RPCV Marian L. Murrah says Sierra Leone's civil war has bathed diamonds in blood

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Sierra Leone: Peace Corps Sierra Leone : Peace Corps in Sierra Leone: RPCV Marian L. Murrah says Sierra Leone's civil war has bathed diamonds in blood

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, June 28, 2001 - 8:57 pm: Edit Post

RPCV Marian L. Murrah says Sierra Leone's civil war has bathed diamonds in blood

Sierra Leone's civil war has bathed diamonds in blood by Marian L. Murrah, RPCV Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's civil war has bathed diamonds in blood

Having lived and worked in Sierra Leone, West Africa as a peace corps volunteer back in the 70s, I have a special interest in the bloody civil war that has been going on for the past 10 years. I find it atrocious that we in the western world have come to symbolize love with a diamond thanks to clever ad campaigns by deBeers. A diamond is forever, but so is an amputation.

I wonder how many blushing brides could keep their wedding cake down if shown a picture of one of the thousands of amputees in Sierra Leone? When you look at a handless or legless baby or child, there is no other choice but to cry. I do not understand how we as a country can continue to support such evil by our obsession with shiny rocks. How many of us are even aware that diamonds are not rare, but are controlled by a very few who choose to put a certain amount on the market so that artificial prices can be controlled. Otherwise intelligent men and women buy this lie without a second thought.

Wake up America! People are dying needlessly so that we can pay too much money for a rock that is covered with the blood of innocent children. Investigate these charges for yourself. See what you find out. But, be warned -- it is a horrible story. Ask your representatives in Washington to support the Clean Diamonds Act. Ask them to exert diplomatic pressure on Liberia and other nations guilty of supporting the rebels (RUF) in Sierra Leone. And ask them to increase the level of security and humanitarian aid for Sierra Leone. Finally, ask your jeweler to prove to you that the diamond he is trying to sell you isn't covered in blood.

Marian L. Murrah

Social Circle

By Carly N (cpe-138-217-193-195.sa.bigpond.net.au - on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 5:45 am: Edit Post

Diamonds are also used for wiring of computers, computer chips and the drilling for minerals that are needed to make certain things as zinc ect. Many of these minerals are actually used in medicines. Diamonds are actually the hardest rock on earth

By Brandy G. ( on Friday, June 17, 2005 - 12:02 pm: Edit Post

I saw Kanye's video last night. I never even knew about this. I'm glad he is using his celebrity status for a good cause. But I have a question. How do you go about getting a "conflict-free" diamond? I don't own any but feel compelled to know. I don't want to get engaged with a rock on my hand that a baby had to die for. I hope this will open up the eyes of other rappers enough to throw their "bling bling" into the river (although I highly doubt it).

By Marisa Mori (px2so.cg.shawcable.net - on Sunday, February 05, 2006 - 2:34 am: Edit Post

If you actually listen to Kanye's song, there is essentially NOTHING about how diamond exploitation, rebel corruption, and monopolization of the 'industry' impact immense populations in horrific ways. He's just blabbing about - yet again - how the critics didn't think he'd make it as an artist. Yadda yadda. I'll give him credit for some parts of the video but most of it was completey irrelevant, and besides, do you see him taking his diamond cufflinks off?

And it doesn't matter if many diamonds are made for computer chips and if it's the hardest rock on earth - what the hell was the point of that comment? Are you just supplying us with extra information? Because yeah, we knew that already.

People are still dying from disease and famine and inadequate living and working conditions in completely unsanitary, falling apart buildings which haven't been fixed AT ALL even though the civil war has been inactive for over two years while rebel groups and twisted billionaire businessmen are relishing their bloodsoaked cash.

What the hell does anyone need a ring for? I hope everytime people look at their rings, they see mutilated corpses and separated, malnourished families; maybe then they'll start to pay attention. DeBeers corrupted the traditional Japanese courting ritual by telling everyone to be extremely materialistic. Do you know what the Japanese did? They drank rice wine from the same wooden bowl. When did people decide it was ok to dump three grand on a hunk of compressed carbon?

By merb2 (ppp-71-139-0-250.dsl.snfc21.pacbell.net - on Thursday, March 16, 2006 - 10:19 pm: Edit Post


conflict-free diamonds from canada.

a bit more pricey but worth it if you dont want the mutilation of a person for western self-serving interests on your conscience.

I am in an special topics in regional conflict of sub-saharan africa class at my school. Believe me people, we watched an hour long video, and seeing a LONG row of people with their hands partially severed off is NOT fun.

i told my boyfriend that if he bought be a diamond i would break up with him.

he told me a long time ago that he would never get me a diamond in the first place because of the whole blood diamond issue.

By Anonymous (cpe-67-49-86-234.socal.res.rr.com - on Wednesday, May 24, 2006 - 12:04 am: Edit Post

kanye's remix of the song is about conflict diamonds.

By Danny Dodson ( on Wednesday, October 25, 2006 - 11:02 am: Edit Post

this is crueal and kool tho i like it in a way because we can get dimonds yaaaa

By Anonymous (c-67-184-73-24.hsd1.il.comcast.net - on Wednesday, January 24, 2007 - 8:30 pm: Edit Post

it's not just diamonds in general, it's diamonds from sierra leone. all diamonds are not mined by children with amputated legs and arms. americans are, however, disgustingly obssessed with this stupid rock. it is ridculous.

By phitos (spc1-epso2-0-0-cust397.asfd.broadband.ntl.com - on Monday, February 05, 2007 - 6:30 pm: Edit Post

I worked in Sierra leone 1979-1981 and even back then it was fairly obvious that the country was heading for outright civil war. You could sense the frustration and hopelessness in people who fell victim to the sheer scale of corruption, lack of job opportunities, barely functional infrastructure, a primitive health system and an education system that just turned out unemployed disaffected and disgruntled youth with expectations that could never be met. It was a powder keg of discontent that was just waiting for someone to light the torchpaper... along came Foday Sankoh and the rest is history.

By Naomi (spc1-hers1-0-0-cust117.asfd.broadband.ntl.com - on Sunday, February 11, 2007 - 6:16 am: Edit Post

I think it is horrible what they do and i am only 14 years old.I saw the movie blood dimond yesterday it was horrible and since that i have been wanted to do something about i have wanted to go round to all the jewlers i no and put a poster up saying like childrens blood have benn over these dimonds.I think it is horrible what they do and im going to do something about it.Naomi please reply back

By claudia garcia (adsl-70-237-30-5.dsl.hstntx.sbcglobal.net - on Wednesday, March 07, 2007 - 9:45 pm: Edit Post

i think that the situation in africa is worst than what people realy think i watched a documentary a few days ago an what i saw was horrible i saw children, men and womens suffering and living in conditions that not even animals should live in if the world saw this things and not be so worry about the luxury in what shoes and clothes are in style now i think that they would be better my eyes came into tears when i saw children suffering in these situations in only 18 years old and if i could do something about i would but im not even out of high school yet men,children and womens are all putting there lives at risk to get some food for there families if people could see there suffer if only i could help!!!!

By Anonymous (ts02-035.dublin.indigo.ie - on Wednesday, October 17, 2007 - 4:06 pm: Edit Post

I think it is horrible what they are doing in Sierra Leone I saw the movie Blood Diamond awhile ago and i was horrified it was honestly disgusting but it shows what is happening to the people their ive been trying to do something about it and even wrote a speech about it in english to notify my classmates the terrible things that are happening i give u thumbs up for any progress u have in the future

By Anonymous (oh-76-1-193-167.dhcp.embarqhsd.net - on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 2:52 pm: Edit Post

i am doing a history report on blood diamonds, and i would like to use the picture, is there a citation for the site?

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-65-142.balt.east.verizon.net - on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 - 4:58 pm: Edit Post

The photo at the top of the page is in the Creative Commons and can be used without attribution.

Thanks for asking.


By Dorothy Lancashire . ( on Friday, February 03, 2012 - 4:39 am: Edit Post

Today 3rd Feb.2012 my daughter and grandaughter have gone to Kailahun in Sierra Leone to help with a Methodist charity (Kids in Kailuhan (KIK)They sponsor a family in Kailahun and have gone over there to help orphans left with no parents and who have fled into the bush during the civil war.They are engaged in developing a school teaching hygiene and generally educating the kids so that they will be able to rebuild their lives in their own country. I feel humbled and blessed that they are involved in this mission. Please think about buying diamonds from countries where children have been mutilated for the sake of diamonds.

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