In the past, these resources have benefited a small elite group of Sierra Leoneans as well as Lebanese, Senegalese, Gambian, Guinean and Nigerian traders and a sprinkling of other groups from the sub-Saharan region.3.
The most important mineral resource in Sierra Leone is diamonds.
While the elite and their business associates in the diamond industry have lived in grandeur, the poor have invariably been left to rue the misappropriation of the collective wealth.5.
This chapter will focus predominantly on diamonds and refer to other minerals where appropriate.4.
Throughout the world, diamonds are objects of desire and admiration.
The Commission deemed it important to examine how mineral resources were used by successive governments and how they may have contributed to the war.
Furthermore, the Commission set out to explore the extent to which the combatant groups exploited mineral resources to sustain themselves and replenish their war-making supplies.2.
In Sierra Leone, diamonds were indirect causes and fuelling elements of the war.
Despite its huge mineral resources, Sierra Leone has remained one of the poorest countries in the world.Extensive alluvial and kimberlitic diamond deposits, as well as bauxite, rutile and gold, are found in the east and the south of the country.