War, Peace and Diamonds in Angola: Popular Perceptions of the Diamond Industry in the Lundas

“Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by UNITA and the FAA on 4 April 2002, UNITA ceased to exist as a military force, and Angola – with the exception of the Cabinda enclave – was definitively at peace. The arguments around “conflict diamonds” were no longer applicable to Angola now that the country’s diamond fields were, at least nominally, under state control. This paper was researched during a ten-day trip to various locations in the provinces of Lunda Norte and Lunda Sul in November 2003. The purpose of this visit was, above all, to examine local popular perceptions of the diamond industry and of its impact on the region and on its people, and to examine to what extent the modalities of diamond production established in a time of war continue to influence the conduct of the industry today.”