Wednesday, September 30, 2015

journal 6 Merinaries in Sierra Leona Zach Wiseman

Between 1991 and 1995 Sierra Leone descended into a state of violent anarchy with both rebels and government soldiers waging a war of terror against civilians.Sierra Leone was in need of a solution So they turned to mercenaries for the United Nations often times didn't make any lasting help and have had many unsuccessful impressions in the past in african nations.Many of Sierra Leone Mercenaries are ex-military south africans who are hired by the government to help end wars and conflict in African towns and villages. They will often times be stationed in villages and offer military training, security and law and order,and sense of well being knowing there are people who will protect them. The mercenaries who mostly are either very well trained or ex-special forces and will often times go above the call of duty when it comes to military protocols and can do thing that the United Nations cannot. The use of mercenaries are still in controversy. The term mercenary means hired soldier and will fight for the highest bidder which can pose a shady solution. That is why the Sierra Leonean government likes to hirer South African or African soldiers because it hits closer to home in a way and have personally seen how rebels and militants fight in the region. The use of mercenaries are still in use to this day providing security for political elections forming militia  groups and leading security forces like a national guard to assist in riots and rebel raids. 
Soldiers of Executive Outcomes
Executive Outcomes mercenaries in Freetown






Research Journal 6 :R.U.F Revolutionary United Front: Noel

The civil war in Africa began in 1991 and it has been one of the most brutal. The R.U.F which stands for the Revolutionary United Front, the group campaigned against president Momoh. This is the rebel group that was started by Foday Saybana Sankoh who was a former student activist. Sankoh later teamed up with Charles Taylor, and together they founded the RUF. Soon attacks started around Sierra Leone and Liberia, in a short period of time they had control of eastern Sierra Leone.
During the spring of 1992 the president was thrown out of power but the rebels. Even though they overthrew the president they still campaigned against the new military junta. In 1994 the RUF had also taken over the diamond mining areas. With this major advance by 1995 the RUF had control of almost all of the country's economic resources and taken many lives with them. They were not done yet their next move was Freetown. In 1996 Ahmad Tejan Kabbah was elected  president and signed a peace accord with Sankoh. Unfortunately the peace did not last long and Kabbah was deposed and there were some leaders that formed the AFRC ( Armed  Forces Revolutionary Council). This also included members from the RUF, they were in control of the country. The country soon fell into a downward spiral and government institutions and banks were shut down along with rape and murder happening everyday. After this happened troops from the ECOMOG (Economic Community Cease-Fire Monitoring Group) which had many soldiers from many different countries such as Ghana, Nigeria, Guinea, Gambia, Mali, and Sierra Leone. They intervened the AFRC and the RUF and in 1998 Kabbah returned to Freetown to take control of the country. Meanwhile ECOMOG still attacked the RUF and the AFRC.
In 1997 Sankoh was turned over to the government and was sentenced to death. Shortly after this the RUF engaged in the bloodiest endeavor which was "Operation No Living Thing". During this they RUF dismembered, abducted and murdered hundreds even thousands on people in the country. In July of that year there was another peace accord made- the Lome Agreement. This proposed that there would be a power-sharing plan and it gave Sankoh and the rebels a role in the government. However this would be in exchange for disarmament of the AFRC and the RUF. Even though this agreement was signed the RUF still continued to attack civilians and attack UN peacekeeping troops. Sankah was recaptured in 2000. The UN got involved with this whole situation around 2000, they started to deploy troops to the rebel-heavy areas and started to secure key areas in the country as well as trying to negotiate with the rebels. There was an disarmament of the RUF forces in 2001, then the civil war was declared over in 2002. In 2002 Sankoh died before he ever went to trial, he died of natural causes.
The ones fighting in this civil war were children, sometimes as young as 7, these kids were kidnapped. Not only were these kids forced to be killers but they became drug addicts as well. Kids were abducted to carry loot and military equipment for them, girls were also taken only for the purpose of rape.Taking drugs like cocaine was basically essential while training, along with raping women and girls. A lot of the kids fighting attacked their own villages and killed their families while being under the influence of drugs. These kids were brainwashed and had no idea what a real family is or how to live without violence or drugs. Many of these kids have outbursts of anger/rage and a want to kill. Along with the many horrible things they faced they also saw other kids who were killed because they wouldn't kill their families or friends.


The flag of the R.U.F. Has a lion in the middle  and about says Revolutionary United Front and in the green it says Power and Wealth to the people

  1.  http://www.britannica.com/topic/Revolutionary-United-Front
  2. https://www.globalpolicy.org/component/content/article/203/39429.html
  3. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-14094419

Journal Six: Diamonds in Sierra Leone and the Kono District.

Diamonds in Sierra Leone.

The diamond history of Sierra Leone began in 1935 when De Beers legally took complete control of the mining prospects in Sierra Leone for the next 99 years. Lebanese traders within Sierra Leone quickly discovered the immense profits that could be made by smuggling diamonds out of the country. As a result, mining and trading soon increased throughout Sierra Leone. By the 1950’s the government of Sierra Leone had given up on policing the majority of its diamond industry. All foreign investors were forced to provide their own security. The government did however tighten security in two places. They increased their presence in the Kono diamond district and in Freetown the diamond export center. The result was that illegitimate diamonds were diverted from the high security cites and taken to Liberia and also an illegal diamond pipeline between Sierra Leone and Liberia. The government ended up taking unintentional steps to increase illegal mining when the Alluvial Mining Scheme in 1956 was passed. The scheme allowed miners to receive mining and trading licenses.
 
In 1968, populist Siaka Stevens became prime minister. Stevens was the first person to officially connect the diamond mines to political power and profit, and he encouraged mining to gain political power. By 1991, Sierra Leone had a corrupt government and also  the diamond trading was a vulnerable and attractive site for armed rebellion. Now Sierra Leone is once again battling RUF, and control over the diamond mines is still at the center of conflict. Ultimately as a result, the UN has issued a ban on nongovernmental diamonds for Sierra Leone. http://www.cbsnews.com/news/facts-about-blood-diamonds/
A diamond prospector filters earth from a river in Koidu, the capital of a diamond-rich Kono district in eastern Sierra Leone. 

 

The Kono District.

 

The diamond-mining Kono district, is in the eastern part of the country. It reflects the country's bitter irony. It's resource rich, but poverty abounds as development has not kept pace with other parts of the country. In Koidu, the capital of Kono, women and children stand knee deep in the fields on either side of the dusty potholed roads.  Mounds of dug-up dirt dot the landscape around them. They scan the huge strainers in their hands as they hope to spot the sparkling of a diamond in the muddy water. Koidu is the heartland of diamond mining in West Africa. Two of the world's biggest diamonds were found here, but it was also home to some of the worst fighting on the continent. During the decade, long conflict ended in 2002, but rebel factions fought for control of the diamonds. Since 2003, after signing on to a regulatory scheme to stop the flow of conflict diamonds, the Sierra Leone diamond trade has come to be seen as legitimate and is part of the government's pitch to attract foreign investment. Ten years after the war ended, there was peace in Sierra Leone but the scars were still visible in Koidu. No roads, electricity only for those who can afford generators, and little or no running water. Despite its natural resources, Sierra Leone is one of the poorest countries in the world. With a growing youth population and massive unemployment, two-thirds of the population live on less than $1.25 a day. There are new roads now and also electricity in the major cities, but the challenge of transforming the country's natural resources into development for its people still remains.
 
Youth in Sierra Leone visiting a diamond mine in the Kono District.
 

Research On Sir Milton Margai

Sir Milton Margai was born on December 7, 1895 to a wealthy Mende merchant in the Gbangbatoke, Moyamba District, British Colony of Sierra Leone .  Margai was the oldest of eighteen children. Margai was educated at Evangelical United Brethren School that was located in Bonthe. He also attended the Albert Academy and went to Fourah Bay College (where he received a bachelors degree in history) that is located in Freetown. Margai also was able to earn several additional degrees from King's College medical school.

Sir Milton Margai was the first protectorate to become a doctor. From the year 1928-1950 Margai became part of the Sierra Leone government service during that time he was able to work his way up to the rank of senior medical officer. Margai served in 11 of the districts in the protectorate. Margai was the founder of the Sierra Leone People's party or the SLPP. In 1953 Margai was appointed to the position the minister of health, agriculture, and forestry. 1954 was when Sierra Leone finally gained its self-government and Margai again moved up in the rankings to become the chief minister. 1959 was officially named the premier and knighted to gain the title of  prime minister. Margai served in office till April 27, 1964. Margai passed away on April 28,1964 his final resting place is the Sierra Leone House of Parliament compound in Tower Hill, Freetown Sierra Leone.


<a href="http://biography.yourdictionary.com/sir-milton-augustus-striery-margai">Sir Milton Augustus Striery Margai</a>

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_Margai

Milton Margai.png
Sir Milton Margai The first Prime Minister of Sierra Leone 


JOURNAL 6: A Cold Hearted Helper

 

 

 

His name is Charles Taylor. Charles Taylor was the 22nd President of Liberia, serving from August 2, 1997 until his resignation on August 11, 2003. Taylor resigned because he stepped down amid accusations of war crimes. Three years later March 29, 2006 Taylor was arrested for his actions on was supplying and encouraging rebels in the Sierra Leone  civil war which went from 1991-2002. While in office, Taylor was involved in a campaign of terror, involving murder, rape, sexual slavery, looting and the conscription of children younger than 15. It has since been learned that diamond deposits were a help in the civil war for getting guns for the rebels. Taylor always wanted the rebels to stop the fighting, but then he would turn around and support the rebels in the actions hand he would even supply the guns and arms to help them in battle. On January 6, 2008 Charles Taylor went on trial after three long years. On March 9, 2011 Charles Taylor's trial ended. On April 26, 2012 Charles Taylor was  convicted of all charges from the wars which happened 15 years prior. Charles started his
sentence on May 30, 2012. He will be in prison for 50 years in a prison in the U.K.

 
 
 
 
 Charles Taylor
 
 
 
and
 
                           http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/26/world/africa/netherlands-charles-taylor-verdict/

Journal 6: Post-traumatic stress disorder by Lexia Wilson

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is defined as a mental heath condition that is triggered by a terrifying event - either witnessing it or experiencing it. Some of the main symptoms may include nightmare, flashbacks, severe anxiety and uncontrollable thoughts about the event. This condition can last only months or many years. PTSD is know to affect adolescences more than adults. During the Civil War in Sierra Leone (1999-2002) thousands of children joined voluntarily or were forced into the war as "child soldiers". These child soldiers were not only boys there were some girls too. While the girls were mainly used for sexual purposes they were used for others things too such as; performing domestic tasks, taking care of the wounded and even working in the diamond mining camps. Studies have shown that females are more susceptible to depression and PTSD especially during adolescence. One of the studies showed that boys and girls were equally likely to witness all of the events of war like bombing, massacres, shootings and raids of homes. They were also equally likely to be involved in injuring or killing others. Another part of the study showed that males were more likely to be trained as soldiers than females but that doesn't mean that there weren't any female soldiers.(All the people that were a part of this study were under the age of 18 while they were in the R.U.F.) The study that I found shows that the idea that child soldiers are male only isn't correct. For all of these children to have to go through these experiences just makes them more likely to develop the symptoms of PTSD.
A chart that shows the amount of people that were exposed to the different events of war.


http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3124662/




Journal 6: Fourah Bay College, Paul Winters

Fourah Bay College is a public university in Freetown. It was founded in 1827 and is the oldest university in West Africa. It is the first western style university built in West Africa, it was formerly affiliated with Durham University in England.
It was intended as a missionary school to train teachers for the spread of christianity. In 1876 it then started to become offering degrees, that is when it started becoming affiliated with Durham University. The students there studied the same material and took the same examinations as was taken at main campus Durham. This reflects that the Bay college is very prestigious. It offers the same liberal arts as Durham such as Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Arabic, History, Science, French, German.
The graduates from there have sometimes became prominent. It attracted Elites from all over Africa and became known as the Athens of Africa. Becoming a hot spot of ideas and scholarly work.  During World War II that college was used for the war efforts and and the university had to relocate, after they the war everyone was able to return.
The institution provides higher education for 1800 students and is expected to continually increase as to 3,000 students in the next decade. The school is designed for 700 students, so expansion will be needed for the increase of enrollment. Some of the other institutes that are offered there. Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Law, Institute of Adult Education and Extra Mural Studies, Institute of African studies, Institute of Marine Biology and Oceanography, Institute of population studies. Institute of Library and Archive Studies and Mass Communications.
The college is in a reach to reduce wastage and enhance relevance and provide greater flexibility by starting to implement a smaller system in all facilities and institutes. As of 1972 The University of Sierra Leone Act was passed in Parliament this connected Njala University and a few other smaller colleges for a unitary system. The college provides facilities for Protestant, Roman Catholic and Muslim Worship.

This is the campus of Fourah Bay College. For as many things that are offered at the campus it is relatively small and to stay up with enrollment the college is going to have to expand to better the students there. This place is known as the Athens of Africa, located in Freetown.

Journal 6: Morgan Kiehl

    Can you fathom the thought of someone wanting something from your body so badly that they are willing to hunt and kill you to achieve this self minded, inhumane goal, while knowing the possible consequence's? Sounds like a modern day Hollywood horror film that we may watch in a "one eye open" type of  manner. Well, unfourtantly this is a reality for some elephants in Africa who have been traumatically influenced by the economy and greed of others in the ways of international trade of their ivory tusks. Elephant population took a nose dive through out the years 1979-1989 dropping the population in about half, despite attempts to stop poaching within these areas. Sadly enough, things aren't looking better as of the year 2009 until now ivory trafficking is at an all time high due to the extremely large market value many peaceful elephants are shot with automatic weapons and then their tusks are hacked off with axes or chainsaws while the elephants are just left to die. Elephants have proven to be extremely intelligent and emotional animals making this crime all the much worse as elephant family member will mourn over ones death for days or weeks.

http://www.fws.gov/international/travel-and-trade/ivory-ban-questions-and-answers.html



The website I listed above is a page from the Wild life laws for the U.S. website, I believe this site will be interesting to you all to see almost the lack of control or laws the U.S. actually has on this issue, and or the issues within the current laws.



Money is the root of all evil

Freetown, Sierra Leone By the Daniel Scheiderer

Freetown in the capitol of Sierra Leone with a population of almost 1.5 million people. Freetown got its name because in 1787 the British freed slaves in the town, hints the name Freetown. In 1792 this was the first British colony in West Africa. Freetown is the largest city in Sierra Leone and is also the third largest natural harbor in the world, located on the Atlantic coast.  There are many pros and cons about Freetown one major con would be that on two occasions in the past year, everyone in the city was commanded to stay in there homes for three days straight due to the disease Ebola. Some of the pros that have happen in Freetown is that Freetown is the place that country would free slaves at.  The most important things that have happened in Freetown would be in my opinion that it does get a lot of diseases there and it floods a lot and leaves almost thousands of people homeless.  Freetown is a very "hilly" place almost compared to the San Fransisco bay, hints why there is a lot of flooding. I would describe Freetown as a come at your own risk place, it is a good place and has a lot of history behind the city but, due to the fact of disease spreading and flooding, i would recommend not going.
A sign in Freetown talking about how ebola is real and not just a normal disease and trying to help the people fight it 

 




https://www.visitsierraleone.org/background-information/main-cities/Freetown.html
http://www.irinnews.org/report/101346/pros-and-cons-of-sierra-leone-s-ebola-lockdowns

Journal 6, Kayla Frea



Journal 6 , Major tribes and ethnic groups in Sierra Leone: Temne, Mende         
The term Mende refers to both the name of the people but also the language. Occupying the southern-eastern part of Sierra Leone, but also a small group is in Liberia. The group’s land falls right in the path of the rain belt in the West Africa. There are fertile hills and coastal areas, with plains and swaps. The Mende tribe accounts for about one-third of the population of Sierra Leone. In 1931 the Mende tribe consisted of about 572,678 people. By 1992, the population was estimated to be 1.5 million. The cultural and linguistic traits are evidence that the Mende are descendants of the Mali Empire. The Mende territory has increased from wars. War, raids and subjugation, and enslavement of other people has led the Mende to assimilate other groups such as Sherbro and the Vai. “Mendenization” is defined as Mende cultural expansion and domination, the settlements spread into trading areas. Jobs in the tribe consist of hunting, fishing, and agriculture, especially in the small groups that then became villages and towns. There is a chiefdom consist of sections, with each section made up of a group of villages and towns. There was always a possibility of attack so they placed houses close together behind a stockade. (http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/Mende.aspx)

Map of Sierra Leone, with areas where the tribes occupy.
The Temne group contains about 1.6 million members in the central and northwestern Sierra Leone. They speak the language of Temne. The jobs consist mainly of farms, in rice, supplemented by peanuts, cotton, cassava, and millet. Their cash crops are palm kernels and kola nuts. The layout of a Temen settlement would be a central meeting house, surrounded by circles of mud-and-wattle houses with thatched roofs. The settlement is divided into independent chiefdoms, and each is governed by a paramount chief. Each chiefdom is divided and governed by subchiefs and that contains one of more villages. The village is under authority of a headman, a descendant of the village founder, now is an elected official. (http://www.britannica.com/topic/Temne)

Journal 6: Common Weapons in Sierra Leone 


     Some of the common weapons in Sierra Leone, Africa during the civil war were the G3 rifle, AK-47, and the RPG (rocket propelled grenade). Here are some of those weapons and what they look like...

 

 The G3 is a NATO battle rifle developed in the 1950s by the German arms manufacturer Heckler and Koch. The AK-47 is a selective-fire (semi-automatic and automatic), assault-rifle developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. Last but not least, the RPG is a portable, reusable, unguided, shoulder- launched, anti-tank rocket propelled grenade launcher. 

These weapons have been used to cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths of innocent men, women and children in villages in Sierra Leone.  While the military soldiers use these guns to try to maintain order in the country, the RUF (Rebel United Forces) uses the same weapons to destroy villages and murder civilians, claiming they are fighting for their freedom. 

Rebels as young as seven and eight years old are allowed to carry and uses these same weapons to shoot other children of the same age.

One of the main causes of this civil war is conflict diamonds.  They are mined in Sierra Leone and sold all over the world. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Research Journal 6: Food Culture in Sierra Leone: Bonnie Welsh

Some food culture habits in Sierra Leone is rice is a part of every meal. Sierra Leonean will often say, without any exaggeration, "If I haven't eaten rice today, then I haven't eaten!" Other things that a Sierra Leonean would eat is a wide variety of fruits, seafood, potatoes, cassava, and other things like that. But these foods would just be considered snacks not "real foods". The real foods would be the rice which is prepared is many different ways like; topped with a variety of sauces made from some combination of potato leaves, cassava leaves, hot peppers, peanuts, beans, okra, fish, beef, chicken, eggplant, onions, and tomatoes. Mainly chicken bones are a delicacy, because their brittle nature makes the sweet marrow inside easily accessible. If you go to Sierra Leone and buy food on the side of the street/road you will most likely finds these foods;  fresh mangoes, oranges, pineapple, or papaya, fried plantains, potato or cassava chunks with pepper sauce, small bags of popcorn or peanuts, bread, roasted corn, or skewers of grilled meat or shrimp. On the other hand, if you go to a local bar they will also sell; Poyo the sweet, lightly fermented palm wine tapped from the high tops of palm trees. Poyo bars can be areas of lively informal debate and conversation among men. There are some cases where at some villages they will not eat certain foods these are usually due to a law handed down from someone's ancestor, perhaps the founder of the village. The reason for not eating the foods can be a restriction against certain kind of meat or a certain oil, or even against food prepared a certain way. Violation is usually seen as a risky proposition, and can incur the ill feelings of would-be guardians either living or dead.
There are some customs that they have at various occasions; almost all of the ceremonial occasions such as weddings, funerals, initiations, and memorial services demand the preparation of large platters of rice, distributed to guests until they are full. Depending on what occasion it is a portion may also be offered to the ancestors, to honor their memory. Another thing that they do is to pour liquor in the ancestors' honor in the corners of a house to honor their memory. Different food traditions vary on your religion and the region that you are in, Kola nuts are highly valued in and of themselves, and are often associated with greetings, diplomacy, provisions of respect, religious rites, and initiation ceremonies. High in caffeine concentration, they are also used as a stimulant, a clothing dye, and even in the preparation of medicines.
Potatoes with rice.  
This is what the street food looks like. 
Where I got most of my information is http://www.everyculture.com/Sa-Th/Sierra-Leone.html
This is a picture of rice which is what is in most every meal in Sierra Leone.
 
This is the sauce that would be topped over rice.


 










 






Journal 5 : Blood Diamond review Noel

From watching the movie Blood Diamond directed by Edward Zwick, I have come to realized even more of the horrors that Ishmael Beah went through. This movie stars Leonardo DeCaprio as Danny Archer, Djimon Hounsou as Solomon Vandy, and Jennifer Connelly as Maddy Bowen. This movie I think portrays what is going on in Africa very well. Although A Long Way Gone does not have blood diamonds involved both of these include the cruel and devastating affects of child soldiers and the RUF.

In the movie Solomon (Djimon Hounsou) was affected greatly by the RUF and the lust for diamonds. Solomon and his family's village were attacked by the rebels and Solomon was taken and his wife and children fled for safety. Not only did Solomon get captured in the movie but he was forced to look for diamonds for the RUF to sell and get more guns. On top of all this Solomon's son Dia played by Kagiso Kuypers, was later captured by the rebels and forced to become a child soldier. Dia was pretty much brainwashed just like the other child soldiers. All of the violence was because of Diamonds which the RUF made people search for. This story about Solomon was a very touching and hard topic. Even though Hollywood may exaggerates some of the events it still covers the realness of this issue. Even today there is still a problem with blood diamonds and many lives are taken because of it. Child soldiers can kill without thinking twice, even their family or friends. Like Beah they are trained with weapons they have never seen in their lives.

After reading some of the reviews, many people take this movie in different ways. There are some who think the movie is over dramatized and others who think is is important. There are some who criticize Leonardo DeCaprio but others say he is the perfect fit for this movie. A quote that caught my eye was written by Manohla Dargis.
"The tragedy of Sierra Leone and the complicity of Americans, who buy more diamonds than any other consumers in the world, deserve louder, more clamorous attention than the occasional news report. And certainly big-budget Hollywood action films are plenty loud and plenty clamorous, and the volume is only turned up to shrieking with the addition of the international heartthrob who, by sacrificing himself on the altar of love in “Titanic,”conquered a generation of young female fans (the same demographic most likely to brandish a rock on its ring finger)."

Workers in Sierra Leone search for diamonds at a government-run mine

The Blood Diamond Review: Bonnie Welsh

The movie Blood Diamond is a good movie that shows you what happens when their is a war in other countries. In my opinion the movie, is something that everyone needs to watch at least once, so everyone knows what really goes on during war. It is really important now because of the ISIS problem in the Middle East, so you can see what all is most likely going on over there. This movie really goes along with A Long Way Gone because it is the same war that is fighting, and the movie really shows how the boys change after they are taught to kill people. You also see that in the book, after Beah parent's dies he just changes and does whatever he want with no one else in mind. He has nothing else to live for without his family. This movie really does educate you on how other cultures are and what really happens when there is war for the people that do not know.

When I went to MRQE.com I found a review from  The New York Times which says "The tragedy of Sierra Leone and the complicity of Americans, who buy more diamonds than any other consumers in the world, deserve louder, more clamorous attention than the occasional news report." I believe that this is very true because most Americans don't realize what other people do to get the things that they want.  With the diamonds people where dying for these diamonds and all the Americans could think of was I want these now!
This is how he changed, when he ended up pointing the gun at this father. Before the war he would never even think of picking up a gun but after he ends up pointing it at his dad. This just shows how this war changed the boys and for the worse.

Monday, September 28, 2015

The Blood Diamond Review from Cameron

After watching the Blood Diamond its gives me a broader perspective of A Long Way Gone because the things that Beah talks about like for example The R.U.F. they did the same exact things just like in the book from going through destroying villages and taking young boys and turning them into highly trained killing machines. One of the main parts that stood out to me in the movie is when the R.U.F. leader threatened to kill Solomon's family and rape his wife in front of him if Solomon didn't do what he wanted and recover the diamond. Things like that make you sick to your stomach to know that they really does theses kind of things to innocent people because they have no remorse for human life and all they want is money power and control and all that is achieved by placing fear in the heart of people that you know are weaker than you. I would recommend this film it gives a good background and a very good insight into the look of countries that have children soldiers and refugees still there.

I read a review that was writing by the New York Times and the article starts off by saying how great of an Actor Leonardo DiCaprio is such a good actor and how the director was the right one to direct the movie and how the movie is an "exceptionally foolish thriller". After reading the whole review it really only talks about the main characters in the film and only at the ends talks about how the company's that get diamonds out of Africa need to get more ex poser for what they are doing.

Picture of real life Children Soldiers (Via: article Military use of Children Wikipedia)

Journal 5 Review Hans; Blood Diamond Review

The Blood Diamond to me is about how greedy and how lucky some people can be sometimes. There are these white folks that have everything and yet they wanted the little the Africans had. The Africans were enslaved by these Whites in their homeland and they weren't even allowed to keep the diamond that rightfully belonged to them. Overall I liked the movie because it is an eye opener for people that think they have problems.
The Blood Diamond movie gives me perspective on life. Most people complain about the unnecessary problems about how their iPhone is outdated and how ugly their car is. These people were living in peace and minding their own business when everything suddenly changed. Complaining about how outdated your iPhone is?, these Africans had to deal with foreigners stealing their natural resources and when they find a diamond  and decide to keep it, they either kill you or beat the crap out of you. They searched their mouths and pants anytime they decide to leave the area for personal and official reasons. They were basically prisoners on their own land. What problem can be worse than this?
There were more than hundred people working for the Whites on the mine field and yet, Solomon was the luck one that found the biggest diamond in existence. Call it luck or whatever but is some serious blessing from the land. The guy that was affected the most by the Whites' domination found the diamond. How he even hid the diamond is a different issue. The person that searched him before he went to pie knew that he was hiding sometime but he just didn't know where he hid it. When the inspector secretly followed him to the diamond, he yelled out and all the guards started shooting at Solomon's direction but the miracle was, Solomon was never hit but everyone around or near him was either hit or dead. Liked that scene because it brought out the uncommon reality in the movie.
The last I would like to talk about concerning the Blood Diamond movie is the great story line it had. Solomon (The main character) took some that was rightfully his but the greedy Whites portrayed him as a criminal and so his both his own people and the foreigners were after him. While he was dealing with his "fugitive" life, he was also looking for his family that white man took from him just to destroy his life. He never gave up hope and he never stopped moving forward. It persistence and determination finally paid off because in the end, he found his family and got to keep the diamond. The funny thing I found in movie was how he lost the diamond so many time but always kept coming back to him.
This shows how the white man is showing how his dominance as he is holding the African american man's hand like he's a child.