Note by the President of the Security Council
The attached report of the Panel of Experts established by resolution 1306 (2000) was presented to the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone, in accordance with paragraph 19 of section B of resolution 1306 (2000). The report is being circulated for the information of the Members of the United Nations. Consideration of the report in the resolution 1132 (1997) Sanctions Committee is beginning, after which the Committee will officially present the report to the Security Council.
Letter dated 19 December 2000 from the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone addressed to the President of the Security Council
On behalf of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone, and in accordance with paragraph 19 of section B of resolution 1306 (2000), I have the honour to submit, as agreed at the 19th meeting of the Committee held today, the report of the Panel of Experts concerning the collection of information on possible violations of the measures imposed by paragraph 2 of resolution 1171 (1998) and the link between trade in diamonds and trade in arms and related materiél as well as the adequacy of air traffic control systems in the region.
In this connection, the Committee would appreciate it if this letter together with its enclosure were brought to the attention of the members of the Security Council and issued as a document of the Council.
(Signed) Anwarul Karim Chowdhury
Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone
Letter dated 14 December 2000 from the Chairman and the members of the Panel of Experts on Sierra Leone Diamonds and Arms, appointed pursuant to Security Council resolution 1306 (2000), addressed to the Chairman of the Security Council Committee established pursuant to resolution 1132 (1997) concerning Sierra Leone
On behalf of the members of the Panel of Experts on Sierra Leone Diamonds and Arms, I have the honour to enclose the report in accordance with paragraph 19 of section B of Security Council resolution 1306 (2000).
(Signed) Martin Chungong Ayafor
Panel of Experts on Sierra Leone Diamonds and Arms
Security Council resolution 1306 (2000)
(Signed) Atabou Bodian
(Signed) Johan Peleman
(Signed) Harjit Singh Sandhu
(Signed) Ian Smillie
Report of the Panel of Experts appointed pursuant to Security Council resolution 1306 (2000), paragraph 19, in relation to Sierra Leone
- A. General
- B. The work of the panel
- C. Standards of verification
- D. A reminder
Part one. Diamonds
I. Sierra Leone diamonds
- A. Background
- B. Diamonds in the RUF
- C. Estimated volume of diamonds mined by the RUF
- D. How the RUF move diamonds out of Sierra Leone
- E. Foday Sankoh's post-Lomé diamond business
- F. Sierra Leone's new diamond certification system
- G. Conclusions on Sierra Leone diamonds
II. International diamond statistics and transit countries
- A. General
- B. Provenance and origin
- C. Case studies: Liberia, Gambia, Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire
- D. Conclusions on statistics and transit countries
III. "Conflict" diamonds and "illicit" diamonds
- A. The issue
- B. Conclusion on conflict versus illicit diamonds
IV. A final note on diamonds
- A. Some recommendations from Sierra Leone
- B. Further research
V. Recommendations on diamonds
Part two. Weapons
I. Weapons and the RUF
- A. Background
- B. Sources of RUF weaponry within Sierra Leone
II. Liberian support to the RUF
- A. General
- B. Training
- C. Safe haven
- D. Weapons and related materiél
III. The role of other countries
IV. The role of aircraft in supplying the RUF
- A. Direct flights into RUF territory
- B. Weapons flights into Liberia
- C. The inner circle of the Taylor regime
V. Liberia and international transport networks
- A. General
- B. Aircraft registered in Liberia
- C. Key individuals in Liberia's aviation registry
- D. Offices in the United Arab Emirates
VI. Other issues
- A. The role of customs in exporting and transit countries
- B. The role of airport authorities and inspectors
- C. The non-observance of moratoria and embargoes
- D. Further research
VII. Conclusions regarding weapons and the RUF
VIII. Recommendations on weapons, transport and air traffic control
IX. Concluding recommendations
Part three. Technical note on air traffic control systems in West Africa
II. Air traffic systems in West Africa
- A. Air traffic management
- B. Communications
- C. Navigation
- D. Surveillance
III. The Roberts Flight Information Region
- A. General
- B. Guinea
- C. Sierra Leone
- D. Liberia
1. Letter on the appointment of the expert panel
2. Meetings and consultations
3. Key figures in the RUF
4. Sample communication on aircraft from Guinea
5. Note from the Sierra Leone airports authority
||Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (Sierra Leone)
||Agency for the Safety of Air Navigation in Africa and Madagascar
||Anti-Terrorist Unit (Liberia)
||Commission for the Management of Strategic Mineral Resources (Sierra Leone)
||Disarmament, Demobilization and Rehabilitation Programme (Sierra Leone)
||Democratic Republic of the Congo
||ECOWAS Monitoring Group
||Economic Community of West African States
||Flight Information Region
||Government Gold and Diamond Office (Sierra Leone)
||International Air Transport Association
||International Civil Aviation Organization
||International Weapons and Explosives Tracking System
||Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry
||Lazare Kaplan International
||National Patriotic Front of Liberia
||Programme for Coordination and Assistance for Security and Development
||Rocket Propelled Grenade
||Revolutionary United Front
||Société internationale de télécommunications aéronautiques
||Sierra Leone Army
||United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone
||Uniao Nacional para a Independencia Total de Angola
||World Customs Organization
1. Diamonds have become an important resource for Sierra Leone's Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in sustaining and advancing its military ambitions. Estimates of the volume of RUF diamonds vary widely, from as little as $25 million per annum to as much as $125 million. Whatever the total, it represents a major and primary source of income for the RUF, and is more than enough to sustain its military activities.
2. A certain volume of RUF diamonds are traded in Kenema and elsewhere in Sierra Leone. These are most likely smuggled out of the country. Some RUF diamonds have also been traded informally in Guinea. But the bulk of the RUF diamonds leave Sierra Leone through Liberia. The diamonds are carried by RUF commanders and trusted Liberian couriers to Foya-Kama or Voinjama, and then to Monrovia. Such trade cannot be conducted without the permission and the involvement of Liberian government officials at the highest level. Very little Liberian trade, in fact, whether formal or informal, takes place without the knowledge and involvement of key government officials. This is true of all imports, and where exports are concerned, it is especially true of diamonds.
3. The Lomé Peace Agreement appointed Foday Sankoh Chairman of the Commission for the Management of Strategic Mineral Resources (CMRRD). Between the time he returned to Sierra Leone in 1999 and the resumption of hostilities in May 2000, the Commission never actually functioned, but Foday Sankoh spent money lavishly, without an obvious source of income. Sankoh was, in fact, encouraging a wide variety of potential foreign investors, many thinking they would reap exclusive benefits from the same things. A picture emerges of a double-dealing leader, clutching at financial opportunities for personal and political gain, outside of the governmental framework in which he was ostensibly working. Most of this related to the diamond trade.
4. The report comments on Sierra Leone's new certification system. Where the RUF's conflict diamonds are concerned, the legitimate export system is largely irrelevant. As long as there are no controls in neighbouring countries, the RUF will continue to move their diamonds out with impunity. For this reason, it is imperative that a standardized global certification scheme be introduced as soon as possible.
5. A major difficulty in tracking the movement of rough diamonds, whether conflict or otherwise, is the inconsistent manner in which the governments of major trading centres record diamond imports and exports. One issue has to do with the general availability of statistics. Another has to do with a distinction made between 'country of origin' and 'country of provenance'. Country of provenance refers to the country from which diamonds were last imported; country of origin indicates where they were mined. Until recently, little serious attention was paid anywhere to the issue of where diamonds were actually mined. The result is a wide range of anomalies. For example, 41 per cent of British rough diamond imports in 1999 were said to originate in Switzerland, while Switzerland officially imports almost no rough diamonds at all. This is a consequence of diamonds passing through Swiss free trade areas, until recently without record and without serious government oversight.
6. In its search for conflict diamonds from Sierra Leone, the Panel discovered that there is a much greater volume of 'illicit' diamonds, and that distinguishing between the two is extremely difficult. A large volume of diamonds entering Europe is disguised as Liberian, Guinean and Gambian in order to evade taxation and launder money. The report describes flagrant examples in Belgium of fraudulent commercial reporting. A country like Liberia, whose name has been used with or without its knowledge by illicit traders, can thus conceal its own very real trade in illicit and conflict diamonds behind larger rackets being perpetrated by others.
B. Recommendations on diamonds
7. In order to better regulate the flow of rough diamonds from producing countries, a global certification scheme based on the system now adopted in Sierra Leone is imperative. It will give added impetus to current discussions on this subject if the Security Council endorses the concept of a global system.
8. In the short run, and in the absence of a global system, it is recommended that certification systems similar to that adopted by Sierra Leone, be required of all diamond exporting countries in West Africa, with special and immediate reference to Guinea and Côte d'Ivoire, as a protective measure for their indigenous industries and to prevent their exposure to conflict diamonds. If this has not been completed within a period of six months, the Security Council should impose an international embargo on diamonds from these countries.
9. The Panel further recommends a complete embargo on all diamonds from Liberia until Liberia demonstrates convincingly that it is no longer involved in the trafficking of arms to, or diamonds from, Sierra Leone. The ban should not be lifted until this condition has been met, and until Liberia too has joined the proposed standardized certification system.
10. The Security Council should place an immediate embargo on trade in all so-called Gambian diamonds until such time as its exports of diamonds can be reconciled with imports.
11. Other diamond exporting countries in the region have been designated by the Belgian government as 'sensitive' countries, where special attention to imports is required. In addition to the three countries suffering directly from conflict diamonds and those mentioned above, these include Uganda, Central African Republic, Ghana, Namibia, Congo (Brazzaville), Mali, Zambia and Burkina Faso. This list is commended to other major importing countries, including Switzerland, South Africa, India, Israel, the United Kingdom and the United States. Invoices from these countries need to be thoroughly checked, and where there is doubt about either provenance or origin, parcels should be seized until the authorities have checked the facts. Delays in processing will increase the cost of doing business and will encourage better paper work. Forfeiture of improperly labelled goods will discourage the habit decisively.1
12. Urgent attention should be given to extending a Sierra Leone-style certification system to these countries as soon as possible.
13. The United Nations, the World Diamond Council and the import control authorities of all rough diamond importing countries should be vigilant for other exporting countries, or for countries in the future, where trade in diamonds has little to do with domestic production or legitimate trading.
14. It is essential, and a matter of urgency, that major trading centres (Belgium, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, South Africa, India, the United States and Israel) come to a common agreement on the recording and public documentation of rough diamond imports that is consistent from one country to another, and that clearly designates the country of origin in addition to country of provenance.
15. An annual statistical production report should be compiled by each exporting country and gathered into a central annual report, compiled by the World Diamond Council and/or by the certification body that is expected to emerge from the 'Kimberly Process' of intergovernmental negotiation. Countries of origin must be distinguished from countries of provenance.
16. If diamonds are mixed and/or re-invoiced in a free trade zone, it is imperative that the government of that country take responsibility for verifying the bona fides of the diamonds before they are re-exported. This is especially important with regard to Switzerland because of the large volumes that pass through its Freiläger, losing their identity in the process. The same is true of the United Arab Emirates. In other words, all countries importing rough diamonds must be part of the anticipated 'rough controls' system.
17. Throughout its work, the Panel was struck by the widespread breaking of Security Council sanctions on both weapons and diamonds. If existing and future sanctions are to be effective, the Security Council will require an ongoing capacity to monitor their observance and conduct research. Where diamonds are concerned, there have been three Expert Panels examining many of the same issues concurrently. There has been useful collaboration, but there has also been overlap and duplication. Considering the complexity and the changing nature of the conflict diamond issue the Panel recommends that in future, it would serve the Security Council better to have an ongoing focal point within the United Nations to monitor adherence to sanctions, as well as progress towards the goals stated in the 1 December 2000 General Assembly resolution on conflict diamonds.
18. The attention of the Security Council, the Government of Sierra Leone, donor agencies and other interested parties is drawn to observations contained in the report about the need for probity and transparency. Without serious reform and due diligence within government and government agencies in Sierra Leone, international efforts to assist will be wasted.
C. Weapons and air traffic control
19. Despite an ECOWAS-Moratorium on arms shipments to West Africa, the region is awash with small arms. Guerrilla armies receive weapons through interlinked networks of traders, criminals and insurgents moving across borders. Systematic information on weapons smuggling in the region is non-existent, and information that could be used to combat the problem on a regional scale - through ECOWAS or through bilateral exchanges - is generally not available. Few States in the region have the resources or the infrastructure to tackle smuggling.
20. In Sierra Leone, the RUF depends almost exclusively on light weaponry, although it does have access to more sophisticated equipment. It has captured many weapons during confrontations with the Sierra Leone Army, ECOMOG and UNAMSIL forces. The Panel, however, found unequivocal and overwhelming evidence that Liberia has been actively supporting the RUF at all levels, in providing training, weapons and related matériel, logistical support, a staging ground for attacks and a safe haven for retreat and recuperation, and for public relations activities.
21. There is also conclusive evidence of supply lines to Liberia through Burkina Faso. Weapons supplied to Burkina Faso by governments or private arms merchants have been systematically diverted for use in the conflict in Sierra Leone. For example, a shipment of 68 tons of weapons arrived at Ouagadougou on 13 March 1999. They were temporarily off-loaded in Ouagadougou and some were trucked to Bobo Dioulasso. The bulk of them were then trans-shipped within a matter of days to Liberia. Most were flown aboard a BAC-111 owned by an Israeli businessman of Ukrainian origin, Leonid Minin. Details of the flights and dates are included in the report.
22. The role of aircraft in the RUF's supply chain is vital, especially over the past two years as their sphere of influence in Sierra Leone has widened. It is known that the RUF were supplied by helicopter on a sporadic basis before 1997, and on a regular basis since then. Helicopters originating in Liberia land at Buedu, Kailahun, Makeni, Yengema, Tumbudu and elsewhere in Kono District.
23. President Charles Taylor is actively involved in fuelling the violence in Sierra Leone, and many businessmen close to his inner-circle operate on an international scale, sourcing their weaponry mainly in eastern Europe. One key individual is a wealthy Lebanese businessman named Talal El-Ndine. El-Ndine is the inner-circle's paymaster. Liberians fighting in Sierra Leone alongside the RUF, and those bringing diamonds out of Sierra Leone are paid by him personally. The pilots and crew of the aircraft used for clandestine shipments into or out of Liberia are also paid by El-Ndine.
24. Regional air surveillance capacities are weak or totally inadequate in detecting, or in acting as a deterrent to the arms merchants supplying Liberia and the RUF. Weak airspace surveillance in the region in general, and abusive practices with regard to aircraft registration, create a climate in which arms traffickers operate with impunity.
25. Because of its lax licence and tax laws, Liberia has for many years been a flag of convenience for the fringe air cargo industry. Liberia also has lax maritime and aviation laws that provide the owners of ships and aircraft with maximum discretion and cover, and with minimal regulatory interference. A schedule of Liberian-registered aircraft provided to the Panel by the government listed only 7 planes. No documentation was available on more than 15 other aircraft identified by the Panel. Many aircraft flying under the Liberian flag, therefore, are apparently unknown to Liberian authorities, and are never inspected or seen in the country.
26. In November 1999, a Kenyan national named Sanjivan Ruprah was authorized by the Liberian Minister of Transport to act as the 'Global Civil Aviation agent worldwide' for the Liberian Civil Aviation Regulatory Authority, and to 'investigate and regularize the ... Liberian Civil Aviation register'. During its visit to Liberia the Panel asked the Transport Ministry, the Ministry of Justice and police authorities about Ruprah and his work, but was told that he was not known to them. Ruprah is, in fact, a well-known weapons dealer. He travels using a Liberian diplomatic passport in the name of Samir M. Nasr, and carries additional authorization from the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry.
27. Victor Bout is a well-known supplier of embargoed non-State actors - in Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere. He oversees a complex network of over 50 planes and multiple cargo charter and freight-forwarding companies, many of which are involved in shipping illicit cargo. Bout has used the Liberian aviation register extensively, operating mainly out of the United Arab Emirates. Sharjah Airport is used as an 'airport of convenience' for planes registered in many other countries. One of Bout's aircraft, an Ilyushin 76, was used in July and August 2000 for arms deliveries from eastern Europe to Liberia. This aircraft and an Antonov made four deliveries, on 4 and 27 July, and 1 and 23 August 2000. The cargo included military helicopters, spare rotors, anti-tank and anti-aircraft systems, missiles, armoured vehicles, machine guns and ammunition.
28. It is difficult to conceal something the size of an Mi-17 military helicopter, and the supply of such items to Liberia cannot go undetected by customs authorities in originating countries unless there are false flight plans and end-user certificates, or unless customs officials at points of exit are paid to look the other way. The constant involvement of Bout's aircraft in arms shipments from eastern Europe into African war zones suggests the latter.
29. In addition, there have been few significant cases of aircraft with weapons being grounded at important fuelling points such as Cairo, Nairobi or Entebbe, or anywhere in West Africa. Although some countries have temporarily or permanently stopped aircraft registered in Liberia from entering their airspace, the Liberian register continues to be used fraudulently. The practice has clearly been organised from Liberia in cooperation with shrewd businessmen abroad, and Liberian-registered planes remain prominent in many African countries, particularly in countries at war.
30. In short, Liberia is actively breaking Security Council embargoes regarding weapons imports into its own territory and into Sierra Leone. It is being actively assisted by Burkina Faso. It is being tacitly assisted by countries allowing weapons to pass through or over their territory without question, and by those countries that provide a base for the aircraft used in such operations.
31. The report concludes with a full technical report on the adequacy of air traffic control and surveillance systems within the region.
D. Recommendations on weapons and air traffic control
32. The Panel strongly recommends that all aircraft operating with an EL-registration number and based at airports other than in Liberia, should be grounded immediately and until the provisions in the following recommendation are met. This includes planes based in Sharjah and other airports in the United Arab Emirates, in Congo (Brazzaville), in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Angola, Rwanda and Kenya. Airport authorities and operators of planes registered in Liberia over the past five years should be advised to keep all their documentation, log books, operating licences, way bills and cargo manifests for inspection.
33. It is further recommended that all operators of aircraft on the Liberian register, wherever they are based, be required to file their airworthiness and operating licences and their insurance documents with the International Civil Aviation Organization's headquarters in Montreal, Canada, including documentation on inspections carried out during the past five years. The aircraft of all operators failing to do so should be grounded permanently. Aircraft that do not meet ICAO standards should be grounded permanently.
34. The Security Council, through ICAO, IATA and the WCO should create a centralized information bulletin, making the list of grounded Liberian aircraft known to all airports in the world.
35. Burkina Faso has recently recommended that the Security Council supervise a proposed mechanism that would monitor all arms imports into its territory, and their use, for a period of three years. The Panel endorses this proposal. The Panel also recommends that under such a mechanism, all imports of weapons and related matériel into Burkina Faso over the past five years be investigated. The Panel further recommends that any State having exported weapons during this period to Burkina Faso should investigate the actual end-use of these weapons, and report their findings to the Security Council and to the Programme for Coordination and Assistance for Security and Development (PCASED) established under the ECOWAS Moratorium.
36. In view of the sanctions-breaking cases investigated by the Panel and the information gathered in the region, it is recommended that the Security Council encourage the reinforcement of the ECOWAS Programme for Coordination and Assistance for Security and Development (PCASED) with support from Interpol and the World Customs Organization. PCASED should have an active capacity to monitor compliance with arms embargoes and the circulation of illicit weapons in the region.
37. The Security Council should encourage ECOWAS member States to enter into binding bilateral arrangements between States with common frontier zones, to initiate an effective, common and internationally agreed system of control that includes the recording, licensing, collection and destruction of small arms and light weapons. These bilateral arrangements can be promoted and facilitated through ECOWAS and through the Programme for Coordination and Assistance for Security and Development. A common standard and the management of a database on significant cases of smuggling and sanctions busting in the region could be developed by Interpol. The IWETS (International Weapons and Explosives Tracking System) programme of Interpol could be used by all States and the United Nations for the purpose of tracking the origin of the weaponry.
38. In this report, the Panel has identified certain arms brokers and intermediaries responsible for supplying weapons to the RUF. A project should be developed to profile these arms brokers with the cooperation of Interpol. Similarly, considering the importance of air transport in the sanctions busting, profiles of major cargo companies involved in such practices should be developed, with a view to exploring ways and means of further strengthening the implementation of sanctions.
39. Responsibility for the flood of weapons into West Africa lies with producing countries as well as those that trans-ship and use them. The Security Council must find ways of restricting the export of weapons, especially from eastern Europe, into conflict areas under regional or United Nations embargoes. 'Naming and shaming' is a first step, but consideration could be given to placing an embargo on weapons exports from specific producer countries, just as diamonds have been embargoed from producer countries, until internationally acceptable certification schemes have been developed.
40. An analysis of the firearms recovered from rebels should be undertaken in cooperation with Interpol, and its International Weapons and Explosives Tracking System. This would help in further identifying those involved in the RUF supply line.
41. The World Customs Organization should be asked to share with the Security Council its views on creating adequate measures for better monitoring and detection of weapons or related matériel to non-State actors or countries under an arms embargo.
42. Current Security Council arms embargoes should be amended to include a clear ban on the provision of military and paramilitary training.
43. Countries in West Africa that have not signed the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Recruitment, Use, Training and Financing of Mercenaries should be encouraged to do so.
44. Consideration should be given to the development of special training programmes on sanctions monitoring for national law enforcement and security agencies, as well as airport and customs personnel in West Africa, and the development of a manual or manuals on the monitoring of sanctions at airports for worldwide use by airport authorities and law enforcement services.
45. Consideration should be given to placing specialized United Nations monitors at major airports in the region (and perhaps further afield), focusing on sensitive areas and coordinating their findings with other airports. This would enable better identification of suspect aircraft. It would also create a deterrent against illicit trafficking, and would generate the information needed to identify planes, owners and operators violating United Nations sanctions and arms embargoes.
46. The Security Council should consider ways in which air traffic control and surveillance in West Africa can be improved, with a view to curtailing the illicit movement of weapons. Possibilities include:
encouraging the installation of primary radar at all major West African airports, and finding the financial support to do so. Only primary radar can independently detect the movement of aircraft;
an alternative could be 'pseudo radar' which creates a radar environment with the use of powerful means of transmission of air/ground data through satellite;
requiring the use in the region of a Global Positioning System and requiring aircraft to be equipped with the appropriate avionics, with installation of the corresponding equipment on the ground. This would entail requiring aircraft flying in West Africa to have on board or to be equipped with avionics which could enable controllers on the ground to identify any traffic, anywhere and at any time in their sector;
- encouraging ICAO and other interested agencies to assist states in reinforcing the financial autonomy of bodies established for the management of air navigation services.
47. In this report, the Panel makes a variety of specific recommendations that deal with diamonds, weapons and the use of aircraft for sanctions-busting and the movement of illicit weapons. Many of these recommendations and the problems they address are related to the primary supporter of the RUF, Liberia - its President, its government and the individuals and companies it does business with. The Panel notes with concern that Security Council resolutions on diamonds and weapons are being broken with impunity. In addition to the foregoing, the Panel offers the following recommendations with a view to making the message of this report more clear, and to ensuring that there is better follow-up to Security Council decisions in future.
48. A travel ban similar to that already imposed on senior Liberian officials and diplomats by the United States should be considered for application by all United Nations member nations until such time as Liberia's support to the RUF and its breaking of other United Nations sanctions ends conclusively.
49. The principals in Liberia's timber industry are involved in a variety of illicit activities, and large amounts of the proceeds are used to pay for extrabudgetary activities, including the acquisition of weapons. Consideration should be given to placing a temporary embargo on Liberian timber exports, until Liberia demonstrates convincingly that it is no longer involved in the trafficking of arms to, or diamonds from, Sierra Leone.
50. Consideration should be given to creating capacity within the United Nations Secretariat for ongoing monitoring of Security Council sanctions and embargoes. This is imperative to the building of an in-house knowledge base on current issues such as conflict diamonds, as noted in paragraph 17 above, but it is even more important to creating greater awareness of, and capacity to deal with problems, which are not likely to be solved in the near future, such as the illicit trade in weapons and related matériel.
1 Note: the term 'sensitive country' is not used in this report to suggest wrongdoing. It is taken from a Belgian government report which seeks to protect these countries, Belgium and the industry from problems to which they are all clearly vulnerable. Namibia, for example, is one of the leaders in the fight against conflict diamonds.