In December 2000, the United Nations General Assembly “…adopted a landmark resolution supporting the creation of an international certification scheme for rough diamonds,” (KP Basics 1). The Kimberely Process set out to end conflict diamonds by forcing all diamonds to be documented by a sales receipt. Yet, one study in 2009 shows that “…up to half of the diamonds mined in Sierra Leone’s informal diamond trade are unregistered, and many of these are smuggled, depriving the government of tax revenue,” (Gridneff 1). Supervisors at the mines can not watch everyone and boarders are rarely patrolled or enforced so diamond smuggling is all too common. Even before the ban, millions of dollars worth of diamonds left Central African Republic via the black market. High taxes on diamonds led to about 30 percent of output being smuggled to Cameroon or Sudan’s Darfur region, according to the International Peace Information Service (SIERRA LEONE: Diamond Smuggler). Diamond smuggling and trade continues to flourish and investors continue to promise higher prices for undocumented diamonds despite the Kimberely Process.
The Kimberely Process has been both a blessing and a curse for the people of Central Africa. The Kimberely Process marked the end of killings and other crimes related to conflict diamonds. Yet present day smugglers are unashamed of their now illegal activities. “If it were clearer, the stone could fetch as much as $2,000…” one smuggler boasts in a recent interview (SIERRA LEONE: Diamond Smuggler). Many people are trying to make a living any way they can and the fairly recently imposed Kimberely Process has created a crowded black market that promised a fair pay.