD DIAMONDS.

    SOUTH AFRICAN MERCENARIES WERE WELL ENTRENCHED IN OUR WAR, TRAINING REBELS AND SUPPLYING THEM WITH WEAPONS WHILST THEY WERE MINING DIAMONDS AND TAKING IT ACROSS THE BORDER TO LIBERIA.






    Complain about this comment

  • 14. At 11:53pm on 05 Aug 2010, botobata wrote:

    My partner of 25 years is Sierra Leonian and I have many friends from that country. They don't have to ask a spoilt brat like Campbell to give evidence when there are so many people from that beleaguered country that have first hand knowledge of the collaberation between Taylor and that butcher Forday Sankoh - Arms for Diamonds.

    I found it contemptable to here her say that it was an "inconvenience" for her to appear in court. Had she ever wondered how inconvenient it was to lose an arm or a leg. I think most people with any humanity in them would have jumped at the opportunity to put this evil man where he deserves to be - incarcerated for the rest of his life.

    Complain about this comment

  • 15. At 12:17pm on 06 Aug 2010, ziggyboy wrote:

    So two guys turn up at her hotel door - oh yeah!!

    She of course doesn't know diamonds are mined in Africa - doh!

    Who are these people kidding??

    Complain about this comment

  • 16. At 3:17pm on 06 Aug 2010, Brabbs wrote:

    I think it is very insulting to those effected by the Liberian Civil War to know that the only way the world knows what happened there is when a celebrity has to testify. I found that the BBC report into the trial was focused all on Naomi Cambell and not the Crime that was committed. I have heard of the atrocities committed by Charles Taylor through a man know has Kimme Weeks who is the head of Youth Action, an organisation aimed at giving therapy to former child soldiers and rehabilitate them. Also mr. Weeks discovered that Charles Taylor was using child soldiers himself, although he denies it, and because of this Mr. Weeks has had several assassination attempts on his life. To be honest I never even knew that Charles Taylor was on trial and I am sure many here are the same, it was only when a celebrity gets involved that the media decides to take attention. I also agree with previous statements that when Naomi Cambell said that "this is a great inconvience to me" that she is no clue what it is like to be a victim of war crimes and how inconvient it is to have your limbs cut off. Therefore it is my opion that the BBC does not really care about the trial and the atrocities committed but only on a single indvidual who really couldn't care less about what Charles Taylor did.

    Complain about this comment

  • 17. At 9:48pm on 06 Aug 2010, cliveklg wrote:

    So when is Mandela going to be questioned about South Africa's arms deals with Sierra Leone

    Complain about this comment

  • 18. At 11:14am on 09 Aug 2010, Chris wrote:

    Numbers 14 15 and 16 said it all.

    Campbell came across as self-important, arrogant and as #10 put it "utterly useless" - no empathy whatsoever with other people, no thought for their suffering. This world is in desperate need of change when people like that are seen as worthy of admiration, respect - or even worthy of interest.

    And it is a pretty poor show that only 17 other people found this issue interesting enough to bother to comment.

    Complain about this comment

  • 19. At 1:12pm on 09 Aug 2010, dutchdavey wrote:

    Naomi Campbell isn't on trial here. How much thought did you have for 'Life in Liberia' beofe she appeared on the stand?

    Nobody pay's any attention to what happened to the rocks in the last 12 years, Seems like someone sat on them?

    Who cares if Mia Farrow's testimony appears to contradict Campbell's?

    Who cares if Campbell 'knew' or that she 'assumed' that the rocks came from Taylor? She at least did the right thing with them and handed them over to someone she thought she could trust.

    Taylor is on trial here and the testimony of White, Farrow and Campbell should support or call into question whether or not Taylor traded in 'blood diamonds' and it appears not even the BBC can keep to the point and keep out of the tittle-tattle gutter when reporting on the trial.

    Whats happened at the Beeb? Too many reporters recruited from the Sun?

    Complain about this comment

  • 20. At 4:30pm on 09 Aug 2010, buckaroobanzai wrote:

    Unfortunately Ms.Campbell represents the rampant fatuousness within most of Western society in the early 21st century.

    Complain about this comment

  • 21. At 6:59pm on 09 Aug 2010, batch wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 22. At 8:24pm on 09 Aug 2010, recurve1 wrote:

    I don't know much about this and will look into it now. The super model is unknown to me, but Mr. Hardings story was well written and has reached someone in a tiny town here in the US.
    I hope the people of Sierra Leone will find justice and thought Ismael Daramy's comment was, well, right on the money.

    Complain about this comment

  • 23. At 11:03am on 10 Aug 2010, Positive Change wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 24. At 1:03pm on 10 Aug 2010, williams wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 25. At 1:45pm on 10 Aug 2010, Will wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 26. At 3:02pm on 10 Aug 2010, Andrew Harding BBC wrote:

    It is a sad and uncomfortable fact that it takes a celebrity to focus attention on Sierra Leone's long struggle for justice, but as my BBC colleague in Freetown writes here, it may have been an inconvenience for Naomi, but perhaps a "shot in the arm" for the trial... http://www.awoko.org/?p=9768

    Complain about this comment

  • 27. At 3:07pm on 10 Aug 2010, Will wrote:

    Andrew

    I asked a very serious and reasonable question about why Charles Taylor (known at the time to be a convicted criminal and terrorist trained in Libya) was invited to attend a dinner with Mr Mandela in my post above which was delted by moderators.

    It was not defamatory nor aunreasonable to ask such a question.

    Can you explain its deletion please?

    Complain about this comment

  • 28. At 6:41pm on 11 Aug 2010, Positive Change wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 29. At 2:51pm on 12 Aug 2010, Andrew Harding BBC wrote:

    UK charity's film about micro-finance in Sierra Leone... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7JU1lSuzlA

    Complain about this comment

  • 30. At 11:37am on 13 Aug 2010, Mze-djimba wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 31. At 2:44pm on 13 Aug 2010, Will wrote:

    Mze-djimba

    I note your comments above and question why it is that apparently you are blaming 'Europeans' for the ongoing mess in Africa. I also fail to see the comparison you attempt to crudely draw between Charles Taylor, Nazi War Criminals and Bin Laden either.

    The fact is that Charles Taylor (just like Mugabe, Amin, Omar Al-Bashir, Gaddafi, Bari, Kabbila etc etc etc) committed awful attrocities against his OWN countrymen. He also obtained great wealth from the mineral resources in the "soil he slept on", abused power and ultimately absconded from justice in his own country. This is a uniquely African problem. The closest comparison perhaps is Pinochet in Chile but even then Charles Taylor's crimes make Pinochet's seem of only average severity in comparison.

    As I have raised above, it astonishes me that at a time where Mr Mandela showed great leadership in other areas, he felt it appropriate and acceptable to invite Charles Taylor to dinner! It perhaps should not be so surprising given the South African governement's tacit support of Mr Mugabe, another war criminal.

    Complain about this comment

  • 32. At 08:20am on 15 Aug 2010, Positive Change wrote:

    If BBC moderators again remove my comment, i may be forced to conclude that the media organ does not support free speech as it claims.

    Let BBC reporters equally focus on those with whom Mr Taylor alledgely traded in diamond or bought weapons. There is the need for them to testify for us to have a complete judgement or case.

    The testimonies of Noami Campbell, Mia Farrow and Carole White have in my opinion, not really revealed anything since all the versions are different.

    I just read a BBC article indicating that three uncut diamonds have been handed for examination. Noami made mention of two or three though she had initially said she did not know the exact number.

    Carole White who claimed to have seen the diamonds and chatted with the those who handed the diamonds to Noami, claims there were about 4 or five.

    Their evidence have been overwhelmingly weak.

    If the court is serious, let them prosecute those with whom Taylor collaborated. They are in South Africa, Liberia, Europe, America, Liberia , Sierra Leone. In that case, enough evidence may be gotten about his alledge crimes.

    I hope my comment will not be censored again as i have saved this piece in my file too. In any case, i may use as evidence of BBC suppression of contrary views under the cover of defamation.

    Complain about this comment

  • 33. At 1:39pm on 15 Aug 2010, Jane Aspden wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 34. At 3:44pm on 17 Aug 2010, Will wrote:

    Positive Change- I could not agree with you more.

    There has been no response from the BBC regarding the removal of my posts above and I can only assume that the 'editing' was conducted under the guise and false accusation that in someway my posts were defamatory. Aside from the fact that none of my posts purported to raise any facts that are not commonly accepted, the questions I asked were of huge public importance.

    It would seem that it was unacceptable to the moderator for me to pose a question as to why Nelson Mandela (or alternatively the South African government) invited Charles Taylor to what appears to have been a formal, state sanctioned dinner in 1997 given Mr Taylor's 'form'. I would question why Andrew Harding and other journalists consider it good journalism to focus on sensationalist pieces about supermodels rather than asking the real questions- i.e. what support, tacit or otherwise, did Taylor have from statesman and governments who were quite frankly better placed and well enough informed to know better than a supermodel.

    Mr Mandela having dinner with Charles Taylor was at the very least poor judgment. Why is it wrong to ask for an explanation as to why that dinner occurred?

    Complain about this comment

  • 35. At 12:59pm on 18 Aug 2010, Mze-djimba wrote:

    I would like to stand on the only comment I posted on this thread. Since the time I saw the set-up of the court and the destination it face with the fact of those who are really behind the ICC and looking at those fancy fronts house N word on the front seats I suspect that someone or some power has been plan to their down fall.

    Willre13 You have a legitimate question and I am sure some smart western power intentionally let the question to ask itself.

    And I guess the other question will be why since 1997 up to now 2010 the gifts from the supermodel reminded in a private hand all of these years? Questions will still coming up that why and who really had these diamonds in his/her hands? If true the head of the trust-fund had the diamonds in his private capacity without anyone knowing then how many things (funds) which intended to Mandela children’s fund could be keep in private hands far from reaching the intended destination? Etc, etc, etc.

    I believe that the world’s blood suckers are not honest or serious on stopping blood diamonds and acquiring wealth from the wrong ways.
    I believe that something serious should be done to end the abuse of plundering minerals from Africa.

    I would like to have some proper and clear rules & laws which will make illegally to see or sale mineral from Africa on any other continent no matter what. And in the same time we keep the values of these goods in Africa for only those poor & vulnerable Africans who lives around.

    If we don’t do like this then we will always get third, fourth or fifth hands mingling and manipulating things and getting their ways to be extremely rich in Europe who have no minerals and those who lives with the minerals die hungry.

    Complain about this comment

  • 36. At 09:12am on 20 Aug 2010, Richard wrote:

    I have a question, What is someone like Charles Taylor doing at one of Nelson Mandelas parties????

    Surley Nelson Mandela would not want to associate with ruthless war lords, gangsters and blood crazed maniacs???????

    Complain about this comment

  • 37. At 08:57am on 25 Aug 2010, Richard wrote:

    Hi Mze hope you are well, I noticed in your last post that you said that the worlds bloodsuckers (I presume you mean the west, you usually do) are not honest and serious about stopping blood diamonds. Basically you think that the western powers are the only ones who can do something about the sale of blood diamonds in Africa??? This removes the responsibility from the African leaders, acting responsibly is what THEY should be doing. They are the ones with the control, They are the ones who should be doing something, where is the moral backbone? Where is the desire to do right by the African people, everyone knows that blood diamonds sales fuel the war trade in Africa with proceeds going into buying more arms and ammunition, the rest of the proceeds line the pockets of the fat cats. This has far less to do with the bloodsuckers and far more to do with the political leadership. If they wanted they could mine the diamonds and turn the proceeds into roads, infrusturcture, schools, health services...... Somthing to think about.

    Complain about this comment

  • 38. At 08:59am on 25 Aug 2010, Richard wrote:

    Hi Mze hope you are well, I noticed in your last post that you said that the worlds bloodsuckers (I presume you mean the west, you usually do) are not honest and serious about stopping blood diamonds. Basically you think that the western powers are the only ones who can do something about the sale of blood diamonds in Africa??? This removes the responsibility from the African leaders, acting responsibly is what THEY should be doing. They are the ones with the control, They are the ones who should be doing something, where is the moral backbone? Where is the desire to do right by the African people, everyone knows that blood diamonds sales fuel the war trade in Africa with proceeds going into buying more arms and ammunition, the rest of the proceeds line the pockets of the fat cats. This has far less to do with the bloodsuckers and far more to do with the political leadership. If they wanted they could mine the diamonds and turn the proceeds into roads, infrusturcture, schools, health services, Somthing to think about.

    Complain about this comment

  • 39. At 08:59am on 25 Aug 2010, Richard wrote:

    Hi Mze hope you are well, I noticed in your last post that you said that the worlds bloodsuckers (I presume you mean the west, you usually do) are not honest and serious about stopping blood diamonds. Basically you think that the western powers are the only ones who can do something about the sale of blood diamonds in Africa??? This removes the responsibility from the African leaders, acting responsibly is what THEY should be doing. They are the ones with the control, They are the ones who should be doing something, where is the moral backbone? Where is the desire to do right by the African people, everyone knows that blood diamonds sales fuel the war trade in Africa with proceeds going into buying more arms and ammunition, the rest of the proceeds line the pockets of the fat cats. This has far less to do with the bloodsuckers and far more to do with the political leadership. If they wanted they could mine the diamonds and turn the proceeds into roads, infrusturcture, schools, health services, Somthing to think about.

    Complain about this comment

View these comments in RSS

BBC iD

Sign in

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.