A boomtown is rising in the jungle- covered mountains of Sierra Leone. Bumbuna, estimated population 12,000, just got a new bank. A growing Sunday congregation spills out from underneath blue tarps that serve as a makeshift church. In hills where armed men once abducted children, school kids now get coloring books featuring a smiling bulldozer ridden by the cartoon character Bob the Builder. Outside of town, the mining company handing them out is loading bright yellow Caterpillar trucks as it unearths iron ore, giving Sierra Leone the fastest-growing economy in the world.
A $22 billion disease-fighting fund backed by Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates found that money intended for people with life-threatening illnesses was used for home renovations in India and diverted to a person linked with money laundering and so-called blood diamonds in Nigeria.
Zimbabwe should be banned from selling diamonds to members of the Kimberley Process , created to end trade in stones mined to fund conflict and war, after claims of smuggling, rape and assault by the country’s army and police at its Marange gem fields, Global Witness said.
Human Rights Watch called on governments, companies and consumers to refuse to buy Zimbabwe diamonds until all members of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme agree the country is protecting people’s rights.
Zimbabwe can export diamonds from its Marange fields under the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme even after some member countries protested the resumption of shipments, the head of the organization said.