An Open Letter to Nongovernmental Organizations

Over the last year, I've gotten to know many people in your organizations. I believe you sincerely care about the people in Africa and ending the trade in conflict diamonds, which is why I'm sending this open letter. After hearing from all sides in the debate over conflict diamonds legislation, I think we can all agree on the following: Congress doesn't care about conflict diamonds. The apparent winding down of the war in Sierra Leone makes it even less likely that a conflict diamond bill will pass. No matter what happens with the current "diamond wars," rough controls are still important to maintain stability in the region, prevent the use of diamonds in other conflicts, and forestall future wars over gems. With frequent changes in African governments, this is vital. The diamond industry and Congressman Tony Hall's (D-Ohio) office ar
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