Wars for Africa's wealth (Issue 367)
May 2004

Diamond rings. Garden furniture. Mobile phones and gaming consoles. Africa is vastly rich in natural resources-the gems, the metals, the minerals - essential to the manufacture of these consumer items in Western markets. But is this wealth a blessing or a curse for the poorest continent?

Many of the wars that have ravaged the continent over the last decade-such as in Liberia, the Congo, Sierra Leone and Angola - have been fuelled by the demand for control over diamonds, timber, gold, minerals and oil.

In this month's NI we find out whether the consumer goods you buy are the loot of bloody conflict -and what you can do about this scandal.

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