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Sierra Leone and Liberia have exported rough diamonds since the discovery of diamonds in the Mano River basin in the 1930s.i It was not until the late 20th century when these minerals were nicknamed conflict diamonds, loot-able resources sold to fund rebel movements and terrorist organizations. Conflict diamonds have been linked to civil war, corruption, and human rights violations. Both countries suffered through bloody civil wars, slow development, and a low standard of living. Sierra Leone's civil war resulted in thousands of deaths and the displacement of one-third of the country. Liberia's civil war resulted in over 200,000 deaths and displacement of more than a million Liberians. Could diamonds be the link to these two countries' misfortune? Could a diamond curse exist as scholars have speculated The Oil Curse?


This paper was a recipient of the 2010 Booth Library Awards for Excellence in Student Research and Creative Activity.

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