My stand against Angola’s blood-diamond generals

By Rafael Marques de Morais

Earlier this month, I lodged a criminal complaint against nine top Angolan generals for crimes against humanity. For several years, the private security services hired to protect diamond mining concessions have been perpetrating atrocities in the Lundas, the north-eastern region of Angola, alongside the Angolan Armed Forces (FAA).

In the Lundas region, which produces over a billion dollars a year of revenue from its diamonds, the government and the mining companies regularly destroy subsistence farming and the livelihood of the local communities uprooted as a result of mining operations, without providing jobs or alternative means of subsistence. Some senior generals have take than one role in what is happening in the region. These individuals are shareholders in the joint mining ventures established with foreign companies, and take responsibility for their security operations. These same generals are also co-owners of the private security companies, hired by the mining ventures, which perpetuate the crimes. Moreover, the generals remain influential over military operations in the region. The FAA, too, is responsible for many summary executions, and regularly uses torture.

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