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    March 8 is International Women's Day. Read about issues affecting women in Africa.


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    In the Gender section, Where Are The Girls? Girls in fighting forces in Northern Uganda, Sierra Leone and Mozambique: Their lives during and after war, report from Rights and Democracy.


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    Natural Resources Print E-mail
     
    Natural Resources have been been the source of conflict and human rights abuses in recent years. Following are reports and websites related to diamonds, oil, timber and other resource-based conflict in Africa.

    Diamonds


    Presentation to the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation
    Source: Partnership Africa Canada Date: 2003
    Presentation of the findings of three years of research on the role of diamonds in the ten-year conflict in Sierra Leone with recommendations for the UN Security Council and national and international governments that would contribute to building human security and democracy in Sierra Leone.

    The Diamond Peace Alliance
    An initiative that aims to bring private industry, community, NGOs, and government together to ensure that the Sierra Leone diamond industry contributes positively to peace and prosperity through increasing benefits to the people of Kono from the diamond industry and by helping the government improve its ability to manage diamonds.

    For a Few Dollars More: How al Qaeda Moved into the Diamond Trade
    Source: Global Witness Date: 2003
    Report showing that the trade networks and routes used by al Qaeda to gain access to rough diamonds are the same as those used for trading in conflict and illicit diamonds. The report concludes with recommendations for governments and the diamond industry, calling for a strengthened Kimberley Process with an independent monitoring mechanism which can ensure that diamonds are no longer tainted by corruption, terrorism and war.

    Making a Killing: The diamond trade in government-controlled DRC
    Source: Amnesty International Date: 2002
    Report on human rights abuses in government-controlled areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Includes recommendations that commercial activity needs greater international scrutiny and the need for an independent commission of inquiry.

    Critical Issues Remain in Deterring Conflict Diamond Trade
    Source: United States General Accounting Office Date: 2002
    Report which concludes that the Kimberley Agreement that was completed in March 2002 does not provide reasonable assurance that conflict diamonds will be kept out of the system. It makes recommendations for tougher controls, including risk assessment, better internal controls in the US and appropriate international monitoring of the Kimberley system.

    Can Controls Work? A Review of the Angolan Diamond Control System
    Source: Global Witness Date: 2002
    Analysis of the system of diamond controls currently being implemented in Angola, evaluating whether effective implementation is possible in an industry sector that is notorious for smuggling and where there is resistance to legal systems such as export regimes and the payment of taxes.

    Dirty Diamonds and Civil Society
    Source:PAC Date: 2001
    History of the conflict diamond campaign, whereby some small NGOs identified the role that diamonds played infueling some of Africa's most brutal wars and developed a strategic engagement with the media, governments and the diamond industry itself, to bring about change. In its analysis and description of conflict, the paper deals mainly with Sierra Leone, the country most familiar to the authors.

    A Rough Trade
    Source: Global Witness Date: 1998
    A report reviewing the role of companies and governments in the Angolan conflict, specifically related to diamonds. Available in English and Portuguese. Scroll down to report.

    Oil


    Some Transparency, No Accountability: The Use of Oil Revenue in Angola and Its Impact on Human Rights
    Source: Human Rights Watch Date: 2004
    Analysis of the mismanagement of Angolan oil revenues, which has impeded Angolans’ ability to enjoy their economic, social, and cultural rights. The report includes a survey of existing international initiatives aimed at promoting greater transparency, with analysis of how each might be used to promote change in Angola.

    The Warri Crisis: Fueling Violence
    Source: Human Rights Watch Date: 2003
    Analysis of the on-going conflict and human rights abuses in Nigeria's Delta State, which are driven by disputes over both government resources and control of the theft of crude oil. Recommendations include creating a system for "certifying" crude oil.

    Sudan, Oil and Human Rights
    Source: Human Rights Watch Date: 2003
    Extensive report investigating the role that oil played in Sudan's civil war - the government use of infrastructure built by the oil companies to launch attacks on civilians in the southern oil region and the complicity of oil companies in the human rights abuses.

    Addressing the Natural Resource Curse: an illustration from Nigeria
    Source: IMF Working Paper Date: 2003
    Research showing that oil isn't necessarily bad for growth, but it is very bad for institutions. And the more oil, the worse the institutional development.

    International Advisory Group (IAG) for the Chad–Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project
    Website that aims to make public, and convey to all interested parties, the documents, mission reports and recommendations of the IAG, mandated to observe progress of the petroleum-development-related projects.

    Bottom of the Barrel: Africa's Oil Boom and the Poor
    Source: Catholic Relief Services. Date: 2003
    Report addressing two fundamental questions: How can Africa's oil boom contribute to alleviating poverty? What policy changes should be implemented to promote the management and allocation of oil revenues in a way that will benefit ordinary Africans.

    Documents and Reports of the International Advisory Group on the Chad-Cameroon Petroleum Development and Pipeline Project
    Source: International Advisory Group, Chad-Cameroon PDPP Date: 2003
    The World Bank and the governments of Chad and Cameroon have appointed several monitoring groups for this project, among them an independent supervisory panel: the International Advisory Group. Its reports are posted on its web site the day they are presented.

    Shifting Sands: Oil exploration in the Rift Valley and the Congo Conflict
    Source: Pole Institute Date: 2003
    Report examining issues related to oil exploration by the Canadian company, Heritage Oil in Western Uganda and Eastern Congo, investigating the implications of the most capital-intensive extractive industry entering one of the world's most complex conflict areas and questioning what needs to be done to ensure that the Congolese population enjoys the benefits of their rich natural environment.

    Deconstructing Engagement: Corporate Self-Regulation in Conflict Zones
    Source: Georgette Gagnon, Audrey Macklin, Penelope Simons Date: 2003
    Examines the existing governance gap in the accountability of transnational corporations for violations of international human rights and humanitarian law associated with their extraterritorial operations. Talisman Energy's operations in Sudan serve as a case study. The report identifies implications for human rights and Canadian public policy.

    All the Presidents Men: The devastating story of oil and banking in Angola's privatised war
    Source: Global Witness Date: 2002
    This report provides an update on the campaign for full transparency in the oil and banking sector. It continues an exposé, which started with December 1999's A Crude Awakening, into the mechanisms of wholesale state robbery in Angola. Report available in English, French and Portuguese, in pdf or Word format.

    The Scorched Earth: oil and war in Sudan
    Source: Christian Aid Date: 2001
    A report on oil development and the continuing civil war in Sudan.

    Oil Development, Conflict and Displacement in Western Upper Nile, Sudan
    Source: Canadian Auto Workers, Steelworkers Humanity Fund, the United Church of Canada and World Vision Canada Date: 2001
    Report of the intensification of armed attacks on civilians in key areas of Sudan's contested oil region in Western Upper Nile during 2000 and 2001. The report provides viable policy alternatives for the Canadian government and recommendations for Talisman shareholders.

    Timber


    Forest Management Transparency, Governance and the Law: Case Studies from the Congo Basin
    Source:CED-Cameroun, Rainforest Foundation, Forests Monitor Date: 2003
    Civil society concerns about land laws, violent conflict, deforestation and the rights of forest communities in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Gabon.

    Logging Off
    Source: Global Witness Date: 2002
    How the Liberian timber industry fuels Liberia's humanitarian crisis and threatens Sierra Leone.

    General Articles on Natural Resources

    Dirty Metals: Mining, Communities and the Environment
    Source: Oxfam America and Earthworks Date: 2004
    Report detailing the massive pollution, huge open pits, devastating community health effects, worker dangers and, in many cases, human rights abuses that have become hallmarks of gold and metals mining in countries such as Peru, Indonesia, Ghana and in parts of the United States.

    Striking a Better Balance
    Source: Extractive Industries Review Date: 2004
    Final report of a consultation process launched by the World Bank Group to discuss its future role in the extractive industries with concerned stakeholders. The aim of this independent review was to produce a set of recommendations that will guide involvement of the World Bank Group in the oil, gas and mining sectors.

    Mining Ombudsman Annual Report 2003
    Source: Oxfam Caommunity Aid Abroad Date: 2003
    Report of the social and environmental impact of Australian mining companies. Includes a description of a rights-based approach to development work and human rights benchmarks for the mining industry.

    Lifting the Resource Curse: Extractive Industry, Children and Governance
    Source: Save the Children Date: 2003
    Report examining the paradoxical link between mineral resource extraction and child poverty in many countries, contrasting this "resource curse" with success stories where key actors have worked toward a positive impact of the extractive industry on children and the rest of society.

    DR Congo "Our brothers who help kill us" - Economic Exploitation & Human Rights Abuses in the East
    Source: Amnesty International Date: 2003
    Report on human rights abuses associated with economic exploitation taking place in areas under the control of the armed opposition groups and foreign forces in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This report concludes with recommendations aimed at achieving accountability and justice addressed to all parties to the conflict, both governments and armed political groups, and to the international community, including companies doing business in eastern DRC.

    Poverty Reduction or Poverty Exacerbation?
    Source: Oxfam, Friends of the Earth, et al Date: 2003
    A report examining the World Bank Group's support for extractive industries in Africa over the past 20 years in light of the World Bank's self-proclaimed mission in poverty reduction, describing the obstacles to using extractive industries as a vehicle for poverty reduction and sustainable development and proposes a research agenda to clarify the costs and benefits of WB-supported extractive industries operations.

    Cursed by Riches: Who Benefits from Resource Exploitation in the DRC
    Source: All Party Parliamentary Group (U.K.) on the Great Lakes Region & Genocide Prevention Date: 2002
    Report looking at the impact of natural resource exploitation on people's lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the implications for a lasting peace in the region. Includes recommendations for U.K. aid and foreign policy, for corporations, the United Nations and for governments in the Great Lakes Region.

    Making a Killing: The Business of War
    Source: Center for Public Integrity's International Consortium of Investigative Journalists Date: 2002
    11-part series examining the role of private military companies in war zones and their connections with national & corporate interests, especially drilling and mining.

    Poverty in the midst of Wealth - the Democratic Republic of Congo
    Source: Oxfam Date: 2002
    A briefing paper exploring one of the driving forces behind the conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo - the desire by the warring parties to have access to, and control over, the DRC's vast natural resources. The report includes a number of recommendations for governments and international agencies, including the need to deliver on the Kimberley Process recommendations.

    The Economies of Conflict - Private Sector Activities and Armed Conflict
    Source: Programme for International Co-operation and Conflict Resolution Date: 2002
    A series of reports examining how certain private sector activities help sustain armed conflict and what can be done about it. Topics covered include the question of conflict diamonds, timber and oil.

    Extractive Sectors and the Poor
    Source: Oxfam Date: 2001
    Report contesting the conventional economic wisdom that developing nations prosper by extracting and exporting their oil and mineral wealth, concluding instead that developing countries that rely heavily on oil or mineral exports suffer higher rates of poverty and child mortality, and spend more on their militaries than similar countries with more diverse economies.

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