Democrat July 2000 (Number 45)
Sierra Leone - Diamonds in the Crown
Leo Dreapir continues this series on Europe in Africa
In reverence to its phenomenal mineral wealth, the British state has laboured arduously, since 1961, to keep its former colonial protectorate, Sierra Leone in a neo-colonial straight jacket. One of the poorest nations on Earth, the state has not functioned for its people who tread some of the richest soil in the World. For over 15 years only foreign mining interests have been catered for. In this small nation the size of Ireland, the average revenue is 26p per day. When the youths of the RUF chant "The Kalashnikov lifestyle is our best business asset" they mean our best survival in this British created politico-social wasteland, are best provided for by armed struggle.
Until the late 1970's, Local compradors ran the neo-colony into the ground, while Anglo-US corporations pillaged gold, bauxite, rutile concentrates and diamonds. From the late 1980's, the anger of the people erupted in insurrection.
In 1996, by financial pressure and mercenary "Executive Outcome" butchery, the British government managed to have their marionette Kabbah "democratically" elected. Prior to 1996, the Anglo-North American Corporations employed the "Gurkha Security Guards".
The AFRC militia led by Johnny Paul Koroma ousted Kabbah in 1997. The British government then paid for a 30,000 Nigerian proxy Army to ensure their interests would prevail. They also paid for `Sandline International' mercenaries to break the UN arms embargo, smuggle arms and train a 40,000 militia in support of Kabbah. In 1998 Freetown, the British Government re-established and packed the Kabbah regime with "advisors" and secret service men to ensure no repetition of a rival militia coup d'etat. Police defence and finance are run directly by the British.
Komora once an ally of the RUF and Samuel Hinga Norman, leader of the notorious Kamajors militia came under pressure from the New Labour government, Barclays Bank, Standard Charter, mining corporations Rex Mining Corporation, Diamond Works (Energy Branch and Mining Branch, with links to `Executive Outcomes') and Sierra Leone Rutile Nord Resources, to join the Kabbah regime and launch a war against Liberian based rival small mining firms mining under RUF protection.
Having fathered a 10 year civil war, "peace" and changes London wrought in the balance of militia forces the Anglo-US Corporate Mafia moved against rival small mining firms and the RUF to capture their mining areas for minerals and the most flawless gems in the World. All that the US brokered Lome peace deal offered the RUF in exchange for disarmament never materialised. The Kabbah regime refused to work with the Mining Resources Commission headed by vice President Foday Sankoh. and the UN, under orders, concentrated on disarming the RUF while ignoring the pro-government militias.
When the UN was sent to disarm the RUF they naturally refused and in turn the UN African peacekeepers handed over their arms to the RUF. Enter Her Majesty's government and army from out of the woodwork. Look no mercenaries! All the spells cast by London have failed. The RUF, at the time of writing, controls half of Sierra Leone, and dominates events in the other half. The British Army's intervention objective was primarily to gain time to organise Kabbah's forces strategically. The New Labour government's secondary objective is more difficult. To win UNAMSIL to support counter insurgency operations against the RUF and its Liberia based small mining company backers and transfer mining concessions to the big Anglo-US corporations via the Freetown regime.
The De Beers conglomerate mines half the World's rough diamonds and controls 70-80% of production, buying up rough diamonds everywhere, fixing World prices and selling them on for $270 per carat. London and Washington are trying to force De Beers to end this policy and declare Congo and Sierra Leone diamonds "conflict" or "blood" diamonds to help break the territorial power of African revolutionary movements in line with Anglo-US mining Corporation policy to gain access to minerals which the small African and international mining firms now excavate under revolutionary protection. But De Beers refuses to disclose its sources of diamonds.
Each time one sees a limbless Sierra Leone child on TV, blame the root cause - British-US policy - and their ruthless greedy corporations which perpetuate and prolong African conflict at the African's expense.
Late news on Sierra Leone
On 5 July 2000 the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution proposed by Britain making the export of diamonds from Sierra Leone illegal. The majority of the security council consists of the large states with interests in maintaining the monopoly of trade in diamonds - keep the quantity down to keep the price up and stop a third world state developing.