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From poverty and war to prosperity and peace? : sustainable livelihoods and innovation in governance… Levin, Estelle Agnes 2005

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From Poverty and War to Prosperity and Peace? Sustainable Livelihoods and Innovation in Governance of Artisanal Diamond Mining in Kono District, Sierra Leone by Estelle Agnes Levin M.A. (Hons) The University of Edinburgh, 1999 A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Geography) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February 2005 © Estelle Agnes Levin, 2005 Abstract In 2002 Sierra Leone emerged from a brutal war which had lasted for eleven years. The war was made both possible and desirable by the existence of diamonds. In 1999 an American development consultancy firm, Management Systems International (MSI), was invited by USAID to manage its efforts to assist peacebuilding in the country. Since then, MSI has guided 3 projects (the Diamond Policy and Management project, the Peace Diamond Alliance, and the Integrated Diamond Management Model of Resource Governance) which cumulatively are attempting to restructure the political economy of the diamond industry through innovation in resource governance in order to achieve its principle objective, which is to make diamonds work for peace and prosperity for the people of Sierra Leone. This thesis evaluates the Diamond Sector Reform Programme (DSRP) by examining the programme and its object of intervention (the political economy of the industry), and by evaluating its objectives and techniques through an exploration and analysis of the causes of war and poverty in Kono district. The sustainable livelihoods framework was used to guide the research design as well to conduct the poverty analysis. The research's overarching conclusion is that the DSRP is altogether very well conceived and designed in order to meet its objectives and that it is attending to many of the issues which perpetuate poverty and might once again motivate war. The research has also suggested possible obstacles to the success of the DSRP may lie in the inadequate consideration of certain issues, such as the links between the diamond industry's political economy with Kono's wider socio-political landscape, issues surrounding gender, mining and poverty, the infeasibility of desirable livelihood options in diamond mining communities, the homogenisation of the local economy around the diamond industry, and the re-emergence of patronage and patrimonialism as the key systems of social securitisation in an environment of post-conflict recovery. Estelle Levin Table of Contents Abstract i i -Table o f Contents i i i -Acknowledgements v. 1. Introduction 1 2. Methodology and Research Methods 4 2.1 The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework. . . _ _ 4 2.1.1 How the Wor ld Works - Vulnerability. 6 2.1.2 How the Wor ld Works - Resiliency... 7 2.1.3 H o w to Effect Change in the World. 9 2.2 Designing the Research 11 2.3 The Research Team 12 2.4 Sample Population, Size and Technique. 13 2.5 Methods Used 15 2.6 Procedural and Methodological Considerations 17 2.6.1 Process 17 2.6.2 Methodological Considerations 20 3. The Diamond Sector Reform Programme 25 3.1 Actors 25 3.2 Motivations 26 3.3 Objectives 27 3.4 M e t h o d . 28 3.5 Programme Components and Strategic Themes 32 3.6 Conclusion 36 4. War and Diamonds 37 4.1 Chronology o f the War 37 4.2 The Rationale Behind the Sierra Leonean War 40 4.2.1 The informalisation o f politics and economy in Sierra Leone: the emergence o f the 'shadow state' : 40 4.2.2 The Lumpenisation and radicalisation o f youth 42 4.3 Motivations for War. 44 4.3.1 'F rom Mats to Mattresses': Motivations o f the Domestic Fighters 44 4.3.2 Regional and International Actors: Motivations o f the facilitators 46 4.4 What did the war have to do with diamonds? 47 4.5 Conclusion 48 5. The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry. 49 5.1 Geology, Geography and History - A Short Background to Today's Diamond Industry i n K o n o ; : 49 5.2 The Artisanal Supply Chain: The Production and Marketing of Rough Diamonds 54 5.2.1 Productivity 57 5.2.2 M i n i n g Procedure and Associated Tools and Technologies 57 5.2.3 Licensing Procedure and Access to Land 61 5.2.4 The M i n i n g Calendar and the Implications of Seasonality 62 5.2.5 Risks and Dilemmas Facing Miners in Planning their Operations 63 5.2.6 Roles and Responsibilities in the Industry 64 5.2.7 Entitlements and Terms o f Exchange 70 5.2.8 Illegal M i n i n g 75 5.2.9 Diamond Marketing : 76 5.2.10Monitoring and Discipl ining the Industry 80 5.3 Conclusion: H o w does this analysis inform the D S R P ? 84 6. Poverty and Diamonds I: Assets and Capabilities 86 6.1 Human Capital 86 6.2 Social Capital 95 i i i Estelle Levin 6.3 Financial Capital 102 6.4 Natural Capital : 104 6.5 Physical Capital 105 6.6 Summary Conclusion _ _ 107 7. Poverty and Diamonds II: Strategies for Change 109 7.1 Coping with Risks 109 7.2 Mitigating Risks - Livel ihood Strategies 111 7.2.1 Livel ihood options in Kono society 111 7.2.2 Individual Livel ihood Strategies 122 7.2.3 Household Livel ihood Strategies 124 7.2.4 Other Strategies for Building Assets and Reducing Vulnerability .126 7.3 Eliminating Insecurities - Emancipatory Strategies _ 127 7.4 Summary - W h y and how do people mine as a livelihood? .129 7.5 Conclusion 130 8. Conclusion 133 Appendix 1: Research Calendar 139 Appendix 2a: Diggers' Questionnaire 141 Appendix 2b: Miners' Questionnaire 151 Appendix 3a: Bank Manager, 24 th July 2004 161 Appendix 3b: Assistant Director of the Ministry of Mineral Resources, 20 t h July 2004 163 Appendix 3c: Health Professionals, 16th July 2004 166 Appendix 3d: Mines Monitoring Officer, 12 th July 2004 168 Appendix 3e: Lebanese Dealers, 6 , h August 2004 171 Appendix 3f: Chairwoman of Kono District Council, 23 r d July 2004 175 Appendix 3g: Network Movement for Justice and Democracy, 4 t h August 2004 178 Appendix 3h: Spokesperson of the PDA, 6 t h August 2004 180 Appendix 4a: Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop I, 24 th July 2004 184 Appendix 4b: Mining families' Livelihood Strategies Workshop, 30 t h July 2004 187 Appendix 4c: Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop II, 7 t h August 2004 190 Appendix 5a: Interview Consent Form 194 Appendix 5b: Focus Group Consent Form 195 Appendix 5c: Workshop Consent Form 196 Appendix 6: P D A Members 197 Appendix 7: Mining Equipment and Labour Costs 199 Appendix 8: Examples of Parasitism 200 Bibliography. 203 Acknowledgements The production of this thesis has been made possible by the generosity of the following people to whom I extend my warmest thanks: Ansumana Babar Turay for his dedication and competence: I could not have hoped for a more capable or amiable research assistant; Helen and Paul Temple for their assistance, hospitality, and kindness but especially Helen for her friendship throughout our work together; Mark Renzi for his enthusiasm for sharing information with me about the project and for his efforts to make it possible for me to go; Frank Karefa-Smart for opening doors and sharing his extensive experiences with me; Andrew Abdulai, Michael Conteh, Ibrahim Sebba, and Mahmoud, who tirelessly assisted in the conduct and organisation of the research; all the community members who gave up their time to improve my understanding either as research subjects or helpful bystanders; the local staff members of the PDA who facilitated the research and made my field experience so enjoyable; Katie Blacklock for her encouragement and friendship whilst conducting the research; Jennifer Hinton for her assistance prior to my departure; Juanita Sundberg for her methodological guidance prior to the research; Macartan Humphreys for sharing his questionnaire on demobilised soldiers; Detlef Holberg for his technical assistance; Eric Leinberger for his patience and skill in producing the maps; Lyda Salatian for transcribing an interview and wanting nothing in return (a generous act, indeed!); Ahmed Khan and Fay Warrilow for reading and commenting on my final draft and for their reassurance and encouragement; SSHRC and USAID for financing this research; and, not in the hope of gaining extra points, but Philippe Le Billon and John Robinson for their commitment and wisdom throughout. Most especially, however, I would like to thank David Nally for his unfaltering support through this entire challenge; his guidance, friendship, love and, above all, patience have nurtured me and made the disturbing bearable and the beautiful all the more vivid. Lastly, I dedicate the thesis to my parents, David and Rita Levin, who taught me that love has only a little to do with diamonds and a lot more to do with passion, consideration, endurance and good humour. It is in this spirit that this work has been attempted. v Estelle Levin 1. Introduction Chapter 1: Introduction In January 2002 Sierra Leone officially emerged from a brutal c ivi l war which had lasted for 11 years. At. that time Sierra Leone was the poorest country in the world (UNDP 2003). When the war began in March 1991 the country was already on its knees. The formal economy had effectively stalled to a stop with political sovereignty and economic accumulation situated firmly outside the state in what W i l l Reno calls the 'shadow state' (Reno 1995). The networks of patronage, which had previously provided political predictability and security to citizens in the absence of a functioning state, had all but disintegrated in the face of excessive demand and limited resources (Richards 1996b, Reno 1995, Silberfein 2004). Excluded from economic and political opportunity and relief, tired of years of kleptocracy, corruption and predation by officials and elders, and supported by Liberian interest and Mummar Qadaffi's ideology of pan-Africanism, Sierra Leonean youths resorted to war to challenge the system and exploit the opportunities a gun and a uniform could bring (Abdullah 1998, Alao 1999, Archibald and Richards 2002, Bangura 2002, Opala 1998, Richards 1996a, b, 1999). Sierra Leone has limited strategic importance internationally. Even during the Cold War the West supported it less for political or ideological reasons than for the economic opportunities buried beneath its lateritic soils. Yet this little country of 4.5 million people received a lot of international attention in 2000 once the U N hostage crisis that May diverted the world's attention to the somewhat paradoxical connections between its brutal c ivi l war and the international symbol of love and 'forever' commitment: diamonds (for example Alao 1999, Campbell 2004, Gberie 2002, 2003, Global Witness 2000, P. Hirsch 2001, Perez 2000, Smillie, Gberie & Hazelton 2000. See also chapter 5). While the suggestion that diamonds caused the war is largely rejected (e.g. Keen 2002, Abdullah 2004), there is no doubt that their existence and geography made war possible once the R U F had claimed the diamond fields in 1994 (see also chapter 5). The rebels, and consequently the various factions fighting with or against them, made it their priority to control the means of diamond production committing appalling atrocities in the process (see Human Rights Watch 1998). For this reason the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) was put into effect (see and chapter 3). Since the end of the war a plethora of international aid and development agencies, including U S A I D and the British Department for International Development (DFID), have set up projects in the country to make diamonds a force for peace, not war. The key question for these agencies is that i f diamonds were sufficient to fund a war, what prevents them from being used to fuel development at least in the areas where they are mined, i f not in the entire country? This thesis attempts to answer this question, alongside others, in order to achieve its principle objective, which is to evaluate the Diamond Sector Reform Programme (DSRP). The D S R P is funded principally by U S A I D and managed by Management Systems International (MSI), which is a Washington D.C.-based private development consultancy. The D S R P was conceived as a peacebuilding intervention, perceiving development as the means to achieve peace and not necessarily an end in itself 1. Today its objective is to contribute positively to peace and prosperity in Sierra Leone by improving local and national diamond governance (Moyers 2003), specifically by "trying to change incentives for folks to stop smuggling" in order to "keep diamonds away from fighters"2. Its object of intervention is the political economy of the diamond industry and specifically the organisation of production and the markets for financing production and selling diamonds. The programme is guided by neoliberal principles of democracy, market-led development, anti-corruption, and structural adjustment. Since this research has been partly funded by U S A I D , it was required that it be useful to them in some way (i.e. relevant to improving the programme), that it holds up to the penetrating gazes of practitioners as well as academics, and because of this funding connection, that it has methodological integrity. Furthermore, the D S R P is complex and multi-faceted and so any quick analysis of it, as my project had to be, would require a tool to manage this complexity. To satisfy these criteria, the sustainable livelihoods 1 Email from MSI Technical Advisor, Mark Renzi, 18 th April 2004. 2 Email from MSI Technical Advisor, Mark Renzi, 18th April 2004. 1 Estelle Levin Chapter 1: Introduction framework (SLF) was used to organise, design and conduct the analysis. The framework has been especially relevant in the assessment of the causes of poverty in Kono's artisanal mining communities. This thesis therefore draws on literature relating to the S L F . The S L F emerged from work conducted by academics, N G O s and donors in the 1990s (Ashley. & Carney 1999) and especially the work of Chambers in the 1980s and Chambers and Conway in 1992 (see also DFID 2001, section 1.2). It has since been adopted by a wide variety of organisations as a tool for research, policy planning and designing, monitoring, and reviewing development interventions (DFID 2001). These organisations, which include the U K Department for International Development (DFID), the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, C A R E , and Oxfam, differ in their interpretations of the framework but agree on some fundamental aspects such as the importance of assets, capabilities, and macro-micro links in profiling livelihoods (Hussein 2002; Carney et al. 1999; Solesbury 2003). There are now manuals and online resources to assist researchers and practitioners in planning their livelihoods analyses, which I also used 3. M y understanding of the framework was principally informed by DFID's sustainable livelihood guidance sheets (see DFID 2001). This thesis contributes to the literature on the SLF through its differentiation between different types of livelihood strategies: coping, mitigating and emancipatory strategies. Initially the livelihoods approach was designed for alleviating poverty in rural communities. This placed the emphasis firmly on agricultural livelihoods and gave very limited consideration to the multiplicity of livelihood options which exist in rural areas, including artisanal mining (see for example Scoones 1998). Consideration of the framework's applicability in mining communities began with Labonne and Gilman's proposal to produce an "assessment of policy-specific interventions to reduce poverty in artisanal mining communities" (1999: 7). Since then, various other academic and development projects have surfaced which have been using the livelihoods approach to study and alleviate poverty in artisanal mining communities 4. Although there has been some research conducted on post-conflict agricultural livelihoods in north-western Sierra Leone (Longley, Kamara & Fanthorp e 2003), no research has applied the livelihoods approach to artisanal diamond mining in the country and so it is hoped this thesis wi l l contribute to this field. This thesis also draws on literature on artisanal mining more generally 5. The majority of this literature is produced by development institutions, such as the Mining, Minerals and Sustainable Development Project (e.g. M M S D 2002), and industry associations, like the International Labour Organisation (e.g. ILO 1999). The Community and Small-scale Mining division of the World Bank ( C A S M ) also collates and makes available on their website ( articles and reports by academics, consultants, and practitioners writing on this field. The academic literature on artisanal diamond mining ( A D M ) is very slim in general and specifically with regard to Sierra Leone. The majority of publications focus on the role of diamonds in conflict, especially from a macro perspective, disregarding the particularities of regional production and marketing in the industry (e.g. Alao 1999). Two notable exceptions, however, are Greenhalgh's comparative analysis of West African diamonds and Zack-Williams's Marxist analysis of the relations of production in A D M in pre-1980 Sierra Leone (Greenhalgh 1985, Zack-Williams 1995). It is hoped that this thesis wi l l help move the dialogue beyond war to consider the role diamonds might have in helping improve, not destroy, people's lives. Through its engagement with issues surrounding war, poverty and development this thesis draws on a wide range of academic fields. Epistemologically, postdevelopmentalism and political ecology have informed the lens with which I have perceived the connections between war, development and natural 3 See, for example, Noetstaller et al. 2004, Helmore & Singh 2001, Rennie & Singh 1996, the Livelihoods Connect website at, and UNDP's sustainable livelihoods documents at 4 See UN ECA & U N DESA 2002, Gilman 1999. Intermediate Technology Consultants ( have livelihoods projects in artisanal mining communities in Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Zambia. Also email from Ian Barney of the Centre for Development Studies, University of Swansea, to the author 29 t h March 2003. 51 thank Jennifer Hinton for directing me towards this literature. 2 Estelle Levin Chapter 1: Introduction resources in Sierra Leone (e.g. Watts 2003, 2004, Escobar 1995, Yapa 1996, Bebbington 2002), though obviously I have also drawn on authors from the camps of political science (e.g. Jackson 1982, Bayart 1993, Bayart, Ellis & Hibou 1999, Reno 1995, 1998) and especially resource wars and conflict resources (e.g. Berdal & Malone 2000, Clapham 2003, Cooper 2003, Collier & Hoeffler 2002, Silberfein 2004, Snyder & Bhavani 2004) to understand the particularities of African politics and informal and war-time political economies. These epistemological roots and a concern with how power relations produce possible and desirable options for action places the study quite firmly in the post-structuralist field. This is especially the case in my reading of the D S R P as a project in implementing a new type of governmentality in the industry - that is, a new style of governing the industry which has its own rationality of government. For this reading I owe credit to Michel Foucault (2000), of course, but also to Watts (2003) and Dean (1999). In a very practical way, it is hoped that the thesis wi l l contribute to studies and practices in post-conflict recovery and development (e.g. Fanthorpe 2002, Newman & Schnabel 2002), especially relating to resource management. Together, the various components of the D S R P offer new possibilities for the management of highly lootable, alluvial minerals in post-conflict settings (e.g. Le Bi l lon 2001, 2003b, Lujala, Gleditsch & Gilmore 2004, Snyder & Bhavani 2004). The D S R P is serving as a model for post-conflict resource management and lessons learned are hoped to influence similar efforts in Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere. This transference of the D S R P to other mining communities makes a critique of its motivations, objectives and techniques all the more important. This thesis aims to test the DSRP ' s assumption that diamonds can be made to work for peace and prosperity through the formalisation and decriminalisation of diamond production and marketing by analysing the programme itself (chapter 3) and its object of intervention - the diamond industry (chapter 5) and considering the possibility that the best way of achieving peace and prosperity may not be through innovation in industry governance, but through some other route. Thus chapters 4, 6 and 7 investigate the causes of war and poverty and what diamonds have to do with either in order to critique the problems the D S R P has identified for amelioration and its techniques for achieving this. Since the late 1990s, diamonds have been understood as a curse both inside and outside of Sierra Leone but, as Cunningham-Re id (2002) noted in his documentary on Sierra Leonean 'blood' diamonds, "the diamond is always loyal to the intent of its owner". For all those involved in trying to make diamonds work for peace and not war, it is worth remembering that a diamond is not bad, beautiful or bloody until we make it so. Thus diamonds can work for peace as well as for war; it is just up to those whose hands they pass through to want and make it that way. 3 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology & Research Methods 2. Methodology and Research Methods This thesis is an evaluation of the assumptions, objectives and strategies of the Diamond Sector Reform Programme (DSRP), in order to identify those which might be inappropriate or misdirected with respect to the programme's goals to prevent war and increase prosperity in the diamond regions. The critique is based on the perspectives and opinions of the diggers and miners the programme is supposed to be helping as well as informed sources' and my own observations. Initially the purpose of the research was to assess whether and in what ways the Peace Diamond Alliance (PDA) is empowering artisanal diamond miners and contributing to community wellbeing, and therefore i f the P D A is socially and economically sustainable. However, funding difficulties had delayed implementation of the integrated diamond management project and so there would be no effects to review 1 . Furthermore, the P D A is just one aspect of the D S R P and is intimately tied in with the other facets. It did not make sense to assess it independently of the remaining components. Whilst conceptually neater, this broadening of the research is empirically more challenging as it has required an analysis of the actors, motivations, objectives and strategies of the DSRP, how the D S R P has understood the 'problems' requiring amelioration (the causes of war and poverty and what the diamond industry has to do with these) and its space of intervention (the culture and structure of the diamond industry). Given the magnitude of the topic, the resources available, the size, availability and expertises of the research team, and the time-frame in which the research was to be conducted, it has not been possible to conduct a comprehensive livelihoods analysis or achieve much more than inferences of emergent patterns, tentative conclusions and possible directions for future research. This research project is therefore best understood as a pilot study to build a more nuanced understanding of artisanal diamond mining ( A D M ) as a livelihood and the miners and diggers in Kono who do it, as well as the links between A D M , the motivations for war and the creation and perpetuation of poverty in A D M communities, and possibilities for post-conflict resource governance in such a context. 2.1 The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework The desire to do activist research which would be meaningful to development practitioners and have real implications 'on the ground' encouraged me to use an established poverty assessment tool, the Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (SLF), to guide the research design. Farrington et al. (1999) neatly capture my motivations in their summary of the framework's utility for "coming to grips with the complexity of livelihoods, understanding influences on poverty and identifying where interventions can best be made". The framework offered a checklist of issues to explore in order to ensure I was investigating the key issues which determine what makes and keeps people poor in A D M communities and how people use A D M to.cope with and remove themselves from poverty. The framework was used not to conduct a livelihoods analysis in toto, which would have required far more time, resources, and expertise than were available, but to help find "the right sort of questions" for understanding the causes of war and poverty in Kono society, and what diamonds have to do with these, i f anything (Scoones 1998; also DFID 2001, Farrington et al. 1999). DFID describes a livelihood as "the capabilities, assets (including both material and social resources) and activities required for a means of living. A livelihood is sustainable when it can cope with and recover from stresses and shocks and maintains or enhances its capabilities and assets both now and in the future, while not undermining the natural resource base" (DFID 2001, section 1.1). The livelihoods approach interprets poverty as insecurity, where poverty is a function of resiliency (capacity to cope with, mitigate and eliminate risk) minus vulnerability (exposure to risk). The livelihoods approach "is a way of thinking about the objectives, scope and priorities for development" (DFID 2001, section 1.2). It is "a conceptual and planning tool" (Singh & Wanmali 1998) and "an integrating device" (Farrington et al. 1999) which has at its core principles of participation, 1 Email from Mark Renzi, 18th April 2004. 4 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology & Research Methods holism (integration), dynamism (adaptability with change), sustainability, empowerment, and links between the macro and micro (DFID 2001, section 1.2; see also Chambers & Conway 1992). Most importantly, it places the individual, household or community and the issues of most concern to them at the centre of analysis. With this centring of the human subject and his/her priorities in the analysis, the framework provides a far more nuanced and political reading of poverty than the traditionally econocentric and essentialist interpretations of the developmentalist school (cf. Francis 2002). Rather, it interprets poverty as a cause and an effect of political, social, ecological, physical, and economic relations and the processes, priorities and interests which structure them (cf. Yapa 1996). 'Poverty' is therefore a situated and dynamic state, a way of being and becoming. This conception valuably rejects some general state that is Poverty or some general population that is the Poor, and accepts that there are as many types of poverty and as many experiences of poverty as there are individuals or categories of individuals. In this way poverty is a manifestation of unequal power relations. The S L F analyses poverty as "a political and economic process, in terms, for instance, of neglect, exclusion or exploitation, in which a variety of groups and actors play a part" (Collinson 2003: 3). It takes seriously Yapa's.view that deprivation is at the base of all poverty and so poverty is the product of unequal relations of power between actors and the intention or happenstance effect of the more powerful's actions (Yapa 1996). In this way the S L F is aligned with post-developmentalist thought and lends itself to feminist, postcolonial and poststructuralist approaches to understanding and doing development. Fig. 2.1 The Sustainable Livelihoods Framework (DFID 2001, section 2.1) VULNERABILITY CONTEXT SHOCKS TRENDS SEASONALITY LIVELIHOOD ASSETS N ["influence! '& access! i > t TRANSFORMING STRUCTURES & PROCESSES STRUCTURES • Levels of gnremment / . Laws Private f ' Policies sector/ • Culture Institutions PROCESSES LIVELIHOOD STRATEGIES LIVELIHOOD OUTCOMES • More income • Increased well-being • Reduced vulnerability • Improved rood .security • Mere sustainable use of NR base The framework is usefully summarised and critiqued by Cahn (2002) and more details are to be found in DFID 's guidance sheets (2001). The framework comprises 5 components which have multiple links between them as figure 1 demonstrates. These components are the vulnerability context, assets profile, transforming structures and processes, livelihood strategies and livelihood outcomes. The social body, be it an individual or community, is situated within a context of risks (vulnerability context). The person has the potential to act to either cope with or change these risks (livelihood strategies) according to the assets they have at their disposal (asset profile) and the structures and processes which ascribe value and meaning to these assets. B y deploying the assets and pursuing a certain livelihood strategy, the person can aim to achieve his/her desired livelihood outcomes. The framework thus allows the researcher to build a picture of how people are affected by their physical and social environment (how the world works), how they cope with this environment (getting by in the world), and how they endeavour to change it (changing the world). In what follows, I review each component of the framework from this perspective. 5 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology & Research Methods 2.1.1 How the World Works - Vulnerability Individuals are situated in an environment of risk and opportunity. This environment incorporates an individual's vulnerability context and transforming structures and processes. These determine which livelihood options are preferable for people as they produce the risks to which people are exposed and the opportunities available to them for taking action to counter these risks. Vulnerability Context Vulnerability "reflects the degree to which a system (or individual) may react adversely to the occurrence of a calamitous or hazardous event" (Watts & Bohle 1993: 45). Risk is the probability that a hazardous event wi l l occur (Cutter et al. 2000; Turner et al. 2003). The vulnerability context is a riskscape or the "mosaic of risks" (Cutter et al. 2000: 716) produced by the social, political, economic and biophysical factors particular to a society and place to which an individual is vulnerable (cf. Fraser, Mabee & Slaymaker 2003, Adger 1999, 2000). The livelihoods framework identifies three types of risks: shocks, trends and seasonality. Shocks are idiosyncratic risk events; they occur unexpectedly. They include sudden biophysical or climatic events such as earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, unemployment, morbidity, injury, harvest failure, spikes and troughs in food or fuel prices, violence (e.g. fights), and so on (Wood 2003). People cope with idiosyncratic risks by mobilising assets to counter them (see coping strategies, below). It is also possible to strategise on one's exposure to these shocks and so divert some attention to assuaging them. Trends are chronic risks or 'stresses' (Turner et al. 2003) whose occurrence is more certain and so one is often able to anticipate and avoid them. People deal with trends by navigating around them. Some trends are caused by anthropogenic or naturally-occurring biophysical and climatologic events particular to certain places, such as desertification or the retreat or advance of a glacier. Others are socially produced through processes and practices of deprivation, exclusion, and prejudice. Trends are therefore differentially experienced according to identity and culture; they are politically constituted and sociologically variegated. Socially-produced trends include inflation, inequality, class relations, prejudice, unaccountable power, corruption, economic and political exclusion and exploitation, violence (e.g. domestic), and some health issues (Wood 2003). Seasonal risks are those which follow rhythmic or cyclic patterns over time and so are far more predictable and certain in their occurrence than shocks or trends. With planning, seasonal risks can be transformed into opportunities as people anticipate their occurrence to take advantage of others' increased vulnerability at that time. For example, in Kono people store rice when it is plentiful in the dry season in order to sell in the wet season when demand and prices are higher. Examples of seasonal risks and opportunities include seasonality in climatic, agricultural, and cultural events. Transforming Structures and Processes Structures and processes produce risks. They also give assets meaning and so determine the field of possible and impossible actions and livelihood choices available for coping with hazards and effecting change. Structures and processes therefore determine both vulnerability and resiliency; they are the core of security.. Structures are the "hardware" of a society (DFID 2001, section 2.4.1). They can be sub-divided into the state, private sector and civil society and include all the actors (e.g. organisations, households, individuals) which comprise society. Processes are the terms of interaction and exchange which exist between actors and through which the structures are produced and maintained. They are relational. Processes are the "software" (DFID 2001, section 2.4.2); they include legal and policy frameworks, institutions (e.g. markets, marriage), cultural norms and values, and power relations (i.e. hierarchies based on age, gender, class, ethnicity). The rules embedded in these processes constrain as well as create opportunities for action. They define the conditions of access to assets by allocating rights, responsibilities and entitlements. They determine the 'rules' of society. 6 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology & Research Methods 2.1.2 How to get by in the world - Resiliency Resiliency is the converse of vulnerability (Adger 2000). Where vulnerability is the potential for harm to happen and the likely magnitude of its impacts, resiliency is the ability to cope with and assuage harm. People build their resiliency through the pursuit of livelihood strategies. Livelihood strategies are "the range and combination of activities and choices that people make/undertake in order to achieve their livelihood goals" (DFID 2001, section 2.5). Livelihood strategies require the mobilisation of assets with the view to achieving either immediate relief from harm (coping strategies) or effecting change to a person's security over time (mitigating and emancipatory strategies). A slogan for elucidating the process of change might be 'agency, vision, assets, action'. Change begins with people having the wi l l , skill and confidence to effect change (agency) and a vision of what needs to be different (desirable livelihood outcomes) before pursuing activities which wi l l bring about the change (strategy). Coping, mitigating and emancipatory strategies all use assets in different ways. Figure 2.2 summarises these strategies and how they each use assets: Fig 2.2 Using Assets to Cone with. Mitigate and Eliminate Risks oping Using Assets to cope with risk POSSIBLE LIVELIHOOD OPTIONS Emancipating Assets to eliminate risks and increase access Mitigating / Using Assets to / Id Assets-aFKf increase resiliency This schematic differs to the standard S L F (see figure 2.1) because it differentiates between the various types of strategies people might use in order to achieve their livelihood goals. Coping, mitigating and emancipatory strategies wi l l be explained individually after an overview of assets. Assets Assets determine the livelihood and coping strategies people can pursue. Assets are "capital endowments" (DFID 2001; section 2.3). There are five: human, physical, financial, natural and social. These are explained theoretically and empirically in chapter 6. When depicted schematically these capitals form an asset pentagon (see figure 2.3), which can be used to represent changes in a person's asset profile by lengthening or shortening the lines which denote each capital. A n analysis of assets informs on what people Fig. 2.3 The Asset Pentagon (DFID 2001, section 2.3) Human capital Social capital Physical capital Natural capital Financial capital 7 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology & Research Methods have, not what they need. This fits with the framework's perception of the subject as an agent of change with "potential, competence, capacities and strengths, rather than weakness and need" (Kirkby, O'Keefe AHowar th . 2001: 201). Assets only have value i f they can be put to use and made productive. Structures and processes determine the utility and meaningfulness of assets because access to a resource is as important as the existence of the resource (see also Adger 1999, Sen 1999, Yapa 1996, Wood 2002). For example, i f I am hungry and need food, the existence of rice in the shop means nothing unless I have money or a good relationship with the shopkeeper. Certain assets can therefore be used to gain access to another, more immediately relevant asset. These convertible assets are called passports (Wood 2003). In the Kono diamond industry, the principal passports for gaining access to the resources required for mining productively are identity, social position, violence and skills of persuasion (human capital), money (financial capital), relationships with powerful people (social capital) and diamonds themselves (natural capital). Passports work by enabling individuals to reframe needs as entitlements and establish the right of access. They operate through social relations and determine the terms of exchange. They can be used to compete or win a conflict, or to engender collaboration and cooperation. Either way, they are used to persuade a social contact who can access the resource, or who is gatekeeper of that resource, to facilitate you accessing it. The potential for certain assets to be passports is determined by the cultural relations that ascribe value to the asset and the political relations that structure the relationship between the actors doing the exchange. Passports can therefore be used to justify deprivation as well as entitlement. A significant portion of the diggers' and miners' questionnaires was dedicated to profiling their assets. Unfortunately, time limitations did not allow us to investigate the dynamism of these assets and how people's asset stocks have changed since before, during and after the war 2 . This is a problem for the research in so far as whilst the people in Kono are still adjusting to peace and the new risks and opportunities which this brings, we were asking questions about regularity and frequency of events and conditions which presume stability, such as "how often do you get winnings?" and "how often is your family able to satisfy its basic needs?" In an environment of rapid change, it is surely challenging for someone to speak about their general state without talking in dynamic terms. Coping Strategies Coping strategies require the transformation of assets into whichever capital is necessary to provide relief from an immediate threat and prevent the threat from permanently reducing one's security. A n individual's capacity to cope is therefore determined by their asset profile and the accessibility and convertibility of these assets. Coping capacity is improved by building assets which are either most convertible (e.g. cash) or most likely to be required (e.g. social contacts). This is what mitigating strategies endeavour to achieve. 2 This would have required more detailed questioning, the redesign of the questionnaire into a series of questionnaires (for practicability's sake), the establishment of more intensive relationships with research subjects (in order to set up a series of interviews and ensure availability) and a much longer time frame. 8 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology £t Research Methods Fig. 2.4 Coping Strategies - Using Assets to cope with Risk Events to Effect an Immediate Change 2.1.3 How to Effect Change in the World Whereas coping strategies are adopted to protect an individual in the short-term from harm, mitigating and emancipatory strategies endeavour to achieve more long term change. Mitigating strategies work by building the individual's asset profile and increasing their livelihood options; emancipatory strategies alter the structures and processes which determine access to assets. War can be both a mitigating and an emancipatory strategy as it creates opportunities for people to pursue certain livelihoods and seeks to redress injustice. The greed versus grievance debate around resource wars is largely a consideration of the prevalence of mitigation (war as an opportunity space for enhancing individual security through enrichment) or emancipation (war as an opportunity space for enhancing individual security through empowerment) as the primary motivation for conflict (cf. Berdal and Malone 2000; Collier and Hoeffler 2002; Keen 2002; ICIJ 2002; see also chapter 4). Mitigating Strategies Mitigation is the alleviation of risk through preparedness and prevention. The strategies people adopt are determined by their assessment of the most likely shocks and the most chronic hazards, their personal vision for how they would like their life to be (livelihood outcomes) and their sense of agency. Mitigating strategies mobilise assets to reduce vulnerability by building coping capacity and/or by increasing livelihood options. Coping capacity is built by expanding convertible and key assets (see above). Livelihood options are increased by developing those assets required for pursuing a preferred livelihood (e.g. using earnings from diamond mining to acquire the tools necessary for doing tailoring). Mitigation therefore positively reinforces one's resiliency by using assets to expand assets which in rums improves coping capacity and increases livelihood options. Figure 2.5 depicts how mitigating strategies increase resiliency by expanding assets and livelihood options. 9 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology & Research Methods Fig 2.5 Mitigating Strategies - Building or Transforming Assets to Mitigate Against Risk Events to Effect a Change in the Mid-term ASSETS determine POSSIBLE LIVELIHOOD OPTIONS LIVELIHOOD determines S T R A T E G Y builds A S S E T S creates N E W LIVELIHOOD OPTIONS Emancipatory Strategies Coping strategies protect individuals from the symptoms whereas emancipatory strategies target the disease. Emancipatory strategies alter the structures and processes which produce risks and which determine the field of possible and desirable coping and mitigating strategies. They eliminate risks, create freedoms and challenge patterns of exclusion and prohibition. They redefine passports and entitlements by adjusting the political currency associated with certain identities and ways of being and doing in the world. They redefine government. They empower and emancipate. They seek justice. Fig 2.6 Emancipatory Strategies - Transforming Structures and Processes to Eliminate Risks, Redefine passports and alter the conditions of Access in order to effect a Long-term Change STRUCTURES Actors & institutions STRUCTURES / PROCESSES / Customs and practices PROCESSES Passports Passports Identity Identity (e.g. access —• (e.g. access determined determined by age) by tribe) 10 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology fit Research Methods It was not possible to conduct a comprehensive livelihoods analysis. Furthermore, the livelihoods framework was only relevant to certain parts of the research problematique, most especially to understanding the links between diamonds and poverty and the structure of the industry. I therefore used the framework to investigate how diggers and miners use the existence of diamonds to try to remove themselves from poverty, and how the industry creates and perpetuates their poverty. The main lines of enquiry in this part of the investigation revolved around their asset profiles and livelihood strategies and the structures and processes which make strategies more or less possible and desirable. In short, I used the framework to assess what they wanted to change and why, and why these changes were not happening. Through this application of the framework therefore I could begin to build a more nuanced understanding of who mines, why they do it and what they get from it in order to explain the links between A D M , the motivations for war and the creation and perpetuation of poverty in A D M communities. 2.2 Designing the Methods The research was designed in partnership with Helen Temple, a consultant hired by M S I to conduct a livelihoods analysis of artisanal diamond miners. The first step was to compare and coordinate our research objectives and questions. We produced the following research aims to guide us: 1. Review the historical characteristics of mining in Sierra Leone to determine their relationship with current attitudes, activities and demographic trends in the mining industry in Kono; 2. Evaluate the livelihood assets and insurance mechanisms held by diggers, miners and their families; 3. Profile mining families'/households' livelihood portfolios and the mix of strategies used to make a living; 4. Review the power relations which constitute the artisanal diamond mining industry and in which the industry is embedded and so assess the influence of: a. ) Mining industry policies b. ) National, local and customary law c. ) Cultural institutions and norms d. ) Social impacts and opportunities on mining households and the community, and on the mining industry; 5. Assess how these power relations determine the field of (im)possible and (un)desirable livelihood strategies for miners and their families, as they understand it; 6. Assess where there are mismatches between miners' and families' desired and possible livelihoods, and, what prevents them from achieving their desired livelihoods; 7. Evaluate the tradeoffs made in favour of mining; and 8. Based on these findings, critique the assumptions, objectives and strategies of the D S R P 3 in order to identify whether any of these are inappropriate or misdirected. The next stage was to code the research objectives according to which part of the framework they sought to reveal or understand. For example: Research objective Evaluate the livelihood assets and insurance mechanisms held by diggers, miners and their families. Framework Code Livelihood assets Livelihood strategies / vulnerability context Sub-topics Natural capital (resources, land) Physical capital (infrastructure, technology) Human capital (health, education) Financial capital (savings, income) Social capital (networks, relationships, support, dependency, power relations) Livelihood strategies - how livelihood resources are mixed together and used according to external pressures and internal desires. 3 This incorporates the Peace Diamond Alliance, the Diamond Policy and Management Project, and the diamond governance model Integrated Diamond Management (see chapter 3). 11 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology 6t Research Methods This coding had two purposes: to ensure that we had considered every part of the framework which might be relevant and to help ensure that we would not miss out any pertinent issues relevant to each research objective. Then, based on the guidance sheets, I derived broad questions and issues for analysis according to all possible lines of enquiry in relation to A D M in Sierra Leone. For example, in order to assess miners' and diggers' human capital the following questions would need to be answered: H U M A N CAPITAL - body & mind: knowledge, labour and the ability to command labour a. ) What access do miners/diggers have to education (infrastructure, personnel? And as children?) b. ) What access do they have to information (e.g. on education and training opportunities, on the P D A , on local governance restructuring, on D A C D F etc.)? c. ) What access do they have to technologies (e.g. to reduce their labour)? d. ) What access do they have to training (e.g. in valuing, literacy, numerical and other professions)? e. ) What access do they have to healthy nutrition (e.g. i f they work sunrise to sunset, does their nutrition depend entirely on what the supporters provide)? f. ) What access do they have to better health (e.g. i f they work sunrise to sunset, how easy is it for them to get medical attention; is access an issue based on social and financial status or race)? g. ) What access to labour do they have? (i.e. are they somebody's human capital?) h. ) How important is human capital in determining their livelihood strategies? Once these questions had been devised I cross-checked them and our emerging methods outline with the World Bank's report on profiling livelihoods in A S M (Noetstaller et al. 2004) to ensure we had covered all angles 4. In fact, our sub-questions were strongly compatible with theirs. The issues (e.g. human capital) and sub-questions were then discussed with three local industry experts' to distinguish priority issues for analysis, eliminate irrelevant issues, consider culturally appropriate ways of eliciting this information, and ascertain who might be well placed to answer the questions or i f the information was likely already available elsewhere (e.g. educational infrastructure). It was only at this stage that we began to consider the most suitable methods and team for meeting our research objectives. 2.3 Research Team Funding for the research had not come before I had departed for Sierra Leone so it was not possible for Helen and me to collaborate on research design (i.e. objectives, methods and content) in advance of my arrival in Sierra Leone. The first few weeks of my stay were spent marrying our two research proposals, designing our methods, conducting protocols (e.g. introducing me to chiefs and people of position), and getting culturally acquainted with Kono society. The research was designed with the assistance of Ansumana Babar Turay, who performed the roles of research assistant, cultural advisor, community animator, and translator. Babar's participation in designing the research helped ensure that our research questions and activities were culturally appropriate, which was a vital part of ensuring research integrity. The research was conducted principally by Babar and me. As Helen was recovering from poor health she could assist in the field occasionally up until she left Sierra Leone on July 22 n d . After that point I took over management of the project, which required my attending not only to my own thesis research needs, but also to training and managing the 4 new team members. On July 12 t h Andrew Abdulai came on board followed by Ibrahim Sebba and Michael Conteh on July 22nd. Andrew, Ibrahim and Michael interviewed diggers and miners and gave assistance in the workshops. Andrew also played the role of community animator when required. Mahmoud created and populated the database and did four transcriptions6 and map-making. I re-transcribed these tapes on my return to check for interpretive distortions or additions. 4 I thank Jeffrey Davidson of C A S M for introducing me to this report. 5 Sahr Nyaama (PDA Spokesperson), Tamba Sandi (Kono PDA) and Daniel Samu (Tongo PDA) 6 Mahmoud was a Kono. It would not have been appropriate for him to have transcribed interviews conducted under promise of confidentiality or anonymity with key members of Kono society, e.g. government officials. Therefore he transcribed some miners' and diggers' interviews and focus groups. 12 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology & Research Methods 2.4 Sample Population. Size and Technique Although the D S R P is operating in both Kono and Tongo fields, which is in Kenema District, my research focused on Kono for practicability's sake. The research team travelled to Tongo the day I left to extend the research there for comparison's sake. Within Kono the research was conducted in the northern, western and central chiefdoms as these are the traditional mining areas. The remaining chiefdoms are dependent on agriculture but diamond discoveries there have drawn many people into the bush to mine and buy diamonds 7. Most mining activities in these eastern and southern chiefdoms wi l l be illegal as more attention has been placed on establishing legislative and monitoring infrastructure in the traditional diarnondiferous chiefdoms. The mining culture and the conditions of production and exchange are likely to be slightly different in these new areas. Any future research on A D M in Kono would be wise to incorporate these chiefdoms into their sample. Figure 2.7 Map of Kono District Showing Chiefdoms where the Research Was Conducted 7 Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop II, 7 t h August 2004. 13 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology £t Research Methods There are an estimated 200,000 artisanal diamond miners in Sierra Leone (Pratt 2003: 8). Given that Kono has by far the largest diamond fields in the country (Hall 1968) one can assume that the majority of diggers and miners work there. In order to derive any meaningful statistics from our data we would have therefore needed to have interviewed, say, 1,000 diggers and miners, which would have been impossible given the time frame and resources available. Any numbers I have produced from the data can therefore only speak to our sample, not to the artisanal mining population as the sample is not representative. Short of doing more field work, a statistical analysis of our data-base cannot be rigorous, but only suggestive of possible patterns. Very importantly, this confines any quantitatively derived conclusions to the revelation of critical issues for further investigation and analysis rather than hard facts derived. This must especially be borne in mind when engaging with chapters 6 and 7. Given the restrictions on possible sample size, it was clear that quantitative methods would be mostly unhelpful in our analysis of diggers' and miners' livelihoods and so I decided that the research objectives would be better achieved using qualitative methods. Nonetheless, Helen remained keen to be able to extract statistics from the data and so the diggers' and miners' questionnaires were developed with both our needs in mind. Ultimately this has left me a little dependent on the statistics in doing the analysis as the questionnaires were not as qualitatively rich as they might have been. Our sample was selected purposively according to our criteria to interview as wide a range of diggers and miners as possible and, based on convenience, according to whom we were able to achieve access and choose between (cf. Laws et al. 2003). We used our team members' personal contacts and the P D A ' s contacts with mining cooperatives and community members to get access to potential interviewees. Without the affiliation to the P D A , people may have been more reluctant to talk to us. This dependency on P D A mining contacts may have skewed our data to have included less vulnerable diggers and miners, presuming that those who have relationships with organisations such as the P D A are better off than those who know nothing of or have any relationship to such organisations. Despite this potential bias, however, the majority of our interviewees did not know anything about the P D A , even when they belonged to a member cooperative, and those who knew something often showed a misunderstanding of the P D A ' s activities and objectives. There were three main challenges to our selecting diggers or miners to interview. Firstly, individuals' availability and willingness to be interviewed limited our choice of research subjects. For example, when we conducted some of our first interviews at Gbongama Town, we resisted interviewing the diggers the miners suggested for fear that they were selecting people who they felt would speak most favourably about their mining activities. It was also likely that gangs put forward the person they felt most capable of acting as group spokesperson for participation, as they did not know much about the content of the interview before it began. However, when we attempted to select our own diggers to interview, all three we asked were pressed to return to Koidu to get their daily meal and were not will ing to miss this. Or perhaps they did not wish to talk to us. We ended up interviewing the digger the miner had suggested. In most cases, therefore, we had to choose amongst those people who were available and will ing to be interviewed. Secondly, although we saw many youths working in the pits, the people most will ing and/or available to be interviewed were usually gang leaders, who in most cases were older than 30. Out of the 46 diggers working in gangs, 33 were gang leaders, foremen, mines managers or supporters of the illegal gang (and therefore gang leader by default), 3 were second in command, and 10 were just ordinary diggers or worked in meritocratic groups. The sample therefore comprised a high proportion of authorities. Gang members with some position were more likely to be available and will ing to be interviewed than ordinary workers. It was also culturally unlikely that younger diggers would propose themselves or be suggested as interviewees in the presence of their superiors. Not until we made a point of trying to avoid interviewing any gang leaders did we begin to get the opinions of less experienced, younger diggers into our sample. It is not clear if this figure includes all diggers as well as those who manage the mining operations. For example, Dominic Cunningham-Reid (2002) estimated that there were up to a million "miners" in Sierra Leone. 14 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology Et Research Methods Lastly, we conducted our research during the rainy season. In the rainy season many diggers abandon mining because there is less work available as financiers are reluctant to pay the extra costs brought on by the rains 9. Those who do work during the rains have to work much harder in order to extract and wash as much gravel as possible before the rains and rivers become strong enough to wash the gravel away. These conditions meant that there were fewer migrant diggers in the mining areas, and that those diggers who continued to work throughout the rains were working doubly hard. Had we done our research in the dry season, we may have found that there were more migrants to interview and a greater number of miners and diggers to choose from. The conclusions derived from these semi-structured questionnaires, therefore, must be understood contextually based on the time of year that they were conducted and a likely bias towards diggers and miners local to Kono, diggers with some position of authority (who are likely to have a greater overall resiliency), and older people. 2.5 Methods used A wide variety of methods were used, including document analysis, semi-structured questionnaires, semi-structured interviews with informed sources, focus groups, workshops, participatory observation, and ethnography. The research process is summarised in appendix 1. Document analysis - Academic, development and industry documents, including literature produced by the DSRP, N G O s and the Sierra Leonean Government, were used to derive historical and explanatory information on artisanal production, marketing and exporting, industry governance and industry culture in Kono; reports from local and national N G O s were used to garner Sierra Leonean opinions on mining-related issues. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to compile quantitative and qualitative information from miners (meaning licence-holders, mines managers, & foremen) and diggers (including foremen, mines managers, gang leaders, and divers as well as ordinary diggers) on the structure of the industry and their livelihoods. The questionnaires were completed by hand. The twenty-four conducted by Estelle and Babar (Helen was present for 7 of these) were also recorded on tape and eleven were transcribed 1 0. Data from the questionnaires were compiled into a database for analysis. Table 2.1 Questionnaires organised bv Chiefdom Chiefdom Divers Diggers Miners Sandor 3 5 5 Kamara 0 .5 1 N i m i Yema 0 8 1 Nimikoro 0 14 5 Gbense 0 2 0 Tankoro 0 10 2 unidentified 0 I 0 T O T A L 3 45 14 After the interviews were first piloted on July 1 s t, 3 further drafts of the questionnaires were made in accordance with developments in our understanding, with the emergence of new, relevant lines of enquiry, and with the satisfaction of some general questions. Copies of the final drafts of these questionnaires are attached as appendices 2a and 2b. The 3 divers were interviewed using the digger's questionnaire though in retrospect a focus group with them would have been more informative. The questionnaires were designed with tick-box and open questions to allow people to share their views and experiences more freely. The need to incorporate both quantitative and qualitative questions to satisfy 9 This issue and seasonality of mining costs were explored in the first Mining Cooperatives Focus Group, held on 24 t h July 2004. 1 0 Transcribing is a lengthy procedure. The majority of the informed sources were transcribed word for word, but interviews with the diggers and miners that were transcribed were done less formally with transcribing word for word only those parts that were relevant to the thesis and taking notes of the less pertinent parts. 15 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology & Research Methods Helen and my respective needs meant that the interviews took up to 2 hours each, which had various implications: • It limited the number of interviews we could do in a day — 4 was optimistic. • It made the interview process tedious and tiring for all of us involved - subject, interviewer and translator. After about an hour, the interviewees became distracted and the quality of the interview deteriorated rapidly. • It restricted me to a level of generalisation with which I was highly uncomfortable. The attempt to reconcile our divergent needs meant that Helen would not get enough,subjects to make the statistics meaningful, and I could not get enough depth in the interview to explore issues as I wished. The lengthiness of the interview led us to experiment with better ways of conducting it. On a few occasions we operated by splitting the interview in 2 so that Babar and I would do half the interview with each interviewee and Andrew would do the other half. This allowed me to enquire on those issues I was most interested in. Whilst this re-energised the interview as the interviewee moved between 2 different interviewers, it also meant that the questions, which the other interviewers had not thoroughly understood, were repeatedly asked and answered inadequately, which made them less reliable in analysis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with informed sources, including government officials at the Ministry of Mineral Resources and the Government Gold and Diamond Office, NGOs, social issues experts, industry experts, dealers, exporters and community members. A total of 24 people were interviewed in this way. The majority of the interviews were taped. Only 5 were not; 3 because they were with dealers who were suspicious of my motives and 2 with the Chairwoman of the Brave Heart Mining Cooperative and the Chairman of the Kono Dealers' Association, who I had expected only to be introduced to, and not to interview. Table 2.2 Number of Formal Interviews Conducted Questionnaires Informed Sources Diggers11 (women) Miners (women) Divers Total (women) Government officials12 NGOs1 3 Social issues experts14 Industry experts Dealers15/ Exporters Other16 Total (women) 45 (7) 14(3) 3 62 (10) 5(1) 4 5(2) 3(1) 6 3 25 (3) The purpose of these interviews was to explore key issues, especially in relation to the structures and processes of the industry and local culture, such as banking practices, policy & legislation, corruption, patronage and patrimony in the industry, health and education opportunities in mining communities, competition and collaboration between dealers, cultural hierarchies and issues of access, and so on (see appendices 3a to 3f). Many of these interviewees were asked similar questions. Focus Groups and Workshops were used to generate information on the views of community members on mining and its related issues, on the actors, relationships and processes which structure the mining industry, and on the livelihood strategies and seasonal calendars of mining households. The workshop agendas are attached as appendices 4a, b and c. ' ' Includes overkickers, waterboys, ordinary diggers, gang leaders, foremen 1 2 Chief Mining Engineer & Mines Monitoring Officer (Koidu) and Assistant Director of Mines (Freetown), Ministry of Mineral Resources; Chairwoman of Tankoro District Council (Koidu); General Manager / Valuer & Buyer, Government Gold and Diamond Office (Freetown). 1 3 Movement of Concerned Kono Youth, Network Movement for Justice and Democracy, and the PDA. 1 4 Health practitioners, teacher, gender issues expert, journalist. 1 5 Lebanese (2 brothers), Maraka & Kono dealers, 1 international buyer & 1 Kono exporter. 1 6 Brother of digger (a housekeeper) interviewed with the digger, the chairwoman of Brave Heart Mining Cooperative, and a Bank Manager. 16 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology £t Research Methods Table 2.3 Focus Group and Workshop Participants Peiyima Mining & Agriculture Cooperative Focus Group 14th July 2004 Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop 1 24th July 2004 Household Livelihood Strategies Workshop 30th July 2004 Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop 2 7 ,h August 2004 7 (3 women) 11 (2 women) 8 (4 women) 9 (4 women) Mapping. Three maps of Koidu town were made showing a.) street names and land use, b.) diamond industry services and actors, and c.) social services. I used a draft map drawn up by U N A M S I L as the basis of our maps. Unfortunately I was not able to do any of the mapping myself owing to time restrictions and so I instructed the research team to do it. Where I was dubious as to the accuracy of their depictions, Babar double-checked the information provided on the map. With the help of Eric Leinberger, I have since discovered a street map of Koidu produced by U N A M S I L 1 7 , which I have used to corroborate some of the information mapped by our research team. This triangulation has been particularly necessary as none of the team had had experience mapping before so the accuracy of the maps is definitely questionable. Furthermore the maps cannot be expected to be comprehensive. Whilst accepting the inevitable partiality of the maps given how and by whom they were planned and produced, their utility is not intended to be as tools for analysis but rather as illustrations of what life in Koidu town is like, in the same way as a photograph might provide an insight. Only map b. (showing the information from map a. as well) is used in the thesis (see map 5.2). Participant Observation was a core part of the research. I documented all my activities using field notes and photographs whenever desirable and possible. I treated my stay in Sierra Leone ethnographically so that all of my experiences there should be relevant to the research. I kept a diary of field notes though it was very difficult to do this religiously. I endeavoured to reflect persistently on my interactions with all the people I encountered and on my own emotional and intellectual responses to troubling, confusing or enjoyable situations. I made myself part of the analysis. 2.6 Procedural and Methodological Considerations. In this section I consider challenges to doing research of high quality and integrity. 2.6.1 Process Punctuality One of the biggest challenges to doing research in Sierra Leone is inefficiency and lack of punctuality. It was extremely rare for us to leave the house or the office on schedule to go into the field, despite us having been allocated our own vehicle. Problems with punctuality usually revolved around team members arriving late for work, the vehicle being used for some other activity, vehicle breakdowns (which were frequent, especially for the last 2 weeks of my stay, after Paul Temple had left for the U K ) , fuelling requirements, or misunderstandings between team members. The difficulty of coordinating research activities compromised our ability to conduct as many interviews as we had originally planned. Protocols Kono is a highly stratified society and so in order to gain access to diggers and miners for interview it was necessary for us to get permission from the chiefs of the communities where we wished to conduct the interviews. The procedure began with one of the research team (usually Babar or Andrew) visiting the community in advance in order to advise them that a researcher from Canada wished to visit them and perhaps interview a few diggers and miners as part of her research on the P D A . If the chief sanctioned it we could return. On our return, I would be introduced to the chief and anyone else he wished. Usually this happened publicly and a crowd would be quick to gather, curious as to what business I might have with them. I would then explain, with Babar translating, who I was, what the research was about, why I wanted 1 7 See http://www.daco-sl.Org/encvclopedia2004/2 data/2 3b3 t.htm. 17 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology Et Research Methods to talk to them, and what they could expect to gain from the interviews. This happened each time we went to a new community to do research, that is, every day we went to interview diggers and miners. This protocol could take an hour or even more, which was a substantial chunk of our day. On one occasion we had to meet 3 chiefs before we could even go to the mining site. On this day we only managed to conduct 2 interviews. Consent forms Consent forms (see appendices 5a, b and c) are required to satisfy the University's ethics requirements. Interviewees usually gave their consent verbally on the tape. Where they could, they also signed the form. Although I thoroughly accept the ethical purpose of consent forms, they were a significant drawback in the interview process. Given that most of the diggers we interviewed were illiterate or could not read Engl i sh 1 8 , it was necessary for Babar to translate the form verbally, and explain what it was for. Sometimes this could take as long as fifteen minutes. Many diggers were also uneducated, and so rather than making people comfortable to talk more freely, the form usually had the opposite effect as its bureaucratic tone made people suspicious and nervous. For example, field notes from my journal record the following: "we interviewed 2 miners and one lady digger. They all wanted their names on paper; they did not want confidentiality. Sahr said that the confidentiality clause made him uncomfortable. 1 9" Our efforts to reassure participants of the researchers' ethical commitments to their rights proved to be more intimidating than fortifying. It did however act as a passport to get an interview with one dealer who suspected I was a journalist. Time limitations When your livelihood depends on chance, and the probability of finding a diamond increases with each pound of earth washed, then taking a digger away from his work for 2 hours was going to be hard work. This was especially so because we first began doing interviews at the beginning of the rainy season when diggers were frantically extracting and washing as much gravel as possible - at times working double shifts - before the rains began full force. People wanted compensation, such as a tip, food or a drink, for giving their time. Some of this expectation was based on having heard rumours that we had done this before. Unfortunately, those interviewees interviewed by the research team on trips where I did not accompany the team did not get any type of compensation. Wherever possible, I thanked interviewees by giving them a drink or, in the case of the women's group at Bandafayie, rice. Access to interviewees The diggers and miners said they were and seemed to be comfortable to talk openly with us about the structure of the mining industry and their experiences in it. Babar believed that the strong rapport we had with most interviewees was a consequence of our affiliation with the P D A and our introducing ourselves to communities through the cooperatives. In the many cases where people did not know what the P D A was, their willingness to talk to us probably had more to do with their relationship to the person who introduced us than with the P D A itself. Furthermore, it is most likely that people were happy to talk to us because they believed that by doing so they might help better their position, either by receiving compensation, by establishing social capital (see chapter 6), or by learning something from the interviews. This was made apparent by interviewees requesting compensation after their interviews, even though they had consented to the conditions of the interview, which included them accepting that the interview would take between one and two hours and that they would "receive no money or benefits for participation" 2 0. Generally speaking, the miners and diggers were will ing to be interviewed but we had a lot of difficulty accessing dealers. There were various reasons for this. Firstly, we were not able to persuade the chairman We considered translating the form into Krio and Kono but Babar believed that those who could read at all would be better able to read English than either of the other two languages as these were principally spoken, not written. 1 9 My field notes, 1st July 2004. 2° See appendix 5a, Interview Consent Form. Also interviews 5b and c. 18 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology Et Research Methods of the Kono Dealers' Association ( K D A ) to help us get access to other dealers. Despite our protestations to the contrary he believed that we were journalists and would not be told otherwise. Unless we could nurture his trust, he was not going to risk damaging his own reputation (and people's trust in him) by enabling two white women make enquiries into dealers' affairs. He told us that dealers would not want to talk to white people. In fact, there had been an FBI investigation into the activities of Kono dealers the previous year, which had led to difficulties for some local dealers and so his caution was understandable but his persistence in fobbing us off became frustrating. In the end I only got access to interview him through the involvement of Frank Karefa-Smart, who is a widely known and well-respected figure in the Sierra Leonean diamond world and a consultant to D I P A M . Only through Frank's personal investment in my integrity did I get an opportunity to prove my real intentions to the chairman. At the beginning of this interview he revealed that, besides his fundamental suspicion as to our intentions, his unwillingness to assist us in our investigations related to his wish to distance himself from the P D A at that point, owing to the fact that they had appointed somebody else to the position of dealers' representative on the Executive Committee 2 1 . It was surprising to us also that even some of our P D A colleagues were unwilling to help us interview dealers. When we explained our difficulties with the chairman of the dealers' association to the P D A spokesperson and asked him i f he could introduce us to some of his own dealing contacts he told us he would also have to go through the chairman of the dealers' association; another blank refusal in the guise of incapacity. These people's reluctance to assist us is testimony to the culture of secrecy and distrust which is characteristic in the marketing community, especially towards outsiders, and the associated fear of aligning oneself with someone who might prove to be untrustworthy. Frank Karefa-Smart intervened once again and managed to arrange an interview with Andre T. Hope, an exporter in Freetown, and a legal dealer in Koidu, who buys and exports on behalf of an American company. The dealer was not comfortable to be interviewed formally but he kindly gave me my first instruction in valuing rough diamonds, entertained a few of my questions (answering mostly in perplexing riddles and suggestive statements) and passed several hours in our company, drinking beer, eating lunch and providing me with an opportunity to do some participant observation. He in fact gave me some valuable advice, which was to stop asking questions and let the conversation lead itself. When left to speak freely amongst themselves, diamantaires reveal all kinds of juicy tit-bits for the attentive researcher. Unfortunately, the concomitant and forced requirement to keep apace with their Heineken consumption and the difficulty of escaping somewhere to write any notes, meant that a lot of information was left unremembered and unrecorded. Perhaps another lesson then is i f one is to research diamond dealers, one must prepare with some anticipatory heavy drinking to increase one's quotient of level of lucidity to number of units consumed! It was only in the last week of my stay in Sierra Leone that I had the opportunity to interview Lebanese and Maraka dealers. A n interview with a local N G O got me an introduction to a local journalist who has close connections with the dealing community. Once I had interviewed him, he offered to assist me in getting access to a dealer and arranged for me to interview the chairman of the Five Country Committee, who was a legal Maraka dealer, and two Lebanese brothers who also ran a legal diamond dealership. M y own experiences in trying to gain access to the dealing community testify the importance of social capital in Kono culture (see also chapter 6). Access to Information on the DSRP Whilst in Kono, I was so busy conducting my research on A D M and sustainable livelihoods that there was little opportunity for me to do any research on the programme itself. Although I conducted official interviews with the spokesperson of the Peace Diamond Alliance, with the team leader of MSI ' s P D A support project, and with Frank Karefa-Smart, who is a diamond industry consultant working for D I P A M , most of my understanding of the work of the D S R P has come from the information and reports published In fact, 2 days later when I asked the spokesperson of the PDA who the dealers' representative was, he told me that the chairman of the K D A had been elected just the day before. 19 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology & Research Methods on the P D A ' s website, and from telephone conversations and email communications with MSI ' s technical advisor, Mark Renzi. M y interpretation of the D S R P in chapter 3 was reviewed by Mr . Renzi, who confirmed that my understanding was largely correct. In his book "Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed" James C. Scott recommends that "we must never assume that local practice conforms with state theory" (1998: 49). In line with this advice, I am aware that my interpretation of the D S R P is based on how it has been presented to me by its principal guides - Mark Renzi, Paul Temple, Frank Karefa-Smart and other M S I employees - either in conversation or publications and so my reading of it is probably a little ideal. Furthermore, there is bound to be more happening either 'on the ground' or in the managers' heads than is reported in public documents and so some of my critiques may be irrelevant or based on out-dated information. It is for this reason that I shared my final draft with Mark Renzi and Paul Temple in order to give them an opportunity to respond to some of my observations and correct any factual errors. 2.6.2 Methodological Considerations Participatory vs. extractive research methods Given the time available to plan and conduct the research, the methods used were principally extractive though there were some participatory activities in the workshops which participants said contributed to their understanding of the industry. This is regrettable. I would very much have liked to have been able to build greater capacity among our research team, but time pressures and the need for productive research made this unfeasible, especially in the workshops. Collaboration and Independence The conditions of my pursuing this research opportunity were that the research be relevant to the needs of the D S R P and that I collaborate closely with Helen Temple, who was to be directly employed by M S I . I was extremely aware of the importance of protecting my autonomy in the design, conduct, analysis and presentation of the research in order to protect the academic integrity of the final product. Frankly, this has been difficult owing to the technical advisor's enthusiasm to both assist me and protect the project as best he could. M y ability to manage (and safeguard) my position as an independent researcher was further complicated by my dependence on Helen and her husband, Paul, for accommodation, food, and assistance whilst in Sierra Leone. Paul Temple is the team leader of MSI ' s P D A support project. There were no possible alternatives, however, as the lodging possibilities in Koidu are extremely limited. This has been an obvious conflict of interests, and one which I have been acutely aware of from the start. M y efforts to circumvent this issue have relied on an elevated self-awareness and persistent questioning of why I choose to include and exclude what I have in writing the thesis, and how I have chosen to write about it. Comprehension A t most times the miners and diggers were unfamiliar with the concepts we used in the interviews. Often the interviews were tedious and frustrating as it required a lot of talking on the part of Babar to get people to understand and speak specifically to the question. A s Babar said in our debriefing session, "even when you translate in their own languages, you have to take your time". It was difficult for me to really conceive of the challenges facing those whose lack of education made it hard for them to understand our questions or some of the issues we were trying to explore. Generally speaking, the richest and most informative interviews were with people who were better educated or who spoke English. This leads me to believe that some of our questions were too complicated. Certainly i f I were to repeat the interviews, I would attempt to simplify the questions further. Simplification may require improved cultural framing of concepts which, though familiar to me, may have been alien to the interviewees and some of the research assistants. Trust and Truthfulness " Y o u wi l l not find another industry that has developed over the years from absolute trust to almost absolute suspicion of the next man. 2 2 " Interview with Frank Karefa-Smart, DIP A M consultant, 21 s t July 2004. 20 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology & Research Methods The diamond industry is renowned for its caginess. The industry's culture is thick with deceit, exaggeration, manipulation, and duping. This is what makes trust such a vital part of some relationships within the industry (see chapters 5 and 6). It also made assessing truthfulness a challenge, to the point where the only way to proceed was to believe everything and nothing at the same time, and hope for the truer meaning to be revealed with consequential revelations and deeper cultural understanding. A n aversion to frank conversation taught me a lesson in interviewing technique. In an email to one of my supervisors I commented, "you can't ask questions directly (as I've been taught thus far) but have to couch your question in very open ways with insinuations based on cultural understanding. This is very hard for me, which is why Babar's and Helen's input are v i t a l . 2 3 " It also worked the other way round, when trying to interpret and understand someone's response: "everything said is nuanced so you must know the culture to know the insinuations. This, however, requires you to make assumptions about meaning based on general cultural norms and stereotypes (as you anticipate them). However people don't behave entirely true to their culture when they talk to a whitee woman from Canada/UK - they answer with their own assumptions on either what you want to hear, or what you ' l l believe and then act on which would be useful to them. 2 4" The potential for conversations to work at various levels of meaning made some interviews incredibly complicated. This was especially the case with all the dealers I met. In fact, in my first such interview I had to sit down with Babar and Helen for an hour afterwards to get them to elucidate what the Chairman of the Kono Dealers' Association had actually meant for most of the things he said. Indeed, he need not have been so worried about revealing too much to me! Translation and layers of interpretation Very few of the people I interviewed spoke English as a first language. The educated diggers and miners, and most of my informed sources spoke English very well. However with it not being their first language, there were some miscomprehensions and it may be that some could not communicate their opinions, experiences, and knowledge with me as well as they might have liked. Most Sierra Leoneans speak a pidgin English called Krio and by the end of my trip I could understand it quite well, though I could not speak it. Some people were more comfortable speaking in their tribal tongue, such as Kono or Madingo. The language barrier meant that I needed a translator for the majority of my interviews. For this reason I was very dependent on Babar, who was fluent in English and Krio and could speak 5 native languages. Whilst Babar did a truly stoic and competent job in acting as translator, he did have a propensity to explain rather than translate what someone had said. In other words, he would sometimes add in his own thoughts or additional information to help clarify what was said for me and sometimes omitted to say everything a person had said. This is fine for general comprehension, but not for academic analysis. With my skills in Krio having advanced slightly, I have been able to pick out some of these amendments in my transcriptions of the interviews and focus groups so as to ensure my basic data is as true to the speaker's intended meaning as my, Babar's, and sometimes Mahmoud's translations would allow. That said, I have still had to rely heavily on Babar's and Mahmoud's translations. This has compromised the integrity of some of my qualitative data. -The trials of working with and managing an international team "If you employ research assistants, the validity of the research project hinges substantially on the quality of their work. Y o u must screen, train, and supervise carefully and provide the appropriate incentives, both positive and negative, i f you want to complete the project satisfactorily ... Many scholars identified the management of research assistants as one of the greatest challenges they faced in the field." (Barrett & Cason 1997: 82). Managing the research team was certainly the biggest challenge for me in the field. Indeed, I would say that the requirement to train up, supervise, and manage the team diverted me from possibly more useful and relevant data collection opportunities. I had faith in the ability of only two of the five assistants to do their job well. O f the other three, one was committed but insufficiently experienced, and two were rather apathetic to the work as well as proud and so did not accept happily my correcting their mistakes. In all Email to Philippe Le Billon, 27 t h June 2004. My field notes, 25 t h June 2004. 21 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology £t Research Methods fairness, the team was pulled together rather last-minute as the funding for our research was not approved until I had been in Sierra Leone for 4 weeks. This meant that Andrew and Mahmoud had only 1 week working with us before Helen left, and that Helen did not meet Ibrahim or Michael at all. They were therefore plunged straight into the work with only a few days of preparation before having to conduct their own interviews. With Helen away, I had to deal with logistical problems relating to per diem allowances and salaries, though I had not authority to make decisions. I also had to coordinate and supervise the rest.of the team's activities whilst pursuing my own with Babar; frankly and unfortunately, it was not possible to adequately train and supervise them whilst attending to my remaining research needs. Research quality was also compromised by language difficulties. Whilst all the assistants spoke English, two of them had a lot of difficulty writing it well. This affected the quality of the interview transcriptions and some of the completed questionnaires. One assistant had trouble asking the questions appropriately and conveying the real meaning of the question in Krio . Furthermore, the questionnaires were written and completed in English. This meant that the interviewer had to read in English, speak in Kr io , listen in Kr io , and write in English. Altogether, this made one interviewer's set of questionnaires of dubious reliability . in analysis. The quality of the research produced by the assistants is also compromised by various other suspicious patterns, repetitions, omissions, or superficiality in the questionnaires. A n example of superficiality would be where two assistants entered 'poverty' as the answer to the question "what happened so that one day you decided to mine?" For some questions there are distinct patterns for answers according to who the interviewer was. For example, in the miners' database, when people are asked i f they believe there is any extra way they can ask God to help them get winnings, when I was asking the question with Babar as translator, people spoke of doing sacrifices, speaking to the oracle, and praying but when Andrew or Ibrahim were asking, the interviewees seemingly just answered 'prayers'. In these cases, the assistants probably did not probe deeply enough because they did not know what the question was really investigating. Another concern is the existence of inconsistent and contradictory answers within the same questionnaire. For example, when asked the question "Does anyone regularly support you?" 5 interviewees who had said previously that they received daily support in their mining activities answered no, according to Andrew's completion of the questionnaire. There were also cases where it seems as i f the interviewers may have led the interviewee in their answers. For example, once, when supervising Andrew, he preceded the question " i f you were to get some smallish winnings today, what would you do with the money" with the query, "Now you're a family man, no?" There are even instances where it appears as i f the answers may have been fabricated according to what the interviewer believed was the most 'correct' answer according to their own suppositions or experience. For example, when asked to consider whether miner or some other occupation they would prefer to do brings them more or less money, all the assistants' respondents answered more, whereas only 8 out of the 17 diggers I asked (about half) answered the same. Altogether then I am suspicious of the integrity of some of the assistants' data. Their work is partly unreliable because either: they did not understand what the research purpose of the question was (i.e. why we needed the information, how it would be used, and what it really told us), they did not understand the English questions, they did not understand how to ask the question in Kr io / Kono or asked a different question, they asked the questions in a biased way, they made up the answers according to what they believed to be true, they made up the answers randomly, or people were more or less likely to be honest with them than me. Unfortunately I am not able to contact the assistants to validate answers or to question them about these things so that I can make my own assessment of levels of comprehension, bias or fabrication in the data. Thus I have had to be selective about which answers to use when conducting the analysis. I also accept 22 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology Et Research Methods some responsibility in the inadequacy of their work as some of the errors are undoubtedly due to poor explication on my part. Prejudice and Positionality Prior to embarking on the research project I had anxieties regarding how to negotiate my research subjects', associates' and my own presuppositions and embedded prejudices associated with my and their cultural or embodied signifiers. I went to Sierra Leone conscious that my identity as a white, western, educated, British woman would confer on me particular advantages and disadvantages and attempted to prepare myself for the experience by reading accounts of racial and feminist methodologies (e.g. Twine 2000, Warren 2000, W o l f 1996). It has been my concern throughout the research that firstly, I do not let these presuppositions and prejudices influence how I conduct or analyse the research, secondly, that I could still get the best out of my interviewees and other people upon whom the research depended (such as chiefs) despite their prejudices toward me or fears of my own toward them, and, thirdly, that I could negotiate well those cultural moments which would make me feel uncomfortable based on my cultural signifiers. Awareness of my own situatedness (cf. Rose 1997) did not prevent me from reacting to these prejudices once they arose. B y far the biggest challenge was dealing with the issue of race. I could not get away from it. It was an issue for almost everyone I met, both ex-pats and Sierra Leoneans, although many people did not seem conscious of their racism or of how their own behaviour might reinforce the racism of others. In many cases this racism was manifested benignly in its intentions, such as when my Namibian friend gave a local man 10,000 Leones (US$4) for taking 10 minutes to pick us some oranges. The orange-picker rolled his eyes, slapped his hand to his brow, and frowned curiously. This was more money than he might hope to make in a couple of days. Through his generosity, my friend had actually done the man a disservice because he had unconsciously reified the distance between him and the orange-picker — what was small change for him was a tidy sum for the local man. As we drove away in our white truck, we most possibly left the orange-picker prickling with awareness of his relative inferiority as he continued his walk home. It became apparent to me that racism is a means of coping with cultural frustration or incomprehension. Racist jokes, though infrequent, did occur among some N G O workers. Sometimes the local people were referred to as being ' P . D . ' , meaning phosphate-deficient. "He's a P .D . " was the comment made when a driver went to the wrong place, for example. The insinuation was the driver was being stupid because he had a phosphate deficiency in his diet. I always wondered i f the driver went to the wrong place as an act of defiance. I found myself extremely irritated by local people's racism towards me. The irritation was brought on partly by a sense of being categorised and misunderstood, but more because I was forced to make a decision as to how to respond appropriately on an intellectual, ethical, and emotional level. For example, one day I was at the Koidu tennis court, which the Pakistani Battalion of peacekeepers and some ex-pats had built. Racial difference is inscribed in space and time at the tennis court. On the court were the Pakistani officers and N G O workers; on the other side of the fence were the local people who came in the evening to watch the players battle it out. Further, the court had been built on the promise that it would become property of the local youth club when the peacekeepers withdrew. However, it was of such poor quality that within the year it was already fractured with holes and cracks and would soon be unusable as a tennis court. On this occasion I was sat on a bench inside the fence, petting Helen's large, black (and admittedly very handsome) dog. One boy stood with a basket of bread on his head. He asked me i f I wanted some. I had already bought some that day. He retorted bitterly that I would not buy the bread because I would not eat "African chop". In.fact, I had developed quite a taste for "African chop" and that day had eaten cassava leaves and river fish with the women of Bandafayie. I also lived on the local bread as I often missed meals in the house doing fieldwork. I tried to explain, but he said I was lying. A l l white 23 Estelle Levin Chapter 2: Methodology & Research Methods men lie. Frustrated, obscurely feeling guilty, and confused as to whether he was simply playing with me for some fun, I told him to go away. Another example of people's racist stereotyping was the frequency with which I had small children greet me with "Whitee man! Whitee man! Give me chop!" A n excerpt from my journal illustrates my thoughts on the daily dilemma I faced with people asking me for assistance: "I spend so much effort being nice to people, polite - perhaps to compensate for my whiteness (which Babar says is usually associated with arrogance, brusqueness and rudeness) but it's so artificial when, after saying "good evening, how are you?" to our neighbours who live in a rubblesome, decimated crevice of a building with a roof covering one third of the house and made of patchy tarpaulins held down with stones, when they ask you to help them because they need tarpaulin and it's raining and they're really suffering and can you please get them a tarpaulin, and what do you do? Where do you draw the line? I said no. But they DID need it and they don't appear to have much and everyone here is understandably out to get something - who do you help and how? Is it enough my doing the research I 'm doing? Do I resist the temptation to give 5,000 to the boy assisting his blind mother so as not to reinforce the view that the 'whitee' man' is the benevolent provider upon whom he can depend, even i f their need and my wealth are so apparent? I can't reconcile this yet. 2 5 " In fact, although I did not help them, the next day the family had a new tarpaulin on their roof, but this still does not make me comfortable with my decision. M y awareness of issues which might surround my race, gender, class, age, or nationality forced me to consistently question my own behaviour, feelings, and reactions to events. I endeavoured hard to be aware of how my cultural markings might situate me in the social imaginations of Kono people and how my own prejudices might condition my own interpretations of people's words and behaviour, whilst trying to remain true to the fundamental fact that we were both human. In other words, whilst recognising the differences between us, both imagined and real, I sought out the similarities to try to keep our interaction as genuine as possible. Nonetheless, I found myself descending into racist thinking and patriarchal behaviour in order to cope with my increasing frustration with always being asked for help and with the occasional incompetence of those I depended on. I discovered that asking nicely did not get things done and the only way to get the car to come on time, for example, was to raise my voice or rebuke those responsible. Despite my discomfort with these types of aggressive, patriarchal interactions, it seemed my only option for getting the research done at the time. The truth may be that I simply did not have the management skills to get the results I needed any other way. This I regret. Lastly, I am conscientiously using the first person in this thesis to emphasise my own responsibility for the data and conclusions produced and to distance myself from any claims of false objectivity in my analysis. I wish to be held to account so that the research can have greater objectivity owing to its contextualisation as a product of my situated efforts and interpretations (Harding 2004). I am also using the first person in order to deal with my anxiety of representation. Whilst creating a window for Kono's artisanal diamond diggers and miners to be heard, their voices are re-channelled and re-interpreted through my own. In an attempt to stay true to their own words, I have included some lengthy excerpts of interviews and focus groups in the chapters which follow. There are of course more imaginative and forthright ways for me to give voice to Kono's artisanal diamond diggers and miners, but the scope of this project has prevented me from exploring these. 2 5 My field notes, 25 t h June 2004. 24 Estelle Levin Chapter 3: The DSRP 3 . Overview of the Diamond Sector Reform Programme1 The Diamond Sector Reform Programme (DSRP) is best understood as a process, whose sub-objectives and strategies are evolving in response to new knowledge, to deeper understanding of the problems to be tackled, and to the changing capacities, commitments and priorities of its 'owners'. This dynamism is typical of those development programmes, which, owing to a variable political environment, must adopt strategies of adaptive management. However, it complicates the objective of this thesis which is to evaluate the programme's objectives, accepted truths, and techniques because the D S R P is never entirely fixed. I deal with this transience by focusing on its rationale and macro-objectives, which are largely constant. Though specific projects, strategies and sub-objectives are consistently developing and changing, I have fixed these down by focusing on the strategic themes which underlie them. 3.1 Actors Delineating the structure of the D S R P is complicated, principally because it is not organised around a command-and-control philosophy but is owned and directed by a variety of actors, each with different motivations for being involved, and each able or wil l ing to commit to different facets of the programme to different extents at different times. The principal organisations involved in the D S R P are the U S Government through U S A I D , Management Systems International (MSI), the Government of Sierra Leone, and the Peace Diamond Alliance (PDA). The British Department for International Development (DFID) 2 has its own diamond policy project, which is closely coordinated with the D S R P and the Community and Small Scale Mining Division of the World Bank has recently given $50,000 to the Executive Committee of the P D A (MSI 2004d). The U S Government (USG) is the primary donor to the D S R P 3 . The U S G ' s involvement in the Sierra Leonean diamond industry began after the Lome Accord was signed in May 1999. In September 1999 the Office of Transition Initiatives contracted M S I , a Washington D.C.-based private development consultancy, to implement the provision of the Peace Accord which called for the establishment of the Strategic Minerals Committee, which was to be chaired by the leader of the R U F , Foday Sankoh. Since then, M S I has entered into 3 cooperative4 agreements and received a total of just over US$4.8million from both U S A I D ($ 1.8m) and the Department of State ($3m) for implementing the D S R P 5 . While the U S G funds the intervention, its role in planning it has been reasonably marginal except in so far as it dictates what it w i l l and wi l l not fund. Primary responsibility for programme planning and ' The information presented here has been gleaned from a variety of reports and internet publications produced by MSI and from interviews and email correspondence with MSI employees. 2 The British government provided over £ 100m in aid to Sierra Leone from 2000 to 2003 and has committed another £120m in aid from 2003 to 2006. In 2002 the Governments of Sierra Leone and the U K signed a memorandum of understanding for a ten year development programme, focusing on strengthening the state and improving public governance. DFID's own diamond policy project has been focused on this wider objective of state building. DFID's main contributions to industry reform have been hosting of a Diamond Sector Workshop in March 2003, providing a suitable building for the Koidu offices of the Peace Diamond Alliance, commissioning a diamond policy study by AMCO-Robertson Mineral Services, assisting in legal reform and revision of the Core Mineral Policy, providing technical guidance to the President's office, and conducting a cadastral survey of Kono. (DFID 2003, 2004; A M C O -Robertson 2002, email from MSI technical adviser to author, 4 t h November 2004, and email from Tim Shorten, DFID Programme Officer for Sierra Leone, 16th November 2004). 3 Besides its commitment to the diamond industry, the USG has also covered 25% of the peacekeeping costs of U N A M S I L (Government of Sierra Leone 2003c). 4 A 'cooperative agreement' is specific type of USAID contract. This should not be confused with the mining cooperatives which are part of the DSRP's Integrated Diamond Management project. 5 Where MSI and USAID have cooperative agreements to achieve certain results, MSI operates in a non-profit capacity. For example, DIPAM (see below) is a cooperative agreement. Email correspondence from MSI technical adviser to author, 4 t h November 2004. 25 Estelle Levin Chapter 3: The DSRP implementation has rested with M S I 6 . Really, therefore, it is the decisions, actions and priorities of MSI , as determined by the funding agenda of the U S G , which are the focus of this evaluation although the research also critiques the other organisations which, through their support for the programme, have sanctioned its motivations, objectives, strategies and ideology or have directly participated in their formulation. The Government of Sierra Leone is both an object of intervention and a partner in the DSRP. Most intimately involved are the Ministry of Mineral Resources, the Gold and Diamond Department7, the Police, and the Executive Branch. Reforming the diamond sector has required the assessment and revision of existing laws and policies which pertain to industry government as well as the devising of new laws and policies as deemed appropriate. Furthermore, for any reform to be meaningful, the apparatus of Government must endorse this reform and be committed to promoting and enforcing it. Certainly one of the challenges of the Programme has been the enablement of Government to do this since the state was essentially incapacitated by the war. A facet of the D S R P therefore has been the requirement to build state capacity to govern the industry. The Peace Diamond Alliance (PDA) is both a programme and a partner in the DSRP. P D A members include international donors, national and local government officials, community-based organisations, international non-governmental organisations, and industry actors (see appendix 6). The P D A is explored in greater depth below. The P D A serves many functions in the DSRP, but most important perhaps is its role in nurturing a style of governance which incorporates industry and community in the formulation of law and policy, and in monitoring and disciplining the industry. 3.2 Motivations There are five agendas driving national and international political and economic support for the project: 1. National Security - the Government's agenda Diamonds played a central role in the civil war in Sierra Leone. A key strategy of the R U F was to control the diamond mining areas in order to fund their campaign. Furthermore, although the civil war in Sierra Leone descended into a scramble for personal enrichment in its latter years, the R U F ' s original disgruntlement with the Government centred on the direction of wealth derived from the diamond trade into the pockets of government officials and favoured elites 8. Appropriate management of the diamond industry is therefore seen to be central to ensuring peace by raising the revenue and public opinion necessary for protecting the authority and legitimacy of the state. 2. Regional Security - the donors' agenda According to MSI ' s technical advisor, regional security is a key priority of the US Department of State and a motivation for their funding the programme. Building peace in Sierra Leone and having closer control of the diamonds and diamond revenue is believed to reduce the chances, of former combatants offering their services to regional belligerent groups, for example in Cote dTvoire. 3. The International War on Terror - the donors' other agenda The D S R P is part of the U S and British governments' 'war on terror': "the Peace Diamond Alliance ... (is) designed to ensure that revenues from Sierra Leone's diamond mines would never again fall into the 6 MSI is also operating a Nation Building programme which is funded by USAID (MSI 2003a). 7 This used to be the Government Gold and Diamond Office (GGDO) but was made part of the National Revenue Authority in August 2003. 8 Though now effectively nullified, a key aspect of the Lome Accord, dated 18th May, 1999, and signed by the Government and the RUF, was that diamonds be subjected "to special treatment and control by the Government ... and that all government revenues from diamonds should be dedicated 'to be spent exclusively on the development of the people of Sierra Leone, with appropriations for public education, public health, infrastructural development, and compensation for incapacitated war victims as well as post-war rehabilitation and reconstruction. Priority spending shall go to rural areas.'" AMCO-Robertson Mineral Services, 2002, p. 8. 26 Estelle Levin Chapter 3: The DSRP hands of drug lords, terrorists, money launderers or the various warring factions in Western Africa's c ivi l wars" (MSI 2004c): In a report published in 2003, Global Witness stated that A l Qaeda and other "terrorist, rebel and criminal organizations such as the R U F in Sierra Leone, U N I T A in Angola, various armed factions in the D R C , organised crime networks from the Former Soviet Union (FSU), South American drug cartels, global Mafia members, and convicted arms smugglers are all using rough diamonds as a form of international currency for transferring assets and raising funds" (Global Witness 2003: 62-3; see also Smillie, Gberie & Hazelton 2000 and U N 2000) 9. By funding efforts to increase the legality and transparency of the trade, the U S and British governments wi l l help reduce the potential for diamonds to be used for money laundering and as currency to fund international crime, terrorism and rebel wars (cf. DIB 2004). 4. Reducing Poverty in the Diamond Regions - the community's and NGOs' agenda A prime objective of the DSRP is that diamonds should benefit the communities from whose land they are produced and the individuals by whose labour the diamonds are extracted from the ground. Traditionally this has not been the case and the,sense of injustice which derived thereby was one cause of the war (see chapter 5). Another objective of the DSRP, and one advocated by the P D A , is the diversification of livelihood options in alluvial mining communities. 5. From "blood diamonds" to "peace diamonds" or "prosperity diamonds" - the Kimberley Process's Members' agenda "Blood diamonds" received a lot of international attention in 2000 sparking consumer protests and the withdrawal of some diamond companies from the Sierra Leonean diamond industry. In response, Governments, businesses and N G O s established the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, an international effort to limit the trade in "blood diamonds". The 43 participating countries, who comprise nearly 98% of the trade in rough diamonds, must certify that their shipments are free of conflict diamonds (Kimberley Process 2004). Sierra Leone was the first country to institute processes and programmes for tracking, certifying and monitoring its diamonds from production to export following U N sanctions. Besides satisfying Kimberley protocols, certification confers a peripheral advantage. If it can be proven that Sierra Leonean diamonds are bringing tangible benefits to the communities who produced them and are not fuelling war and perpetuating poverty, then these diamonds can be branded as "development diamonds" or "peace diamonds" and so might sell for a premium. Within the industry, Sierra Leonean diamonds have lost their status as the world's best gems; this accolade is now given to Angola. The brand of "development diamonds" helpfully replaces this old premium with a new one. 3.3 Objectives The strategic objective of the D S R P is that the "Sierra Leone diamond trade contributes positively to peace and prosperity" (Moyers 2003: 22). The D S R P is therefore trying to turn the diamond industry into a force for development, not impoverishment, and to prevent diamonds from creating the social conditions which make war both desirable and possible 1 0 . Informally, it also aims to prevent diamonds from being used to enable international crime and terrorism". The D S R P is attempting to achieve all of these objectives by improving industry management through the development and implementation of a new model of resource governance, as Figure 1 shows. According to MSI's technical adviser, the FBI denies the link between Sierra Leonean diamonds and A l Qaeda. This is puzzling in light of Global Witness's investigations. 1 0 According to the technical adviser to the programme, however, the DSRP should not be understood as a project in economic development but as a peace project; peace is its primary aim. From the perspective of USAID, the alleviation of poverty is therefore pursued as a means of securing peace, although its own desirability is acknowledged. (Email correspondence from technical adviser to author, 18th April 2004.) 1 1 Several times programme members have cited the importance of keeping diamonds out of the 'wrong' hands. (Field notes and communications with the technical adviser. See also PDA website.) 27 Estelle Levin Fig. 3.1: MSI's Diamond Sector Reform Programme12 Chapter 3: The DSRP Strategic Objective:. •— . " " -—•—.. Sierra Leoue diamond trade contributes positively to peace and prosperity Intermedial Results 1. Improved GOSL diamond management systems and incentives to use them effectively 2. Active civil society supporting improved public and private diamond management 3. Private .sector diamond businesses that are more transparent, competitive, and responsive to community interests Expected Remits: •Increased diamond exports •Increased benefits to eoHuaunifie . i from diamond milling 4. Improved community diamond management . systems and incentives to use them effectively Improved enabling environment for improved diamond management 3.4 Method The essence of the D S R P is the formulation and development of a new model for managing the diamond resource. It is trying to institute a new style of resource governance and, as such, it is a project in governmentality. This new governmentality is supported by a particular set of ethics (i.e. the existence of poverty and war and their relationship to the diamond industry obliges intervention), a particular rationale of intervention (i.e. market-led development wi l l induce the desired changes) and a particular perception of state legitimacy (i.e. the state-society relationship is one founded on democracy, freedom and the protection of human rights). The D S R P perceives the diamond industry as a 'governable space', a space to be intervened in, manipulated and reformed according to the motivations of its various associates (cf. Watts 2004). This way of seeing the industry reveals it to be a complex composed of "men in their relations, their links, their imbrication with those things that are wealth, resources, means of subsistence . . . ; men in their relation to those other things that are customs, habits, ways of acting and thinking and so on" (Foucault 2000: 201-22). These relations between diamond actors, the resource, and the wealth derived thereby and the cultures, attitudes and behaviours which produce and are produced by these relations are exactly what the D S R P is attempting to change. The formulation and implementation of this new governmentality has involved an "analytics" of the current system of industry management in order to identify that which needs to change and how (cf. Dean 1999: 23; also Watts 2003). This analytics involves processes of subj'<edification (ways of classifying and identifying), objectification (ways of seeing), knowledge accumulation (ways of thinking, questioning and monitoring), and ameliorative modification (ways of acting, intervening and directing). Although this process is not explicitly or systematically pursued by development interventions, it nonetheless frames how programmes are generally designed and implemented. Government requires the identification of the actors whose opportunities or behaviours need to change. The actors directly involved in the Sierra Leonean diamond industry have been categorised by a 1 2 From Moyers 2003. 28 Estelle Levin Chapter 3: The DSRP consultant to the D S R P as diggers, miners, dealers/supporters, and exporters (Moyers 2003). These categories are ambiguous and over-simplistic because they do not differentiate amongst miners or diggers, for example, and other actors in the chain, such as dealers' agents, coaxers, mines managers and watchers, have been overlooked (see figures 3.2a and 3.2b) 1 3. Other relevant actors include dealers' associations, miners' unions, government agencies involved in collecting revenues, monitoring the resource, and disciplining actors, as well as people who provide support services to the industry. Furthermore, within all these roles, actors are sub-categorised according to their tribe, religion, gender, nationality and so on. Once actors are categorised and inscribed with identities, then one makes visible the relative social positions of these actors and the hierarchies which structure the relationships between them. The same M S I consultant schematised the Sierra Leonean diamond industry as follows: Figure 3.2a: Relations in the Sierra Leonean Artisanal Diamond Industry according to Movers 1 4 Qaiiefdoms M y own analysis produces a rather different schematic of the actors involved in the production, marketing, export and legislation of artisanal diamond activities. This schematic also details the terms of exchange and the variety of routes a single diamond might follow within the country's industry. Some aspects of this schematic are explored in more detail in chapter 5. 1 3 One diamond dealer spoke of the assignation of 'dealer' as a label the Government bestows so you can trade legally. As far as he was concerned, he was a businessman. Interview with Lebanese dealers, August 5th 2004. 1 4 From Moyers 2003: 15. 29 Estelle Levin Chapter 3: The DSRP Figure 3.2b: Relations in the Sierra Leonean Artisanal Diamond Industry Ministry of Mines (Mines Engineer) Paramount, Section, Village Chiefs Chiefdom Development Committee Illegal Diggers Mines Monitors (MMOS) Police Supported Diggers M Licence holder Mines Warden LH Mines S Mines Manager Manager Dealer's Coaxer Illegal Dealer 3> tip » (Nikoniko, banabana) 3 1 Supporter I $ tip Dealer's Agent's Coaxer Dealer's M Agent $ tip Exporter's Agent n Customs Illegal exporter (Smuggler) Exporter OVERSEAS BUYERS GDO Legal transfer of diamond Black Owns diamond (primary beneficiary) Illegal transfer of diamond Orange Illegally owns diamond (primary beneficiary) transfer of money: (% - pre-negotiated %) ($ - post-negotiated price) Blue Involved in trading diamond and securing ownership, employed by superior in chain (secondary beneficiary) official taxes Green Monitors chain or extracts rents for guaranteeing/securing ownership (tertiary beneficiary) rents / extortions / bribes Red Illegal beneficiary Once the links between the actors are established, one attempts to understand the priorities of the actors, the hierarchies between them, the power relations which produce these hierarchies, and the processes that operate through them. By building a picture of these priorities, positions, power relations, and processes, one can distinguish the impediments and incentives which structure the field of possible/impossible and desirable/undesirable behaviours. For example, M S I contracted an international consultant to investigate the miner-supporter relationship. He concluded that the relationship was one of dependency and 30 Estelle Levin Chapter 3: The DSRP exploitation, tantamount to debt bondage, and that it existed because of an absence of credit options available to miners (Moyers 2003). This report led to the formulation of the financing component of Integrated Diamond Management model, which is explained below. Other investigations, including my own, have been commissioned to understand the artisanal diamond industry better. These have been conducted by international consultants (e.g. Even-Zohar 2003), local N G O s (e.g. Network Movement for Justice and Democracy and the National Forum for Human Rights), international N G O s (e.g. Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada 2004), and other donors (e.g. DFID ' s cadastral survey). Through these studies, as well as workshops and extensive field work, the D S R P has identified specific 'issues' in Sierra Leonean society and the diamond industry which need to be understood and changed in order to bring peace and prosperity to the people of Sierra Leone. M y own anaysis of these 'problems' is conducted in the next 4 chapters. The social problems identified for intervention by the D S R P are severe poverty and economic inequality in the diamond communities, the potential for war to reignite, limited state capacity to govern, endemic corruption, and a warped understanding of governance in Sierra Leonean culture. The industry areas identified are smuggling, corruption, environmental degradation, miner exploitation and debt bondage, and the prevalence of illegal mining and marketing. Once one understands better the problem issues, one can set about changing them. This is done by designing and enforcing regulatory and disciplinary systems which wi l l induce and reinforce desirable behaviours and disincentivise or proscribe undesirable behaviours". To do this, one can change three things: 1.) who or what manages the industry, 2.) how the industry is managed (i.e. the techniques of intervention), or 3.) facets of the industry itself to make it more manageable. The D S R P attempts to do all three: Table 3.1 Strategic themes. Techniques and Actions of the DSRP Strategic theme for intervention Technique of Ameliorative Intervention DSRP component actions Object of intervention: 1;) Who or what manages the industry State-building Build State Capacity to Govern DIPAM PDA Participatory governance Formulate Law and Policy Expert advice on revising regulations (DIPAM) Participatory policy review with central and local government (PDA) More transparent and business-friendly policy regime. Object of intervention: 2.) How the industry is managed: > » ,l: Market liberalisation Integrate private sector influences into the reform programme Participatory Governance (PDA) I D M (buying scheme & finance scheme) Discipline Enforce Law and Policy (discipline) Nurturing a climate of stewardship through instituting systems of transparency, accountability and responsibility (PDA) Encouraging self-discipline (I D M - cooperatives) Discipline Reduce corruption Anti-corruption drive (DIPAM) Increasing transparency (DACDF Coalition; work with GOSL on DADCF distributions amounts and monitoring; reviewing valuations - DIPAM). 1 5 Desirability is determined by s/he who is to govern. In the case of the Sierra Leonean diamond industry, from the DSRP's perspective desirable = legal and undesirable = illegal. 31 Estelle Levin Chapter 3: The DSRP Surveillance Institute resource surveillance IDM (earth-to-export) Surveillance Improve Industry surveillance Improving state monitoring systems (DIPAM) Encouraging a climate of stewardship (PDA) Empowerment Reward those who operate legally Diamond Area Community Development Fund (DIPAM) IDM (all components) Freedom of and dissemination of information (DIPAM, PDA, IDM) .Object of intervention: 3.) Industry manageability .,;<> Simplification Streamline the industry IDM (buying scheme & cooperatives) 3.5 Programme Components and Strategic Themes The D S R P has been organised into three projects: Diamond Policy and Management (DIPAM), the P D A and Integrated Diamond Management (IDM). The projects serve as vehicles for attracting funding to push the DSRP ' s objectives forward. D I P A M was the first major diamond sector programme which M S I undertook on behalf of the U S G . The project received U S $960,000 from the Economic Support Fund of the Department of State, though the funds were disbursed through U S A I D . The P D A was given US$1,270,525 from U S A I D ' s Africa Bureau as part of its Public/Private Partnership Program, consistent with the Agency's Global Development Alliance which supports public-private partnerships in development. The I D M project is funded under a similar arrangement to D I P A M having recently been granted US$2million from funds allocated by the U S Congress to implement the Kimberley Process. Although D I P A M and the P D A Cooperative Agreements ended in September 2004, a month after I finished my field research, their aims and activities are carried forward by the I D M project 1 6. Spread across the DSRP's various projects are strategic themes formulated for modifying the target issues. These themes have already been referred to in the table above. They are state-building, participatory governance, instituting systems of discipline and surveillance, market liberalisation, miner and community empowerment, and industry simplification. D I P A M , the P D A and I D M all incorporate these themes to different extents. The Diamond Policy and Management Project (DIPAM) The purpose of D I P A M was to build state, community and industry capacity and commitment to decriminalise the industry, to improve industry management and to maximise benefits to mining communities. D I P A M was really concerned with improving the structures and processes which determine the quality of industry governance. D I P A M focused on changing who or what governs and the techniques of government. Its strategies included building state capacity, reducing state corruption, reforming diamond policies and legislation, institutionalising systems of surveillance and discipline, and overseeing the implementation of related projects, such as the Diamond Area Community Development Fund (Fortune & James 2001, S C G & TDS 2003). The policy foci of D I P A M were to increase competition in the mining credit and diamond marketing sectors; increase transparency in the D A C D F distributions; link lessons learned in Kono with other diamond areas in Sierra Leone; streamline and improve diamond export regimes; develop an effective pilot chain of custody systems for diamond mining; improve linkages with the Kimberley Process; and 1 6 Information provided from MSI's technical adviser and technical associate to the DSRP on telephone and by email, 5 t h November 2004 and by email 10 th November 2004. 32 Estelle Levin Chapter 3: The DSRP tackle corruption (MSI 2003a & c). In every way, the P D A and EDM grew out of D I P A M : the P D A to provide an actor for implementing change, and I D M as the technical project for bringing about change. The Peace Diamond Alliance (PDA) The P D A is an alliance of organisations which have an interest in the diamond sector (see appendix 6 for a list of current members) 1 7. It was formed using D I P A M funds, but is intended to become self-sufficient as soon as possible (MSI 2004e). For the time being, it continues to receive support from MSI , who acts as its secretariat. The purpose of the alliance is to make industry governance and surveillance a multi-stakeholder, multi-spatial, participatory endeavour involving industry, community and government. It also provides the vehicle for achieving many things. It should (cf. Moyers 2003, MSI 2002a, b, c, 2003b, 2004c, d) 1 8 : • enable industry governance to be participatory; • empower communities to play a greater role in managing their resource; • enable government to formulate more effective and politically acceptable industry policies by providing the opportunity for communication between those who write and enforce the laws, and those who are affected by them; • provide a forum for discussion, decision-making and dispute settlement in all matters related to the industry - it is a 'communication tool' • promote a climate of transparency, responsibility and accountability in the diamond industry and Sierra Leonean society; • establish a precedent of local self regulation through the Alliance's Code of Conduct; • influence "Sierra Leoneans' inner maps of governance" (Moyers 2003: 22) by raising expectations of authorities and normalising community participation in government; • aim to increase community and traditional rights in formal mining concession awards; • improve the capacity of all actors to improve management practices; • make industry surveillance easier by bringing together people diversely associated with the industry to raise issues of concern and share information about what is happening on the ground; • help build institutional approaches to sustaining improvements in sectoral reform (Moyers 2003: 22); • be a vehicle for the implementation of facets of I D M such as training for cooperatives in small stones valuation and financial management; and • be a mechanism for conflict management. Integrated Diamond Management (IDM) - the techne of the DSRP The I D M cooperative agreement takes forward what D I P A M began: the development of "new paradigms for extractive resource management in Sierra Leone" (MSI 2003a). I D M is both paradigm and project. It is the techne of the new governmentality which the DSRP has been trying to make real, being mostly concerned with the techniques of government and making the industry more governable. The basic tenet of I D M is that "communities must benefit from legal diamond mining and marketing i f there is to be any chance of controlling illegal mining and smuggling" (MSI 2004a: 12). Besides continuing the policy and governance priorities of D I P A M and the P D A , its main schemes are finance provision, cooperatives, fair markets (international buyers) and earth-to-export monitoring certification but it also covers issues relating to environmental damage (land reclamation), worker rights, and access to technology (MSI 1 7 The Mission of the PDA is "Bringing private industry, community, NGOs, and government together to ensure that the Sierra Leone diamond industry contributes positively to peace and prosperity through increasing benefits to the people of Kono from the diamond industry and by helping the government improve its ability to manage diamonds" (MSI 2004c). 1 8 Also email from technical adviser to author, November 4* 2004. 1 9 Conversation between Paul Temple, Helen Temple and the author, 20 t h June 2004. 33 Estelle Levin Chapter 3: The DSRP 2004b). M S I emphasises that these schemes are mutually reinforcing and so the success of this new model of resource management depends on their simultaneous implementation. Furthermore, M S I is using I D M in Sierra Leone as the pilot study for developing this model of resource governance for application in other post-conflict diamond communities, such as in the Democratic Republic o f Congo or Angola. The Finance Scheme The finance scheme emerged from recommendations by the Ministry of Mineral Resources that the establishment of a formal credit scheme would enable miners to make more money and reduce the incentive to smuggle (Moyers 2003: 23). In May 2003, MSI commissioned an investigation into the credit arrangements of diamond miners and the desirability and feasibility of a credit scheme. The consultant concluded that the miner-supporter relationship is exploitative and responsible for the miners' poverty and thus the provision of another option for accessing credit would free miners from the constraints of this relationship (Moyers 2003). The finance scheme attends to 2 of the DSRP ' s strategic themes: • Market Liberalisation: it aims to make the market for credit more competitive; • Miner Empowerment: it increases the choices the miners have for accessing credit. The Al luvia l Mining Finance Scheme proposed by M S I comprises two parallel streams of financing - a revolving loan fund (RLF) and direct financing - which are to compete with the current system of credit provision by 'supporters', usually dealers, to miners. The revolving loan fund is a cooperative loan scheme, under which miners wi l l be held jointly accountable for repayments. The Koidu branch of the Rokel Bank has agreed to manage all financial transactions relating to the loan and to provide a safe deposit for all diamonds produced under the scheme. The initiation of the revolving loan fund has been postponed until an environmental assessment has been completed. The direct financing scheme is in line with the programme's desire to use the private sector to inspire change. It too involves the Rokel Bank as a conduit for the Investor's funds. The Rapaport Group has agreed to act as the Investor and Global Witness has agreed to monitor the programme on the ground and ensure that Rapaport is paying the cooperatives "top dollar" 2 0 . The direct financing scheme has been pushed forward in response to the retardation of the Revolving Loan Fund by the need for an environmental impact assessment and the imperative to start demonstrating on-the-ground progress to participants in the P D A . There is some fear that participants' commitment to the Alliance may have waned slightly after a year of bureaucratic and organisational advances, which are less affirming then the more tangible and visible developments I D M should produce 2 1. Thus the direct financing scheme is to begin immediately. The Cooperative Scheme In order for the revolving loan fund and direct financing scheme to work, the creditworthiness and productivity of the potential borrowers needs to be improved. B y forming cooperatives miners wi l l be able to pool their risks, scale up their operations and share responsibility collectively for repaying the loans. Their capacity to work as cooperatives is being tackled through training in financial management and how to be a cooperative through the P D A 2 2 . They are also being trained in valuing small stones 2 3. The cooperative scheme has also been given strength by the establishment of a national Union of Mining Email from technical adviser to author, November 4' 2004. 2 1 Email from technical adviser to author, November 4 t h 2004. 2 2 Whilst I was in Koidu, two international consultants were involved in training local people to be trainers in the functioning of a cooperative. The Ministry of Trade and Industry has also provided training (Email from technical adviser, 10th November 2004). 2 3 Interviewees spoke very favourably about this training and how they felt it had helped them already. (PDA Spokesperson, interview with author 6 t h August 2004 and Braveheart Cooperative, interview with author 22 n d June 2004.) 34 Estelle Levin Chapter 3: The DSRP Cooperatives in October 2004 under the initiative of the Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry (MSI 2004d). The establishment of cooperatives serves three strategic themes. • Industry streamlining: the organisation of miners into cooperatives reduces the number of operating units which need to be monitored. This limits the resources needed for industry surveillance. • Institutionalisation of systems of surveillance and discipline: the cooperatives wi l l be monitored in their activities by three bodies. A n international N G O , Global Witness, has agreed to oversee the credit and earth-to-export scheme; the P D A provides a venue for sharing information about the activities of the member cooperatives; and the cooperatives themselves, in line with existing practices to minimise theft and given the added incentive of communal responsibility for loans, wi l l institute their own systems of surveillance and discipline. • Miner and Digger Empowerment: the cooperative scheme wi l l empower miners and diggers by increasing their access to capital, by enabling them to earn more money, by giving them greater social security through their common interest and relations with each other, and by helping them to gain knowledge and skills through the cooperative training schemes. Cooperatives also serve the broader objective of reducing the desirability of war in so far as they are intended to provide a way for youth and former combatants, many of whom are eking a living in the mining pits, to take control of and improve their livelihoods. Cooperatives are not a new institution in alluvial mining in Sierra Leone. In the 1960s groups of miners organised themselves into Native Firms, the function of which, from the Government's perspective, was "to encourage members to pool resources together in order to mine systematically and efficiently, by using mechanical devices" as well as to attract some Lebanese capital away from illicit mining (Zack-Williams 1995: 158). The scheme proved successful in the early 60s but became far less significant with under 5 licences a year being granted under this scheme between 1965 and 1977 (Zack-Williams 1995: 159). In December 1973 the Co-operative Contract Mining Scheme ( C C M S ) was established (Zack-Williams 1995: 164), under which the government was to allow private mining of N D M C land in Kono. In fact the C C M S was a tool for granting favours to loyal clients and party members. It also provided a canopy for illegal activities within the lease by allowing access to it (Reno 1995: Zack-Williams 1995). The C C M S therefore contravenes I D M ' s vision for miner empowerment and the decriminalisation of the trade (Zack-Williams 1995: 164-66). Altogether, this old cooperatives scheme provides cautionary lessons in how cooperatives can become part of the very methods which produce the relations of patronage, and thus corruption, which produced the grievances that cause the war (see chapter 5). The Buying Scheme The buying scheme is working to attract international buyers to set up legitimate buying operations in Sierra Leone. The purpose is to make the legal buying market more competitive. The existence of a more competitive purchasing system wi l l enable miners to bypass the cartel of dealers and all the other 'middle-men' - the brokers, agents and coaxers - who reduce the margins and prevent their receiving a fair price. This has 3 benefits. It should decrease smuggling, as it is mostly these middlemen who are believed to be engaged in smuggling 2 4; it should ensure that diamond profits remain in the local economy rather than leaving the country; and it w i l l streamline the industry, so making it more manageable and easier to monitor. The buying scheme could be said to drive I D M . It is designed on the premise that diamond miners are motivated by a desire to make as much money as possible 2 5. If the buying scheme takes off, the miners could receive as much as 8 times what they receive currently as the prices offered to them wi l l be fixed to Interviews with Official from the Ministry of Mines, 12 th July 2004, and Frank Karefa-Smart, 21 s t July 2004. Technical adviser, email to the author, November 4 t h 2004. 35 Estelle Levin Chapter 3: The DSRP Antwerp prices . This potential to increase financial productivity wi l l increase their creditworthiness in the eyes of the R L F Lender. It also provides them with a positive incentive to export legally. It should also stimulate economic growth and combat poverty as the miners wi l l be able to pay their diggers more and it is hoped that they wi l l invest their profits in other businesses outside of the diamond industry, so creating economic opportunities for other members of Kono society 2 7. For all these reasons, the buying scheme supports the strategic themes of market liberalisation, community empowerment, miner empowerment, industry simplification and the institutionalisation of systems of discipline and surveillance. The Earth-To-Export Scheme The Earth-to-Export component of I D M is "the last mile" of the Kimberley Process as it deals with the local intricacies of monitoring and certification (MSI 2004a: 9). It is in fact the priority of I D M because it is absolutely essential in the fight against smuggling. Without the buying scheme, however, the Earth-to-Export scheme would be totally unfeasible as it is believed that miners need to be given an economic incentive to mine and market their diamonds transparently. 3.6 Conclusion The D S R P is mostly concerned with effecting changes in the structures and processes of Kono's diamond industry and the society in which it is embedded. M S I is using the legality of actions to determine access to resources and to benefits from the resources. People's ability to access the benefits from participating in the diamond industry is to be determined by the extent to which they operate within the formal sphere. Operating legally is therefore a passport to gaining access to money (through the financing scheme), social capital (as membership in a cooperative), physical capital (access to tools), natural capital (secure access to land), and human capital (access to information), all key assets for increasing the productivity of mining operations and improving the security of miners. There is much that is good about the D S R P - its efforts at participatory governance, decriminalisation, state building, and miner and community empowerment are all commendable. There are, however, some issues of concern with its priorities and presumptions in trying to apply these and the other strategies, and thus meet its objectives: 1. The programme puts decriminalisation before development. Poverty is treated as the means to maintain peace, and not an end in itself Which poor groups are being unwittingly marginalised or overlooked? 2. The programme assumes that I D M wi l l increase local prosperity. How wi l l it do this and whose prosperity wi l l it increase? 3. The programme assumes that improving industry governance wi l l make conflict less possible as it wi l l be harder to sell uncertified stones within the nation and internationally. W i l l improving industry governance as they plan also make conflict less desirable for those who could most comfortably resort once again to war? 4. The programme must work with a simplistic model of the diamond industry for the sake of practicability. Has this restricted their attendance to the causes of war and poverty? Has it also limited their ability to help the most vulnerable members of Kono society? These are some of the questions that wi l l be answered in the following chapters. 2 6 Technical adviser, email to the author, November 4 t h and 10 th 2004. 2 7 As soon as the cooperatives become sufficiently productive, MSI intends to train miners in financial management. In the first year training is going to focus on training in how to be a cooperative and to hammer home the view that stealing from the cooperative is not acceptable or beneficial. (Telephone conversation with technical adviser, 5 l h November 2004.) 36 Estelle Levin Chapter 4: War and Diamonds 4. W a r and Diamonds The D S R P is profiled as a peacebuilding intervention and so a detailed understanding of the causes of war and the role diamonds played in the war is paramount. This chapter reviews why the war happened and what diamonds had to do with it. I provide an overview of the war and the role diamonds had in causing and facilitating it before interrogating the principal narratives which have been relied upon to explain the motivations for war. I then consider how the emergence of the 'shadow state' and the 'lumpenisation' of youth created the conditions for war before reviewing the motivations of domestic, regional and international actors for facilitating, funding and fighting in the war. I conclude by considering the role diamonds played in making conflict once again desirable and feasible and by critiquing the D S R P ' s approach to building peace based on the analysis conducted in this chapter. 4.1 Chronology of the War On 23 r d March 1991 rebel soldiers launched their first attacks in the districts of Bomaru and Kailahun in eastern Sierra Leone from their bases in western Liberia (Ndumbe 2001; Abdullah 1998). Liberia had been at war for two years already owing to a rebellion by the National Patriotic Front of Liberia, led by Charles Taylor, against the tyrannical rule of President Samuel Doe. The Sierra Leonean war began with just 300' rebel fighters (comprised of Burkinabe mercenaries, on-loan fighters from the N P F L , the original junta of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) and Sierra Leonean migrant diamond miners who had jumped to the cause) and a Government army of 3,000 (Alao 1999). By 2004, two years after the war had officially concluded, 72,000 combatants from the R U F , C i v i l Defence Forces (CDF) and Sierra Leonean army had been demobilised (Pugh & Cooper 2004). The rebels called themselves the Revolutionary United Front. Their stated motivation for war was the removal of the corrupt and corpulent regime of the A l l Peoples Congress (APC) and the instatement of a democratically elected Government who would serve "a new Sierra Leone of freedom, justice and equal opportunity for a l l" (RUF 1995). The A P C had ruled the country for 23 years and at that time was under the leadership of a puppet president and former general, Joseph Momoh. Momoh fled the country on 29th Apr i l 1992 when he mistook for a coup a protest by Government soldiers protesting against lack of pay and poor conditions at the front. The protesting soldiers grasped this opportunity and set up the National Provisional Ruling Council (NPRC), under the leadership of Valentine Strasser, a young army captain who had served with E C O M O G 2 against the N P F L in Liberia. Against his original inclination, Strasser decided not to negotiate a peace deal with the R U F but to fight on. With Momoh having recruited another 9,000 soldiers to the army's ranks the state made successful military advances against the rebels in 1992 and 1993 forcing them to relinquish control of the diamondiferous district of Kono in 1992 (Reno 1998; Gberie 2002). Unfortunately for the citizens of Sierra Leone, these advances began to be compromised as poorly paid soldiers resorted to banditry and officers mobilised their troops to mine diamonds instead of fighting the enemy. Government soldiers soon began to resemble the rebels in their behaviour and activities, including human rights abuses, and even began to collude with them, which led to their being branding as sobels, or soldier-rebels (Reno 1998; Alao 1999; Kandeh 2002). B y 1994, the rebels moved away from strategies of conventional warfare to guerrilla and terror tactics. With the Republic of Sierra Leone Military Forces ( R S L M F ) distracted by diamonds and factional disputes, the R U F made concerted territorial and economic advances (Reno 1998). In late 1994 they kidnapped workers from foreign-owned rutile and bauxite mines. Both companies shut down operations in response, depriving the Government of 15% of its already paltry G N P (Reno 1998). B y this stage the state was practically barren economically. Military expenditure was consuming 75% of state spending and domestic revenues totalled a measly $60million in 1994-4. Structural reforms imposed by I M F and 1 Conflicting numbers. J. L. Hirsh (2001) says 300 fighters; Richards (2001) says 100. 2 Economic Community of West African States Cease-Fire Monitoring Group 37 Estelle Levin Chapter 4: War and Diamonds World Bank loan conditions and years of kleptocracy and corruption had whittled away state capacity to defend and serve the basic needs of the people. Sierra Leone was a failed state (cf. Reno 1995). B y 1995 the R U F had once again taken Kono and was threatening the seat of Government, having approached to within 20 miles of the capital. In early 1995 the N P R C employed Gurkha Security Guards Ltd. to recapture the key sites of resource (and revenue) production. With their leader killed, the Gurkhas left and were replaced in May 1995 by Executive Outcomes (EO), a private security company derived from an anti-apartheid division of South Africa's army (cf. Reno 1998, Smillie et. al 2000, Cilliers & Mason 1999). In exchange for this service the Government entered into an $80 million joint venture project which allowed Branch Energy, a company affiliated with E O , to begin kimberlite mining operations in areas conquered and policed by E O 3 (Reno 1998). With just a couple of hundred men, E O worked swiftly and effectively, pushing back the rebels from the capital within the first week, taking control of the rutile and bauxite mines by Apr i l and reconquering the diamond mining areas in July and August (Adebajo 2002; Reno 1998). E O also helped train up the C i v i l Defence Forces (CDF), which had begun providing local defence in the earliest days of the war and who proved a formidable enemy against the R U F (Muana 1997). They had emerged out of the poro secret societies and thus were organised ethnically, mostly comprising Mende hunter-warriors - Kamajoisa4 - from the southern and eastern provinces, though Konos formed similar groups5. In January 1996 Brigadier-General Julius Maada Bio orchestrated a palace coup to overthrow Strasser who had reneged on a pledge not to run for president in the forthcoming elections, even though he was constitutionally ineligible (Pugh & Cooper 2004). The R U F was invited to participate in the elections though they refused. They launched a campaign of terrorism and mutilation against rural villages, amputating people and symbolically sending bags of hands to State House in Freetown to protest against the election. Despite these atrocities, elections were held in February even though parts of the north and east were too unstable to participate (Adebajo 2002). The Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP) was instated under the leadership of Ahmed Tejan Kabbah 6 . Kabbah inherited a state devoid of revenue, financial reserves and a loyal army. In his first 10 months in office there were three coup attempts (Adebajo 2002). Despite these severe setbacks and although the'RUF did not recognise the newly elected Government, Cote d'lvoire managed to broker a peace deal between the R U F and the state of Sierra Leone (Abdullah 1998). Signed on 30 t h November 1996, the Abidjan Accord called for the establishment of neutral peacekeeping forces, the withdrawal of E O and the repatriation of all foreign troops from Sierra Leone (Adebajo 2002). The U N peacekeeping force did not materialise as member states were more wil l ing to fund peacekeeping in the Balkans than in West Africa. Instead the Nigerian contingent and the Kamajoisa took on more prominent roles in state defence once E O was expelled in January 1997. This left the R S L M F sidelined and bitter. At the same time there was a split within the R U F between the educated and war-weary who were ready for peace, and those battle-group commanders and lumpens (see below) for whom peace had less purchase than war (Abdullah 1998). On 12 t h March 1997 Foday Sankoh was arrested in Nigeria where he had reportedly gone to negotiate an arms deal (Sierra Leone News Archives 1997; Adebajo 2002). Three days later he was expelled from the R U F and a press statement was released accusing him of obstructing the peace process (Abdullah 1998). On the 29 t h March the members of the R U F who had issued this statement were abducted by a faction still loyal to Sankoh; they are presumed dead (Sierra Leone News Archives 1997; Abdullah 1998). Though these operations were interrupted later on in the war, Branch Energy is now operating as Koidu Holdings, a subsidiary of DiamondWorks, which is a Canadian mining company. Their concessions in Koidu and Tongo are estimated to total over 10 million carats (Gberie 2003). 4 Kamajoi is the Mende word for 'expert hunter' (Archibald & Richards 2002). Cf. Patrick Muana for a detailed cultural description of the Kamajoisa and their role in the Sierra Leonean conflict (1997). 5 Interview with Mary Musa, 23 r d July 2004. 6 Traditionally the SLPP is the more right wing of the country's principal parties, tending to represent the interests of the predominantly Mende South and of the middle classes. 38 Estelle Levin Chapter 4: War and Diamonds In September 1996 a captured R U F commander stated that the rebels were then at peace with the army, their joint enemy being the C D F , E C O M O G and E O . After the bloody coup of 25th May 1997, the R S L M F invited the R U F to join them in government as the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council ( A F R C ) with Sankoh as second man to Major Johnny Paul Koroma (Abdullah 1998). The C D F and E C O M O G became the official enemies of the state, as they maintained loyalty to the exiled Government. It was at this stage that the war really began, according to some miners and diggers interviewed in Kono, many of whom, like their exiled president, fled to Guinea at this stage. The A F R C was condemned domestically and internationally (Adebajo 2002; Abdullah 1998). On top of their political illegitimacy, they wreaked havoc within the country committing widespread atrocities, including murder, torture, looting, and rape (Smillie et al. 2000). On 8 t h August 1997 the U N imposed an oi l , arms, and travel embargo on Sierra Leone (Ndumbe 2001). Pressure by E C O W A S resulted in the Conakry Agreement of 23 r d October 1997, which decreed that Kabbah would be reinstated by 22 n d Apr i l 1998 (Adebajo 2002). The A F R C showed no wi l l to enforce this, however. In February 1998, fierce fighting broke out between the Nigerian contingent of the newly-named E C O M O G II and the A F R C (cf. Adebajo 2002). The sobels and rebels were forced out of Freetown, but not without significant losses on both sides as well as a large number of civilian casualties and general widespread destruction (Campbell 2004). The elected Government was restored on March 10 t h 1998 and the war continued in the countryside with the R U F and A F R C following a programme of systematic violence under the protocols of 'Operation No Liv ing Thing' and 'Operation Pay Yourself (Adebajo 2002; Human Rights Watch 1998). In March 1998 the U N embargo was lifted and in July the U N Security Council committed sixty-one independent observers to the peacekeeping effort as the U N Observer Mission in Sierra Leone ( U N O M S I L ) (cf. Ndumbe 2001). On 6 January 1999 the rebels invaded Freetown and held the city for six weeks until they were forced to withdraw by concerted action by Nigerian troops. More than 3,000 civilians died. Tense from the high level of casualties amongst their own ranks, some Nigerian forces committed human rights abuses against rebel suspects and sympathizers (Adebajo 2002). In May 1999 a cease-fire agreement was signed followed by the controversial Lome Accord in July. In September 1999 Management Systems International was invited by U S A I D to help establish the Strategic Mineral Resources Commission, of which Sankoh was to be chairman 7. The accord also stipulated that Sankoh should be vice-president, that another 13,000 peacekeepers would be deployed as the U N Mission in Sierra Leone ( U N A M S I L ) , and that an amnesty was to be provided for war crimes, despite the horrific abuses that had been committed during the war 8 (Pugh & Cooper 2004; cf. Adebajo 2002). Despite these political and economic advances and the fact that demobilisation had begun in 1998, the R U F was unwilling to relinquish control of the diamondiferous areas to the Government (Fanthorpe 2003; Pugh & Cooper 2004). Following the kidnapping of 500 peacekeepers by the R U F in May 2000, the British Government committed 700 combat forces to Freetown (J. L . Hirsch 2001). The presence of the British and the build-up of U N A M S I L troops created the pressure necessary to push the R U F towards a more consolidated peace. In November 2000 the Abuja cease-fire agreement was signed, followed by a more formal agreement in May 2001. In June 2001 a large Pakistani force was deployed in Kono, making it possible for many displaced people to at last return home. On 18 t h January 2002 the President formally declared peace. Elections were held in May, reinstating Kabbah's SLPP Government for four more years. 7 Email from and telephone conversation with Mark Renzi, 4 t h and 5 t h November 2004. Over the course of the war over 75,000 people were killed, over 10,000 suffered amputations, over 5,000 children were forced into combat, forced labour or sexual slavery, up to 2 million people were displaced internally or forced into refuge in Guinea and Liberia, and thousands of 1000s women and girls suffered widespread and systematic sexual violence. Additionally, the RUF used civilians as 'mules' for transporting the ammunition and supplies they traded for diamonds and as slaves in the diamond mines ('manpower') and on rice farms. Many of these people died of starvation and exhaustion (Muana 1997). Besides these human rights abuses inflicted on the civilian populations, numerous war crimes were committed between the various factions (, 39 Estelle Levin Chapter 4: War and Diamonds 4.2 The rationale behind the Sierra Leonean war The principal debates which have circulated in reference to the rationales behind the Sierra Leonean war have revolved around the issues of barbarism (Kaplan 1994; Bangura 1997, Kandeh 2002, Opala 1998, Richards 2002), greed versus grievance (Berdal & Malone 2000, Collier & Hoeffler 2002, Smillie et al. 2000, Keen 2002, Archibald & Richards 2002), and ethnic hatred (Ndumbe 2001, Alao 1999). These explanations are inadequate to capture the full meaning of what went on in Sierra Leone because they obfuscate more nuanced explanations of people's motivations according to their rank and role in the war and are insensitive to and dismissive of people's real motivations for putting their lives on the line and hurting other people (cf. Pugh & Cooper 2004; Abdullah 2004; Archibald & Richards 2002). Furthermore, the accusations of greed and barbarism impute 'bad character' and so situate the motivations for violence inside the character of the African and outside of geography and history. Such essentialism and intimation of African exceptionality serves to continue the long history of othering African experiences of violence. It also tends to ignore European and western responsibility in these crises and omits the West's own internal history of greed and barbarism. O f most relevance, though, to peacebuilding efforts in Sierra Leone, is that such allegations make it harder for former combatants to find an unbiased and listening ear into which they might protest their own truths and be taken seriously. These theories silence dissenting voices. Many joined the R U F so that at last they might have political and economic inclusion and the possibility of improving their lives. If we do not give credence to the motivations for war as enunciated by the very people who took up arms and those who suffered their anger then we are committing the same crime of exclusion as the authorities who gave them cause to fight in the first place. Besides these essentialist explanations there are several far more plausible analyses of the rationale behind the war (cf. Richards 1996, Reno 1998, Abdullah 1998, 2004, Kandeh 2002, Bangura 1997). Here I review how domestic actors' motivations to wage war were produced by changes in the political economy and sociology of Sierra Leone by processes of economic and political informalisation and social lumpenisation. 4.2.1 The informalisation of politics and economy in Sierra Leone: the emergence of the 'shadow state' Political scientist W i l l Reno has done the most comprehensive study of the political and economic forces which led to state collapse and war in Sierra Leone in his detailed work Corruption and State Politics in Sierra Leone (1995; see also Opala 1998). In this seminal work he describes and explains how, since the achievement of independence in 1961, changes in Sierra Leone's political economy have involved the gradual displacement of political authority and sovereignty9 from the formal state to what he terms the 'shadow state'. Based on further analysis in his book Warlord Politics and African states, this transition could be described typologically as a transformation from postcolonial state to quasi-state to weak-state to failed-state and warlord political economies (Reno 1998) 1 0. When the British handed over authority of Sierra Leone to the postcolonial Government of Mil ton Margai in 1961, Sierra Leone was one of the most developed nations in Africa. Within just 30 years the state had collapsed and the country was at war. The attrition o f the state escalated to near completion under the rule of Siaka Stevens (1968 - 1985). Stevens pursued political entrenchment through the manipulation of state Sovereignty is the monopoly over violence and social discipline. See also Sidaway 2003. 1 0 Reno uses a Weberian typology to help explain the collapse of the state and emergence of the shadow state (1995, 1998).. During the Cold War and especially in the 1960s and 70s Sierra Leone had the status of the 'quasi-state', as its state capacity was maintained through external patronage from other states in return for political and economic allegiance. In the 1980s Sierra Leone became a 'weak state' as its capacity to govern was maintained by investment from international donors and foreign companies through the privatisation of state functions. Like the quasi-state, the weak state has de jure sovereignty but cannot exercise this sovereignty. Sierra Leone became a failed state during the war in the 1990s because it could not protect itself from internal challenges without enlisting external help in the form of foreign military intervention (ECOMOG, UK), foreign firms (privatisation of security and other state functions) and foreign aid and loans. 40 Estelle Levin Chapter 4: War and Diamonds functions, the exploitation of state resources, and the pursuit of economic accumulation. He set the trend for elites to defend their authority using techniques of patronage and patrimony rather than through the solicitation of popular approval (Reno 1998)". Access to state resources brought money and money brought power as with money one could elicit favours from superiors (bribery) and loyalty from dependents. In the early years of his reign, Stevens centralised power in Freetown and restructured the state to increase the dependency of local authorities on State House. His patronage networks ran all the way from Freetown to the tiniest villages throughout Sierra Leone. Although Sierra Leone has rich deposits of bauxite, rutile and gold, the diamond industry came to be central to Stevens' patronage system (see chapter 5). In 1971 he announced the formation of the National Diamond Mining Company ( N D M C ) , which effectively nationalised the De Beers-owned Sierra Leone Selection Trust (SLST) and allowed the Prime Minister greater control over the direction of the company as well as its revenues (Smillie et. al. 2000). In the early 1970s he seized the opportunity to wrest control of the illicit diamond economy from rival officials and strongmen, in order to deprive them of "a major source of revenue and influence" and quell the potential for populism and political competition in Kono (Reno 1995). In this way power was further centralised in Freetown as he and his cronies became the "landlords" providing protection to miners and dealers and thus the recipients of diamond profits in return. Significantly, just as his colonial predecessors had done, Stevens purposefully sought to disempower an emerging class of African entrepreneurs who he feared might have used their growing wealth to "give voice to popular anger" (Reno 1995: 132). For this reason he consolidated control of the diamond industry in the hands of the Lebanese and encouraged discrimination against indigenes in the allocation of dealing licences. A n increasingly impoverished and frustrated population was kept politically silenced by economic exclusion and oppression. Stevens' kleptocratic elite bled the state dry and crippled its capacity to perform its duties to the population. Social security became informalised as the state became an instrument of personal accumulation for a repressive and corrupt elite rather than a means of protection for the citizenry, who came to depend even more on patrimony and patronage for support and security. With money increasingly at the centre of political influence, rival strongmen competed for political position through the manipulation of markets in order to prevent their competitors from accumulating capital (Reno 1995; 1998). As competition became fiercer, the unpredictability of "informal costs" ('hand-shakes', 'palm-greasing') and the risk of confiscation of property by "unruly politicians" heightened the stakes (Reno 1998: 24). Uncertainty compelled strongmen to invest in private militias of youth thugs to protect their commercial interests, discipline the competition and pursue their ambitions (Reno 1995; 1998). The economy became grafted to political ends as the market replaced the ballot box as the site of political contestation1 2. With the locus of economic opportunity and political contestation removed from the formal state to the market, that which was to be ruled was commerce, not territory. It was with this attrition of the formal state and the transfer of sovereignty to the informal political economy through processes of patronage, the privatisation of violence, and the militarisation of commerce that Reno's 'shadow state' emerged. As the formal state crumbled and the shadow state became entrenched, the political elites of Sierra Leone compromised long term social interests in order to handle immediate, personal, political crisis. Social development was removed from the political agenda and society became increasingly disenfranchised from the state. B y the time Stevens handed over formal power to Joseph Momoh in 1985 his personal fortune amounted to US$500million (Reno 1998) whilst about just 60,000 of the country's 3.5 million people were in paid employment (Abdullah 1998). 1 1 Indeed, Stevens' government actively discouraged social mobilisation and popular participation in politics through the use of brute force and economic marginalisation and the creation of a one-party state (Adebajo 2002; Reno 1995; Abdullah 1998). 12 This logic of market intervention and manipulation for political ends is not unique to Africa, as Reno shows in his depiction of anti-competitive behaviour in Japan and the US. This counters the view that African politics is a "theatre of the absurd" (Watts 2003) to be held up as askew of the norm, but is a rational manifestation of peripheral elites' strategies for coping with and taking advantage of changes in national and international political economies. 41 Estelle Levin Chapter 4: War and Diamonds For the first ten years or so of Stevens' reign, the country's patronage networks were kept lubricated by the diversion of money from state coffers into private hands and increasing private revenue from diamond mining, marketing and exportation (see chapter 5). This system of patronage and patrimony was sustained so long as external revenues could be brought into the system. B y the 1980s, however, state resources were beginning to shrivel up in response to shrinking aid budgets as the Cold War dwindled, declining revenues from legal diamond mining and other formal economic activities, the incapacitation of ordinary state functions, and economic homogenisation around informal diamond production and marketing (Archibald & Richards 2002, Reno 1995). C i v i l servants began to be paid in rice in 1982 and rice became the currency of influence where cash was scarce. The system became bottom-heavy with more people needing support than those able to give support. The local elite (chiefs, elders, and Government officials) resorted to rent-seeking as a matter of political survival. Whereas money had brought power previously, now power was used to extort money. The authorities began their • predation of the increasingly impoverished and expanding masses. Instead of flowing from top to bottom, money now flowed up the chain. Cash-strapped chiefs and local authorities laid arbitrary charges against youths in return for fines (Archibald & Richards 2002). Government positions "came to be structured by the requirements of a tribute mode of expropriation" as Government officials paid for the privilege of political position which they could use to extort bribes and rents (Kandeh 2002: 181). Society became elusive to the state in response to its increasing predation and diminishing capacity to offer social security and the provision of justice (Reno 1998: 37). Economic contraction, political alienation, and a lack of educational opportunities increased people's exposure to risk and extinguished the opportunities of youth to improve their lot. Put simply, the poor became poorer and more people became poor. The system began to crumble, culminating in a general crisis of social security and the creation of mass dissatisfaction and desire for change (Archibald & Richards 2002). In this climate of intensifying insecurity, patrimonial dependency, escalating violence, political alienation and economic decline some people began seeking political alternatives. But alternatives were not permitted. The A l l Peoples Congress created a de facto one party state by 1973 and de jure one party state by 1978 and violently oppressed any political opposition (Adebajo 2002; Abdullah 1998; Reno 1995; Kandeh 2002). B y the time the war began in 1991 the A P C had headed the country for 23 years. It was this rotten Government and the "glaring absence of a radical post-colonial alternative" which led some to believe that war was the best option for change (Abdullah 1998: 204). 4.2.2 The Lumpenisation and radicalisation of youth Sierra Leonean scholars Ibrahim Abdullah (1998) and Jimmy Kandeh (2002) set out how .the consolidation of sovereignty in the informal political economy led to the massification and lumpenisation of youths in Sierra Leonean society. Abdullah credits the "'revolution' in the hinterland (i.e. the R U F ) and the one in the city (i.e. the N P R C and later A F R C ) " to this "lumpen culture and youth resistance" (1998: 204). Kandeh argues that it was the lumpenisation of youth which gave the war its multiple logics of political violence, banditry, hedonism and brutality as "lumpenised youth are inherently prone to criminal adventurism" given their status as "socially uprooted, chronically impoverished and politically alienated" (2002: 179). Lumpenisation is the process by which mass society takes on the character of the lumpenproletariat, defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "the lowest and most degraded section" of society; "the 'down and outs'" (OED online). In Sierra Leone in the 1980s, to be lumpen meant to be 'footloose', to be a sub-citizen, excluded from the networks of patronage which provide social security and economic opportunity and convicted to a life of opportunism eking a meagre existence either in the diamond pits or exploiting the legal and illegal possibilities presented by a life on the streets (Richards 1999). According to Abdullah, Sierra Leone's "lumpens" are "largely unemployed and unemployable youths, mostly male, who live by their wits or who have one foot in what is generally referred to as the informal or underground economy. They are prone to criminal behaviour, petty theft, drugs, drunkenness and gross indiscipline." (1998: 207-8) Lumpens are not particular to Sierra Leone but are present in many African 42 Estelle Levin Chapter 4: War and Diamonds countries, such as Uganda, Algeria and Nigeria, where they also form an "oppositional culture" prone to violence (p. 208). In Sierra Leone lumpenisation was a product of political alienation and the exclusion of the majority from the means of social improvement - access to education and employment. The worst affected were women and youth (Archibald & Richards 2002) but it was youth who eventually pursued change through armed rebellion. Abdullah (1998) gives an overview of the political context which led to youth lumpenisation and radicalisation in Freetown and the provincial towns and the eventual talk of armed rebellion and formation of the leading junta of the R U F . Richards reviews how youth alienation led to lumpenisation in the provinces and created a suite of "lost souls" who ended up as diamond diggers and eventually jumped to the cause of the rebel forces (1999, 2001; also Archibald and Richards 2002). Jimmy Kandeh (2002) explores how the lumpenisation of youth led to the criminalisation of government (NPRC and A F R C ) and the 'sobelisation' of the army in the 1990s. In all cases the causes of lumpenisation were the same. Firstly youths came to equate political domination with violence and thuggery as their principal role in politics had been to do the dirty work for politicians during elections and other crises (Kandeh 2002, Abdullah 1998, Reno 1995). Secondly, youths were alienated from the centre of political decision-making in line with customary tradition of deference to elders and purposeful exclusion by the party (Abdullah 1998; Archibald & Richards 2002). Thirdly, chiefs and elders exploited this hierarchy to arbitrarily expropriate money and resources from youths who had no recourse to protest except through a local system of customary justice which many considered to be "expensive, unpredictable and open to bribery" (Archibald & Richards 2002: 344). Often youths chose to flee the village preferring to be excommunicated than the victim of injustice (Archibald & Richards 2002). Fourthly, rights, including access to education and employment, were afforded only to those with contacts or money 1 3 . Kandeh sums the situation up: "It was quite common ... for students who were admitted to Fourah Bay College to be denied scholarships while those receiving Government scholarships failed to gain admission. This anomaly ... expressed precisely the sort of injustices that alienated the vast majority of Sierra Leonean youth, many of whom lacked the means and political connections to pursue their education. Worse still was the fact that those who made it through college could not find employment after graduation and those who found jobs were seldom paid, i f at a l l " (2002: 185). Lumpen youths found unity in their exclusion in illegal diamond mining camps in the bush and in the potes of Freetown and the provincial towns. The pote was a site "of relaxation for unemployed youths" as well as "a cultural/leisure space constructed around the odelay (masquerade)" (Abdullah 1998: 208). Abdullah goes on: "They were known for their anti-social culture: gambling, drugs petty theft and violence ... they were seen as a good-for-nothing bunch, best avoided" (p. 208). The potes soon began to attract middle-class teenagers "who transformed the culture as well as the nature of the pote from an area for social misfits into one of political socialisation" (p. 209). Soon a veritable counter-culture had emerged, moulded around drugs, reggae, and radical politics and with the courage to mount protests against an increasingly authoritarian Government. B y the 1980s the potes involved university students who were well respected by their younger 'brothers'. In time these students had become "the most articulate group to oppose the A P C ... and call for radical change" (Abdullah 1998: 209-210). With economic recession the lumpenproletariat swelled and subaltern leftist discourse in the potes turned to talk of revolution and armed insurgency. It was at this time that Sierra Leonean youths developed an interest in Colonel Mummar Qadaffi's Green Book and his ideology of pan-Africanism. Students travelled to Libya to attend the annual Green Book celebration, to participate in the Libyan Arab Jama'riyya and eventually, in 1987 and 1988 to engage in military training. Amongst those who went to Benghazi were Foday Sankoh, Abu Kanu and Rashid Mansaray, who came to be the triumvirate leaders of the R U F (Abdullah 1998). 1 3 In the late 1980s, Momoh even declared that education is a privilege, not a right (Kandeh 2002, Richards 1996b) 43 Estelle Levin Chapter 4: War and Diamonds 4.3 Motivations for War Here I review the motivations of the main protagonists and facilitators to war; I shall only touch on the motivations of the defence forces. 4.3.1 'From Mats to Mattresses'14: Motivations of the domestic Fighters The most in-depth accounts as to the motivations of the leaders and conscripts of recruits to the various factions which fought in the war are provided by Richards (1996, 1996, 2001, 2002), Archibald & Richards (2002), Peters and Richards (1998), Abdullah (1998, 2004), and Kandeh (2002). I deal principally with the motives behind the R U F invasion as they were the main protagonists in the war. Motivations of the RUF When the R U F invaded Sierra Leone from Liberia on 23 r d March 1991 it comprised about 300 people, including Burkinabe mercenaries, members of Charles Taylor's National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) (P. Hirsch 2001). The Sierra Leoneans who took part were mostly lumpens, who had been trained in Libya or were resident in Liberia (Abdullah 1998, Richards 19999). Some already had military experience fighting with the N P F L . Many of the original revolutionaries who had gone to Libya for military and ideological training did not form part of the R U F although Sankoh, Mansaray and Kanu came to them in a recruitment drive a week prior to the invasion (Abdullah 1998). According to Al ie Kabba, a long-time Sierra Leonean revolutionary, a split in opinion whilst in Libya meant that "the wrong individuals" led the movement to battle, meaning those individuals who were motivated more by a vengeful and prejudicially-determined militarism than by an aspiration for democratic revolution (Abdullah 1998: 19). Foday Sankoh began as spokesperson of the R U F and soon emerged as its leader. Kanu and Mansaray were executed by the R U F in 1992 for trumped-up charges of "failure to follow instructions" and "conniving with the enemy", and "failure to defend a strategic position against the enemy" (Abdullah 1998: 226). Both leaders were opposed to the random violence being committed by R U F forces and were dedicated to popularising the movement's ideology and political purpose (Abdullah 1998). According to John Hirsch Sankoh was "thirsting for revenge" against the A P C Government in reaction to his imprisonment for treason in 1977 (2001: 150). Although revenge was one factor impelling Sankoh towards armed rebellion, once he did obtain a government seat in 1997, his behaviour mimicked that of the corrupt Government officials he had set out to remove. This allegation comes from the U N Expert Panel who, based on evidence from a correspondence file from his office, characterised Sankoh as "a double dealing Leader, clutching at financial opportunities for personal and political gain, outside of the governmental framework in which he was ostensibly working. Much of this related to the diamond trade" ( U N 2000, see also Perez 2000). It seems then that Sankoh was driven more by self-interest than revolutionary spirit. Certainly the R U F ' s ideology was crude (Ndumbe 2001) and the movement rid itself of its intellectual elements when it executed Kanu and Mansaray (Abdullah 1998). Abdullah rightly begs the question "How revolutionary is a revolutionary movement which slaughters and terrorises the very people it claims to be liberating?" (1998: 222). Ndumbe argues that the atrocities committed by the R U F were "tactics" intended "to terrorize civilians to demonstrate the failure of the national government to protect its citizens" (2001: 94). Richards (1996b) similarly asserts that the intended programme of the R U F was rural destabilisation as a strategy to delegitimise central Government. It appears, therefore, that the R U F junta were inspired to take up arms against the A P C kleptocracy more in pursuit of revenge for social exploitation and alienation than for liberation. To some degree, they were simply motivated by hatred. Some conscripts also saw the R U F as an opportunity for revenge against those who had treated them unjustly in the past. In the early days of the war the rebels hunted down and killed chiefs, court chairmen This phrase was given to me as an explanation for the war by a long-standing and well-respected member of the • diamond community, who now acts as a consultant to USAID's DIPAM project in Sierra Leone. 44 Estelle Levin Chapter. 4: War and Diamonds and other Government officials (Archibald & Richards 2002; Muana 1997). Some, who conscripted to the R U F voluntarily, or who embraced the ideals of the movement once they had been abducted into it, did so for ideological reasons. Still others joined in the spirit of opportunism. Ultimately, for most fighting for the R U F was a way out of a sorry existence. It offered a chance to improve their lot either immediately, by having access to education and basic consumables in the R U F camps (Richards 1996: 28-9), or in the long-term, by fighting for a more just system which would offer them greater political and economic inclusion. Many of those who chose to join the R U F were lumpens had worked as illegal diamond miners in the bush. The mining camps offered a chance of re-inclusion with the possibility of social reacceptance embodied in that big diamond hidden somewhere in the earth. These lumpen diamond diggers existed outside of society and yet were central to that society's order. Their labour produced the money which their 'supporters', often political figures or their clients, used to maintain the very patronage system which had brought about their alienation and insecurity (Richards 1996, 1999, 2001). They were the victims and the creators of their own victimisation, doubly alienated from society as well as their own labour. The irony of this 'inclusion by exclusion' was not lost on them and gave some cause to join the R U F when they first raised their banners (Richards 1999, 2001). Besides these 'footloose' youths, who had become aggrieved at having been "recategorised by society-at-large as lumpens, monsters, lost souls" (Archibald & Richards 2002: 351), the R U F was also populated with abductees. Some of these abductees were' used as 'manpower' to mine diamonds or as mules to transport diamonds to the Liberian border and arms back (Campbell 2004) Others were children who were abducted to fight. Their allegiance was induced by imposing drug addictions or homelessness upon them 1 5 (Muana 1997; Richards 2001). Children and youths were made homeless and lumpen the moment they chose to amputate or k i l l a member of their family or village rather than being mutilated or executed themselves 1 6. This "shared legacy of 'homelessness'" was a unifying feature in the R U F as those with families and villages were always eager to escape (Richards 2001: 79). The role of 'lumpens' in other factions After the R U F invasion, the Republic of Sierra Leone Military Force ( R S L M F ) swelled its ranks so that by 1994 it had increased from 3,000 soldiers to 14,000 (Reno 1998). Some of these recruits were motivated to join more by feelings of revenge or patriotism (to village or country) than economic gain (Peters & Richards 1998; Muana 1997). For others joining the fight was sheer survivalism in the face of extremely limited options (Peters & Richards 1998). Many of these new cadres were lumpens with backgrounds similar to those in the R U F . The military provided opportunities for economic gain when combatants were sent to liberate the diamond mining areas or to conduct mining on behalf of superior officers (Alao 1999). It also provided a measly (and just occasional) salary of $12/month, inferior weapons and inadequate ammunition (Alao 1999; Opala 1998). Unsurprisingly their priorities did not always put 'the cause' first. A n A K 4 7 and a uniform could go a long way to command respect, food and cash (Peters & Richards 2000). Soon it transpired that Government soldiers were using their resources to engage in personal artisanal mining projects. Chi ld soldiers were terrorising civilians, high on drugs and the thrill of looting and raping (Peters & Richards 2000). Others were colluding with the R U F to exchange their uniforms and weapons for diamonds and food (Alao 1999). They came to be called 'sobels': soldiers by day, rebels by night, changing their allegiance as it suited them (Adebajo 2002; Kandeh 2002). It was just such 'sobels' who led the 1997 coup against the new, democratically-elected Government, and invited the R U F to share power as part of the A F R C . 1 5 Drug abuse was commonplace (and occasionally compulsory) amongst the various factions. One boy I met in Koidu had served as a child soldier. He is now about 8 years old and habitually uses 'brown-brown' (crack-cocaine) and marijuana. He had been living on the streets until he was recently taken in, along with about 30 other boys, by Braveheart Mining Cooperative. 1 6 This "inductive violence" was a tactic of RENAMO in Mozambique. 45 Estelle Levin Chapter 4: War and Diamonds The sobel coup was partly the response of a dejected military to the transfer of responsibility for the state's defence from the corrupted Government army to the newly formed C i v i l Defence Forces (CDF). Disillusioned with the sobelisation of the army, this "semi-official 'ethnic' militia" had emerged as the principal defenders of the rural provinces, especially in the South and East. They adapted the hunting and warrior techniques traditional to their male secret societies to the task of rural defence (Archibald & Richards 2002; cf. Muana 1997). C i v i l defence began in the very earliest stages of the war with the emergence of local vigilantes, who defended the Segbwema sector (eastern province) in 1991-2, and the Tamaboro of Koinadugu District (northern province), who proved significant in defending Kailahun district (Muana 1997). B y far the largest and most important contingent came to be the Kamajoisa, who hail from the South of the country (Human Rights Watch 2000). Many who joined their ranks were rural youths, who had suffered similar experiences of exclusion and alienation as their R U F enemy. The C D F offered social status, opportunities for economic gain and potential for revenge for those who had suffered family losses and abuses at the hands of the R U F . Despite their popular position as 'the good guys' in the c iv i l war, the C D F committed atrocities and war crimes similar to those of the R S L M F and the R U F . Like these other factions, they had thousands of child soldiers in their ranks, they conducted looting raids and retaliatory raids in which civilians were killed, they committed acts of cannibalism, torture and rape, they prevented aid from reaching civilians, and they routinely executed R U F and A F R C prisoners, as well as suspected collaborators and sympathisers (Human Rights Watch 1998; 2004c; Muana 1997). 4.3.2 Regional and International Actors: Motivations of the facilitators Charles Taylor was central to the feasibility of war in Sierra Leone (Reno 1998, Alao 1999, Gberie 2002, 2003, Pugh & Cooper 2004, Smillie et al. 2000, Silberfein 2004). Taylor's principal role was in the provision of military and financial support to the R U F . He provided the R U F with fighting experience in his rebellion in Liberia from 1989 onwards. He then provided a team of Liberian mercenaries who helped the R U F in their initial invasion of Sierra Leone on the 23 r d March, 1991. He allowed the R U F refuge in the western forests of Liberia. Most importantly, however, he bought diamonds from the R U F in exchange for much needed arms and supplies (Smillie et. al 2000) I 7 . Indeed, Gberie goes so far as to say that "the R U F was little more than a murderous diamond mining machine, managed at a distance by Charles Taylor" (2002, p.3). His motivations for supporting the R U F included the desire to: 1. force the withdrawal of Sierra Leonean troops from the Economic Community of West African States Cease-Fire Monitoring Group ( E C O M O G ) peacekeeping forces in Liberia (Pugh & Cooper 2004); 2. force the withdrawal of Sierra Leonean support for the Nigerian contingent of E C O M O G and avenge this support 1 8 (Alao 1999, Pugh & Cooper 2004); 3. avenge Momoh for having prohibited him (Taylor) the use of the country to launch his rebellion in Liberia in 1989 (Alao 1999); 4. repay the R U F for their assistance in fighting his battles in Liberia in 1990; 5. install his R U F allies in power (Pugh & Cooper 2004); 6. capture revenue from the Sierra Leonean diamond industry in order to widen and fund his own patronage networks (Alao 1999; Reno 1995); and 7. "pander to the historical sentiments strong among most Liberians that (Sierra Leonean) territories lost during colonialism should be reincorporated into what they saw as 'Greater Liber ia '" (Alao 1999: 49; cf. Reno 1995, Gberie 2002, 2003) 1 7 An artisanal diamond digger interviewee told me he had witnessed Taylor receiving diamonds in Tomboudu, Kono district. According to him Taylor made frequent visits to this area in the late 1990s. Interview 23, 16th July 2004. 1 8 Momoh had allowed Nigeria to use Sierra Leone as its staging post for intervention in the Liberian conflict in 1990 and thenceforth as its rear base for its soldiers in Nigeria (Pugh & Cooper 2004, :94) 46 Estelle Levin Chapter 4: War and Diamonds Charles Taylor has been indicted by the Special Court for Sierra Leone on 17 counts for crimes against humanity "and other serious violations of international humanitarian law" (Human Rights Watch 2004a: 11) including his role in "contributing to the death, rape, abduction, and mutilation of thousands of civilians during Sierra Leone's civi l war" (Human Rights Watch 2004b). He remains in exile in Nigeria despite calls by numerous Sierra Leonean and international individuals and organisations, including the Special Court, for Odebajo, the Nigerian president, to hand him over to the Sierra Leonean authorities (Human Rights Watch 2004a). Other facilitators of the war include Colonel Mummar Qadaffi of Libya who provided training, arms and ammunition for Taylor and Sankoh in the 1980s as part of his pan-African resistance to western domination (Abdullah 1998, Richards 1996, J.L. Hirsch 2001). Other heads of state implicated include Blaise Campaore, president of Burkina Faso, who met with Charles Taylor and R U F members on 5 t h June 2000 ( B B C 2000). During the war Burkina Faso had acted as a staging post for R U F weapons supply into Sierra Leone and diamond smuggling out (Traynor 2001). In one incident on 13 t h March 1999 a shipment of 68 tons of weapons arrived at Ougadougou from the Ukraine and were later shipped to Sierra Leone through Liberia ( U N 2000 § 21). Soldiers and mercenaries from Burkina Faso had also fought alongside the R U F (Smillie et al. 2000). Also implicated in facilitating the R U F were international criminals (Leonid Min in of Ukraine, Yair Kle in of Israel, Colonel Fred Rindle of South Africa, and Nico Shefer of Ecuador), mercenaries from Ukraine, and international terrorists involved in A l Qaeda (Smillie et al. 2000, Global Witness 2003). 4.4 What did the war have to do with diamonds? The existence of high amounts of high quality, easily-accessible diamonds in Sierra Leone helped create the conditions for war. The diamond industry was a central aspect of political elites' ability to maintain their social position. In the 1960s and early 1970s diamonds provided substantial state revenues which were mostly used to satisfy the personal ambitions and patrimonial obligations of corrupt Government officials and politicians rather than the needs of the country. The diamond industry was also crucial in the attraction of foreign investors, development aid, and loans from international financial institutions. These investments were used as political and economic weapons to disempower competing big-men (Reno 1995, 1998; Pugh & Cooper 2004). Over time the kleptocracy of the elite, the pervasiveness of state corruption, and the privatisation of violence and social security led to the delegitimsation of the state and collapse of state sovereignty. Through these processes sovereignty passed to the informal political economy. Since the 1950s diamonds had been mined illegally by tens of thousands of artisanal miners and then smuggled into neighbouring Liberia where a dollar economy and lower export taxes made it a more favourable market. Once the A P C came into power in 1968 these gangs came to be funded by political elites and Lebanese merchants under their authority. Diamonds were used to raise the capital with which the elites could ensure the loyalty of their clients and the favour of their superiors. These relationships between the diamond industry, corruption, patronage systems, the entrenchment of the 'shadow state' and the collapse of the formal state are explored in greater detail in the next chapter. Besides this indirect role in making war desirable, diamonds were the principal means by which the rebels obtained the funds, arms and supplies to fight and continue their war. Unpaid Government soldiers also used diamonds as a currency to buy food and other supplies of which they were deprived. In these ways diamonds facilitated the occurrence and continuance of the war. Furthermore, diamonds provided opportunities for personal gain for members of all factions, including the C D F and E C O M O G . This provided motivation for belligerents and counter-insurgents alike to continue the violence in order to protect their access to the resource, which explains why the diamond fields were the last areas to be relinquished by the rebels. For these reasons the war was played out heavily in the diamond areas as factions fought for control of the diamond fields (Ndumbe 2001). People in these areas, especially in Kono, suffered very heavily with rebels and sobels either terrorising people to force them to leave or abducting them into forced labour and sexual slavery (Human Rights Watch 1998). 47 Estelle Levin Chapter 4: War and Diamonds 4.5 Conclusion "Conflict in the current context of Africa is not aberrant or irrational, but rather a functional response to the imperatives of underdevelopment, international norms and structures, and neoliberal forces of globalization" (Grant, MacLean & Shaw 2003: 124). There were multiple factors at work to create the conditions for war. People were motivated to fight by notions of revenge and rebellion, grievance and to some extent greed, and mostly opportunism in the face of impoverishment and political and economic alienation that had bestowed upon many the status of lumpens. These motivations were nurtured by a political system which had induced immense, widespread vulnerability which had required people to seek social security through patronage, patrimony, corruption, and violence. The institutionalisation and normalisation of patronage was made possible by the existence of diamonds. Besides offering opportunities to earn profits through ordinary business, diamonds furnished state coffers and the political elite with money from taxes, international investors and foreign lenders, and provided traditional leaders and bureaucrats the means to manipulate dependents into doing their bidding in order to gain access to the resource or its proceeds. Diamonds enabled these people to lubricate the networks of favours and dependency upon which they built their authority. Furthermore, beyond making the war desirable in these ways, diamonds also made it possible because they could be traded for the military hardware and supplies necessary for fighting and maintaining control of the diamond resource. Through its schemes to build state capacity, decriminalise the diamond industry, and improve industry surveillance and discipline, the DSRP is designed mainly to make it less possible for diamonds to fuel the war by addressing those "local issues that promote smuggling and inhibit enforcement" (MSI 2004a: 2). Since it is a diamond-centred project, the programme does not engage comprehensively with the factors which made war desirable in the first place though it has recognised that the disgruntlement of youth in many ways caused the war. The cooperative scheme was originally conceived to provide gainful opportunities for youth in the diamond industry 1 9 and the P D A is actively inclusive of youth groups and other community-based organisations. The D S R P has also recognised the importance of combating poverty as the means of maintaining peace, and of fighting corruption in order to even out the playing field and make the industry less discriminatory. But, at least in its public documents and explicit strategies, it has not engaged substantially with the culture of patronage which, firstly, has traditionally structured relationships in Sierra Leone's political economy towards the interests of the elite, secondly, on the one hand has made many people poor whilst, on the other, offering them the main means of protection from the vagaries of poverty, and which, lastly, was sustained in the 1970s and 1980s by monies invested by international aid organisations. On the other hand, members of the M S I team advising and guiding the project have extensive experience operating in West African society and so no doubt take the issue of patronage and patrimony into account in their everyday decision-making. However, at the risk of promoting cultural imperialism, there may be room for all owners of the D S R P to engage more forthrightly with the potential damage traditional systems of patronage, and the consequential hyper-dependency and even parasitism which it nurtures in Sierra Leonean society, have done, and indeed with the potential for the institutions of the DSRP, including the P D A , to be used by Kono's political elite to furnish and expand their own 'big-man' networks of patronage and dependency 2 0. After the war there is a move towards individualism in Sierra Leone (Archibald and Richards 2002), which offers an opportunity to promote values of accountability and responsibility in a non-discriminatory society based on principles of democracy and, most importantly, equal opportunity. Whilst no democracy is perfectly equitable, the explicit pursuit of these ideals in the D S R P ' s endeavours to decriminalise the industry and make diamonds work for peace and prosperity wi l l at least demonstrate to those who may find cause to fight again that there are other, non-violent ways of fighting for one's rights. 1 9 Interview with Paul Temple, 20 t h June 2004. 2 0 The one PDA employee who was found to be doing this was dealt with appropriately by MSI, but the potential for others to use the institution in this way remains. 48 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry 5. The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry A n aim of the Diamond Sector Reform Programme (DSRP) is to restructure the relationships which constitute the industry in order to empower diggers and miners and end criminal activities. This chapter provides an overview of the artisanal diamond mining industry in Kono in order to assess how the D S R P has understood its object of intervention and whether its programme is appropriately designed to achieve its objective of building peace and prosperity in Sierra Leone. It focuses especially on I D M as this is the main project for restructuring and formalising the industry. The chapter begins with a short contextualisation of the alluvial diamond industry in Sierra Leone by outlining its geology, geography and history. The heart of the chapter assesses how the industry works today, referring strongly to the transforming structures and processes and risks which structure artisanal diamond production. Whilst the research involved investigations into diamond mining, marketing and production, this thesis has paid greatest attention to mining. This is partly for practicability's sake - the D S R P is an extensive project and it was easier to access diggers and miners than dealers and exporters. It is also because reducing poverty is as important for maintaining peace as formalising and decriminalising the industry, and it is in the production end of the supply chain that the poorest people are involved. 5.1 Geology, Geography and History - A Short Background to Today's Diamond Industry in Kono Diamonds are transported to the surface of the earth when a fast-moving elevator of kimberlite moves through the diamond stability field of the earth's mantle and explodes volcanically at the Earth's surface, jettisoning boulders, lava, diamonds and minerals forth to be deposited around the site of rupture. Over time the soft kimberlite weathers, hidden and dispersed by processes of subsidence, compaction, erosion and integumentation, and the diamonds are carried away by the movement of soil and water (cf. Hart 2000: 22-7; also Campbell 2004). Diamonds are mined either directly from these kimberlite pipes or from eluvial or alluvial diamondiferous deposits1. Although there is kimberlite mining in Sierra Leone, alluvial deposits provide hope of 'the big find' for the country's 200,000 artisanal miners. Al luvia l diamonds are found in swamps and the gravels of river channels, flood-plains, and terraces (Hall 1968). Most Sierra Leonean gravels yield 0.2 to 1.5 carats per cubic yard. One carat is equivalent to 200 mg. Diamonds are mined in 20 countries and cut in about 30 (Smillie, Gberie & Hazelton 2000, Global Witness 2000). The K P C S involves the 43 countries which comprise 98% of the world's global diamond trade. The trade is worth over $7 billion per annum (Smillie, Gberie & Hazelton 2000). Table 1.1 shows the principal sites in the global diamond supply chain. r T5.1 The Global Diamond Supply Chain 1 Mining Marketing Rough Cutting and Polishing Marketing Industrial Marketing Polished Russia Antwerp, Belgium India US U S A Australia London, England Israel Japan Japan Canada New York, U S A Belgium Russia Europe Brazil Tel A v i v , Israel CIS Korea India Botswana Mumbai, India U S A Japan Namibia Thailand Saudi Arabia South Africa South Africa United Arab Emirates Angola D R C Sierra Leone 1 Eluvial deposits are those which have been transported by the lateral or vertical movement of the soil. Alluvial deposits are those which have been transported by the movement of water. Henceforth I shall bracket both these deposits under the term 'alluvial' (Oxford English Dictionary online). 2 Adapted from Government of Canada 1998. Also Global Witness 2000. 49 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry The distribution of diamonds in Sierra Leone is concentrated in the South and East of the country covering an area of about 7,700 square miles (see map 5.1 below). Within this area only 80 square miles (-1%) of the ground is diamondiferous. The most important alluvial fields are those of Kono, Tongo and the Sewa Valley, which are serviced by the towns of Koidu, Kenema and Bo respectively. The DSRP is concentrating its efforts in Kono and Tongo where there are also kimberlite pipes to be found (Hall 1968). M a p 5.1 Minera l M a p of Sierra Leone (Government of Sierra Leone 2003b) r-lO'UO'N GUINEA N GUINEA LIBERIA LEGEND jpraphiis. AC'A Howe Provided by Mano River Resounes Im O DIAMONDS ©MANGANESE \ ALLUVIAL DIAMONDS C>GOLD • RUTILE ® PLATINUM O BAUXITE ©CASSITERITE [C] MOLYBDENITE TOWNS MAJOR ROADS RIVERS | CMROMITE I IRON ORE 50 Estelle Levin The first diamond to be discovered as such in Sierra Leone was found in the Gbobora stream near the village of Fotingaia in 1930 (Hall 1968; see photo). The Consolidated African Selection Trust (CAST) , a subsidiary of De Beers, began prospecting the area in March 1931. Mining began in 1932 and Kono, and especially the Koidu vicinity, was defined as a location rich in alluvial diamonds (Hall 1968). In 1934 the Sierra Leone Selection Trust (SLST) was formed as a subsidiary of C A S T . The colonial Government granted SLST a 99-year monopoly on prospecting for and mining diamonds in the entire country in return for a 27.5% tax on net profits (Hall 1968; Reno 1995). In 1935 the company built a permanent settlement in Yengema. This was followed by a second settlement in Tongo twenty years later (Hall 1968). Illicit diamond mining began as soon as the first diamonds were discovered, the motivation being a few bad harvests (Greenhalgh 1985; Fairbairn 1965). Not only were diamonds purloined as a matter of course from SLST's mining camp in Yengema, but artisanal pits sprang up wherever there were diamonds. Soon Guineans joined Sierra Leoneans to dig in Kono. The district's population further swelled with the arrival of Marakas, Mandingoes and Fullahs from francophone West Africa and the Lebanese and indigenes from Freetown who, having been excluded from legitimate trade by discriminatory colonial policies, came to try then-luck in diamonds (Reno 1995; interview 43). By the late 1930s they were successfully dealing in diamonds and directly financing illegal mining operations (Reno 1995). The conviction of SLST to protect their resource and the Government their revenues led to efforts to limit illegal mining. SLST ' s Diamond Protection Force was established in 1945 and later supplemented by the stationing of a detachment of the Sierra Leonean Police Force in Yengema in 1952 . Alongside these attempts at direct enforcement of the law, both SLST and the Government adopted indirect strategies to try to win the local chiefs over to their cause. However, whilst SLST paid off the chiefs to withhold settler rights, the chiefs accepted rent from 'strangers' (i.e. non-Konos) in exchange for protection and 'consideration' for access to land for mining (Reno 1995; Greenhalgh 1985: 165)4. Likewise, the Native Authority Scheme, whose purpose was to curtail the chiefs' interests in illicit mining and marketing, was used by the chiefs to further their own ends, including the expansion of their diamond interests (Reno 1995). This 'big-man' agenda not only deepened the crisis of illegal activities, but also accelerated the wheels of corruption which normalised the utilisation of state resources and exercise of political authority for personal gain (see Reno 1995). B y the 1970s the political economy of the diamond industry was characterised by 'big-man politics' (cf. Jackson 1982, Bayart 1993). By the early 1950s illicit mining and marketing had become rampant (Hall 1968; Reno 1995). The diamond rush in Sierra Leone became international news (Greenhalgh 1985). It became apparent that the suppression of illegal digging and dealing was impossible and so in January 1955 the Government and SLST began talks. In that year there was a riot in Freetown and a strike at SLST. SLST agreed to 3 SLST's private security force was increased from 85 in 1950 to 662 in 1957, then to 1313 (plus 245 auxiliary police on their payroll) in 1971. (Greenhalgh 1985: 172) This practice dates back to protection of itinerant traders in the 19th century. Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry Plate 1: The Gbobora Stream today 51 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry surrender its country-wide monopoly but maintained exclusive access in defined areas in Yengema and Tongo and compensation from the Government of £1.57 million (Greenhalgh 1985; Hal l 1968). B y the time the Al luvia l Diamond Mining Scheme ( A D M S ) came into being in February 1956 there were nigh on 60,000 diggers operating in Kono (Greenhalgh 1985). Under the A D M S all mining and marketing of diamonds was to be conducted by licensed individuals and 'native firms' only. Within a few months thousands of mining licenses had been granted and nearly all mining activities had been legalised (Greenhalgh 1985). Though the scheme successfully decriminalised production, it did not significantly quell the sense of injustice felt by some Konos, and embodied in the Kono Progressive Movement 5 . Many indigenes were aware that they had been granted access to marginally productive lands. More unrest in 1957-8 led to the beginning of contract mining within the SLST zone in 1959, whereby the company sub-leased plots for 6 month periods and offered equipment hire and diamond valuation services for a fee (Zack-Williams 1995: 138; Greenhalgh 1985: 167). Whilst this allowed some legitimate access to the SLST resource, albeit the less accessible plots for industrial extraction within the company's lease (Hall 1968), it also increased the feasibility of illegal activities therein. Prior to 1956 any trading or exporting of diamonds was illegal. With the creation of the A D M S all diamonds were to be marketed through the Diamond Corporation (DICORP), which, like SLST, was owned wholly by De Beers. D I C O R P opened offices in Bo, Kenema, Boajibu and Sewafe (Koidu) and sent buyers to the actual sites of production (Greenhalgh 1985; Hal l 1968). For De Beers it proved more beneficial to have a monopoly on marketing than on production in Sierra Leone because it ensured that industrially unpayable deposits were made productive through artisanal endeavours, it made them the only legal exporter, and it gave them control of the export price. This helped them maximise profits and maintain their international monopoly. From the Government's perspective this arrangement somewhat satisfied popular demands and ensured greater diamond export revenue. They protected their interests by stressing that the agreement with De Beers was just for 5 years and by instating independent valuators to verify DICORP ' s shipments (Greenhalgh 1985). They also adopted a series of counter-smuggling measures, including the exclusion of dealers from some production sites, the revocation of dealers' licences, the expulsion of 'strangers' (i.e. ndn-Konos), and increased law enforcement expenditure and penalties (Greenhalgh 1985). By 1959 the smuggling rate had dropped to below half of total caratage (Hall 1968). In terms of value, however, over two thirds was being smuggled; people were selling their smaller stones to the Diamond Corporation but smuggling out the larger and better quality gems (Hall 1968). This practice is still common today. The destination for the smuggled stones was Monrovia, the capital of Liberia, where a dollar economy and competitive export costs provided inducements for those seeking bigger profits (Greenhalgh 1985; Van der Laan 1965 cited in Hal l 1968). The government reassessed the marketing system and replaced D I C O R P with the Government Diamond Office (GDO) in 1959 (Zack-Williams 1995). Whilst D I C O R P was owned by De Beers, the G D O was owned by Government and managed by De Beers. Instead of a 7.5% export duty and D I C O R P ' s 12% trading margins 6, export duty was reduced to 4% 7 and D I C O R P received a 1% commission of sales as well as the privilege of being the final buyer and sole exporter of Sierra Leonean diamonds (Greenhalgh 1985). This enabled the G D O to offer higher prices (Greenhalgh 1985). According to Hal l , smuggling was reduced dramatically and in the 1960s it had become negligible (Hall 1968). The winners were the dealers, who received better prices, and the Government, which earned more revenue. D I C O R P , however, suffered reduced profits from artisanal production (Greenhalgh 1985). B y 1961 the country had achieved its independence. During the 1960s the A l l Peoples Congress (APC) , who stood in opposition to the instated Sierra Leone People's Party (SLPP), took advantage of increasing 5 Cf. Reno 1995 and Minikin 1971 as cited in Zack-Williams 1995. 6 The'trading margin was 12% between what DICORP paid for diamonds and what the Central Selling Office in London would sell the diamonds for on the international market. Like DICORP the CSO was also De Beer-owned. 7 According to Hall (1968: 19) export duty stood at 5% before being increased to 7.5% in 1966. From 1975 - 78 large stones (>14.8 cts) had an export levy of 2.5% and small stones bore a levy of 7% (Zack-Williams 1995). 52 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry competition in the diamond trade and official discrimination against the Lebanese to build economic and political backing. The Lebanese had emerged as the most significant financiers and dealers in the trade, and were accustomed to paying off SLPP-aligned elites in order to protect their businesses. Vulnerable as they were to predation and official harassment, it made sense to shift their support to whoever would secure their interests (Reno 1995). Through the Lebanese the A P C gained access to the myriad of legal and illegal mining gangs the Lebanese dealers financed. The A P C , which at that time sat towards the populist side of the political spectrum, found in these mining gangs leftist youths who were willing to resist the SLPP Government and the elites it privileged. Young diggers formed A P C Youth Wings (Reno 1995). A P C popularity spread and in 1967 the A P C were elected to Government8. The inauguration of Siaka Stevens's Government in 1968 was a turning point for both the country and the industry. Stevens's regime adopted a politics of elitism, which was a slap in the face for the radicals who helped bring the A P C to government (Reno 1995: 107-8). With regard to the diamond industry, in 1968 P .K. Hal l reported the following: "The picture now ... is one of stability and predominately legitimate operations. Al luvial diamond mining has become an established and accepted feature of the economy of the country, and provides a living for about 25,000 miners, now mostly Sierra Leoneans. Smuggling is no longer a serious problem, and the miners now receive a reasonable proportion of the export value of their diamonds" (Hall 1968: 7). Within only a few years of his statement, the rules of the game had changed and the legal gains of the previous decade had been lost. Kono was important politically as it provided a large proportion of Government revenue. In the first few years of his reign political turbulence and local challenges by wealthy chiefs and their privileged clients threatened Stevens's authority in Kono. The A P C took measures to disempower potential political rivals by centralising government, manipulating local elections, and discriminating against indigenous elites and SLPP supporters in favour of the politically-ostracised9 Lebanese community. A P C patrons attempted to cut off their clients' sources of independent wealth and increase their dependency on Freetown for the protection of their interests. The chiefs' established revenue streams were severed when the Government stopped paying them the local development funds and when SLST was effectively nationalised with the formation of the National Diamond Mining Corporation ( N D M C ) in 1971. Through the realignment and reconstitution of the patronage networks, Stevens harnessed control of diamond revenues and established greater political security, i f not popular support, for his Government in Kono (Reno 1995). Plate 2: The NDMC plant as it stands today, stripped of materials, on the outskirts of the village of Bandafayie. The APC did not take office until 1968 owing to a military coup. 9 There was constitutional (and popular) prohibitions against the involvement of ethnic non-Africans in politics. This included a 1960 Constitutional decree which denied citizenship to those of non-African parentage (Reno 1995). 53 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry During this time the G D O had begun to undervalue stones again and paid higher prices to the Lebanese dealers than to miners. The undervaluation and discrimination gave miners an incentive to sell their diamonds outside official channels. Many sold their stones to the Lebanese dealers, who generally were able to pay higher prices than the G D O because they were better suited to taking risks than officials bound by the rules and regulations of a large bureaucratic organisation. Undervaluation and discrimination therefore increased the rate of smuggling. It also encouraged those mines managers and supporters who did sell their stones to the G D O , to transfer the costs down the chain; diggers were paid less. This in turn encouraged the diggers to seek their profits independently and so illicit mining activities increased to become the norm once again (Zack-Williams 1995: 179-180). The A P C ' s diamond policies made it clear that, in contrast to their pre-election pretensions, 'power to the people' was certainly not their intention. Large areas of small-scale mining land were rezoned for cooperative mining. This effectively increased A P C clients' access to diamonds at the expense of the ordinary miner, who could not afford the increasingly prohibitive expense of mining legally. A t the same time, the Government toughened its position on illegal digging, instituting a paramilitary Internal Security Unit in 1975, whose purpose was to suppress diamond poaching. Caught between a rock and a hard place, diggers and miners had little choice but to slot themselves into the patronage networks by aligning themselves with APC-affiliated operations, or to maintain independence by protecting their illicit activities using force. In the 1970s then, the logic of the state bureaucracy shifted from serving the interests of the nation to maintaining the authority and wealth of those who had access to its assets. It is this logic which led to the emergence of the shadow state and the collapse of the formal state,, as wi l l be outlined in chapter 5. The parasitism, corruption and kleptocracy of elites also led to the almost complete informalisation o f alluvial diamond production and marketing (Reno 1995) and eventually to war. 5.2 The Artisanal Supply Chain: The Production and Marketing of Rough diamonds The heart of this chapter involves a descriptive analysis of the political economy (i.e. the structures and processes) of contemporary artisanal diamond production in Kono. Specifically I examine those actors who perform standard roles in production and the procedures, routines, and relations which structure their activities and relationships with each other. I describe how diamonds are mined, and consider who is involved, how the various actors manage the risks and opportunities which frame their business decisions, and what the terms of exchange are, which frame the passage of a diamond from one pair of hands to another. I then touch on diamond marketing and dedicate my examination thereof to those aspects which are of relevance to the ability of miners and diggers to get a fair price for their diamonds. Artisanal mining is "all non mechanised, low output extraction of minerals carried out by individuals and small groups, frequently on intermittent (sic:) basis, and employing essentially traditional manual techniques" (Keil i 2003). In the workshop of August 7 t h 2004, participants agreed that the standard arrangement for artisanal diamond production in Kono is one in which the mining costs are covered by a supporter who is in business with a licensed miner. These parties both employ mines managers (foremen) to protect their interests at the mine. The diamonds are then sold on to a dealer or his agent with the assistance of a coaxer before being sold to an exporter in a similar fashion. Figure 5.1 shows this typical legal artisanal supply chain from production to export. 54 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry Figure 5.1 Typical Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry Supply Chain— Supported Diggers * \ $ \ \ LH Mines Manager S Mines Manager % \ Licence- «% Supporter holder Dealer's Coaxer Dealer Dealer's Agent's Coaxer $ Black bold - Owns diamond (main chains-Black, not bold - Involved in trading diamond*-^ formally and informally employed by superior in chain transfer of diamond Exporter transfer of money % - pre-negotiated % $ - post-negotiated T i r P R 0 D U C T I 0 N M A R K E T I N G E X P 0 R T There are in reality many variations of the actors and relations within this chain. For example, the supporter may also be a dealer who sells directly to an exporter; he may even be an exporter himself' 1. Or the licence-holder may be financially independent and support his own operations. Or the miner might not be licensed himself but wi l l be affiliated with a licence-holder to provide legal security for his operations 1 2. The illegal chain is very similar to that shown in figure 5.1; it differs only in so far as there w i l l not be a licence-holder. The other possible combinations described above may still apply. In addition, there may be a land-owner (e.g. a farmer) who is compensated with a share of the proceeds for allowing mining to be conducted on his/her land. There are also other beneficiaries from the trade. They are shown in figure 5.2 (see below in monitoring and disciplining the industry) and map 5.2. Based on Structure of the Mining Industry workshop II, conducted 7l August 2004. 1 ' This was the case for one miner, whose Spanish supporter held an exporting licence. The miner believed that this enabled him to get a better price for his diamonds compared to others. Interview 18, 14th July 2004. 1 2 This happens when the miner is not Sierra Leonean and so is not permitted to hold a licence, or is not a Kono and so finds it harder to get a licence himself. See chapter 6, ability to labour and tribal identity. 55 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry 56 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry This map also illustrates some of the economic spin-offs the diamond industry generates in Koidu. Diamond mining produces livelihood options outside of the industry (and so generates peripheral economic activity) and makes other existing ones more viable (e.g. trading food produce) by increasing demand for its product. These other livelihoods which depend on the existence of the industry include mining services (e.g. tool making, mending, selling and rentals, mechanics, petrol traders), commerce (e.g. rice sellers, supermarkets, electronic shops and stalls selling consumables such as sunglasses, watches, cassettes) and general services (e.g. construction, prostitution, restaurants, bar, and night-clubs) 5.2.1 Productivity There is decreasing productivity of artisanal mining in the traditional mining areas of Gbense, N i m i Yema, Tankoro, and Nimikoro 1 3 . Miners are finding they need to mine deeper gravels to yield satisfactory returns. Going deeper, however, involves greater risk and greater investment. This w i l l squeeze the smaller, poorer players out of the market. In time the alluvial mining which happens in traditional mining chiefdoms in Kono wi l l be increasingly consolidated into small-scale and mechanised operations as artisanal mining becomes decreasingly viable. Some people may, however; persist at overkicking or other artisanal activities despite the diminishing returns. In a country with limited feasible and desirable livelihood options available to the poor (see chapter 7), this decline of the artisanal diamond industry in traditional mining areas in Kono could cause further social disgruntlement unless this transition is well managed. On the other hand mining is apparently on the increase in the eastern provinces of Kono and elsewhere in Sierra Leone and people are flocking to exploit these 'virgin ' lands where the diamonds are closer to the surface and where less sophisticated (and illegal) operations can bring satisfactory returns 1 4. To my knowledge, there have not been investigations into the likely impacts of this transition on the chiefdoms suffering decline and those suffering growth in artisanal mining to help these chiefdoms adjust to the changing livelihood and revenue opportunities and the externalities which arise with these socio-environmental changes. This changing geography of opportunity and risk in the industry is further complicated by inadequate and dated knowledge of diamond deposits in the country. The diamond reserve in Sierra Leone is very much imagined as it cannot be accurately quantified and there has been no widespread prospecting since P .K . Hal l led the Geological Survey in their attempts to map out the reserves in the 1960s (Hall 1968). Nearly 40 years on and today the payability of ground is ascertained more by experience, knowledge of the geography of historical, local mining, the existence of indicator minerals, instinct, and guesswork than by any scientific prospecting. This lack of accurate knowledge makes mining particularly risky, especially after the war when people were away from Kono and unaware of exactly where the R U F and A P R C concentrated their mining. People know productivity is declining but they do not know where. According to one miner, this heightened uncertainty of returns has discouraged some traditional supporters from supporting too readily after the war and they are instead concentrating on buying only 1 5 . 5.2.2 Mining Procedure and the associated Tools and Technologies Alluvia l mining requires exposing, extracting and washing diamond-bearing gravel. This gravel is found on riverbeds, in swamps, and under a lateritic overburden in terraces and alluvial flats (Fairbairn 1965; Hal l 1968). Although unheard of today, diamonds were so abundant in Kono that historically people are said to have been able to pick them up off the streets16. The mining procedure represented here as standard was developed by miners in the Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop I, on 24 t h July 2004. The procedure is the same for illegal mining, except step 3 would be omitted and possibly replaced by something like 'ensure protection in cases of harassment by authorities or other parties' (see chapter 6). 1 3 Interview 22, 16th July 2004 and Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop II. 1 4 Interview 22, 16lh July 2004, interview with the chairman of the Kono Dealers' Association, 24 l h June 2004 and Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop II. 1 5 Structure of the Mining Industry workshop II, 7 t h August 2004. 1 6 Structure of the Mining Industry workshop II, 7 l h August 2004. 57 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry 1. Raise funds to get licence (and perhaps for the rest of your operations) 2. Identify the land you wish to mine 3. Get licence. 4. Find a supporter ( if necessary). 5. Arrange logistics, i.e. employ and house diggers, buy tools. S M A L L - S C A L E A R T I S A N A L 6. Bulldozing (caterpillar) Brush Land (machetes) 7. Bulldozing (caterpillar) Stripping (removing the mud - shovels) 8. Excavate gravel (caterpillar w. diff. parts) Extract gravel (manually - shovels) 9. Wash gravel (the plant, the rocker) Wash gravel (the rocker, shakers) 10. Restart 6 - 9 in different part of plot O R Pack up tools and land left to government. Typically, the distinction between small-scale and artisanal mining is not precise as miners use small-scale equipment in their artisanal operations whenever it is possible or desirable. For example, at point 9 when they are washing the gravel, they may invest in the plant to reduce the risk of theft, whilst having had all the gravel extracted manually. Artisanal and Small-Scale Tools for Stripping and Extraction 58 Estelle Levin In manual (artisanal) mining, diggers use machetes to 'brush' the ground (i.e. to remove the overgrowth), shovels to strip it (i.e. to remove the overburden) and to extract the gravel, and picks to break up any boulders or rocks which get in their way. This manual brushing, stripping and extracting can take 2 or 3 months (presuming 50 diggers), whereas with the use of a bulldozer it takes about a week' 7 . To rent and fuel a bulldozer for 6 days can cost between $8200 and $10,000, whereas to get diggers to do the same work would cost on average $7,900 1 8. This suggests that mechanisation is approaching being as affordable as manual labour. During extraction a water-pump may be necessary i f the rains have begun or i f groundwater is high. A 4" and an 8" diesel water-pump cost $70 and $142 respectively in the wet season, and $55 and $124 in the dry season 1 9. Sometimes the youngest member of the gang wi l l be given the job of 'water-boy', meaning that it is his responsibility to use a bucket to remove the excess water that makes the digger's labour harder. Plate 4 shows a mining gang extracting gravel (and water) in Gbongoma Town using this method. Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry Plate 4: Digger at Bakundu extracting gravel for washing, 21" June 2004. Plate 5: Mining gang using a bucket to extract gravel in Gbongoma Town, r1 July 2004. 1 7 Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop I, 24 t h July 2004. 1 8 Presuming a gang of fifty diggers doing the work for 2.5 months (10 6-day weeks) at a cost of $2.64 (Le 7,000) per digger per day. See appendix 7 for comparative Equipment and Labour Costs. 1 9 See Appendix 7. 59 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry Artisanal and Small-Scale Tools for Washing Once the gravel has been extracted, it is stockpiled for washing later or is washed contemporaneously. It may be washed where it is found or is transported elsewhere i f there is no immediate water source. Plate 10: Toolfor sorting gravel - The Plant Rice sacks are used to transport the gravel elsewhere (see Plate 6 above). Washing is done using a simple shaker, the rocker and/or the plant. Water-pumps are required for the rocker and the plant. The plant requires a small generator to work. Both therefore use fuel: the rocker uses 5 gallons a day and the plant 60 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry uses double this. The plant costs $71 a day compared to $28 for the rocker and $0.14 for the shaker 2 0. The advantages of the plant are that no further washing is required, it makes it harder for people to steal diamonds and it wi l l produce a higher yield of diamonds than the other artisanal washing methods. When operations use the rocker and shaker, sometimes women are employed to sift the smallest grains for the 'number 10s' and any gold dust which might be present. 5.2.3 Licensing Procedure and Access to Land The number of artisanal mining licences issued in Kono has vastly increased since licensing began after the war (see T5.2). The licensing procedure usually takes about two weeks "because there is some go and come, go and come, go and come" 2 2 , as the following summary outlines: T5.2 Number of Mining licences Issued in Kono Dec 2001 to Aug 2004 Date No. of licences issued D e c - 0 1 0 Jun - 02 87 Dec - 02 457 Jun - 03 952 Aug - 04 >1500 2 1 1. Apply to the town chief by letter or in person (to get and complete the application forms) 2 3; 2. Chief recommends application to the Chiefdom Mining Committee ( C M C ) ; 3. C M C approves application' 4. Miner pays surface fees and chiefdom development fund fees to C M C ; 5. Miner goes to the M M R mines warden with C M C receipt to apply for government approval; 6. Miner and warden go to allocated site to demarcate the boundaries 2 4; 7. A plan is drawn of the site; 8. The plan is taken to the town and paramount chiefs for signature; 9. The mines engineer signs the plan; 10. The miner pays the government fees; 11. The miner is licensed. This procedure is supposed to be simple enough to encourage people to get licences. A major impediment however is the uncertainty which still surrounds the actual cost of a licence. Although the Government has established and publicised that a mining licence should cost no more than Le410,000 to acquire 2 5, people still pay more because of the various 'handshakes' they must give to speed the process along or to maintain or generate good favour with the authorities 2 6. In one case a female licence-holder paid Le710,000 for her licence which was cheaper than others would have to have paid, in her v iew 2 7 . These costs make it differentially possible for people to acquire a licence. Those who have the advantage when applying for licences are men, people native to the village, people from Kono, people with money, local people who do not already have access to mining land, and people who are close to the chiefs or some other person involved in the process 2 8. According to Mary Musa, the Chairwoman of the District Council, i f diamonds are to work for peace and prosperity, then "people should have access to land (and) there should be no discrimination as to who gets what. 2 9" There is still discrimination in who gets access to land and on what terms. Whilst M S I aims not to discriminate in terms of ethnicity or gender in how it See Appendix 7. 2 1 Estimate provided by official from the Ministry of Mineral Resources, interview 13, 12 lh July 2004. 2 2 Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop I, 24 t h July 2004. 2 3 In Sandor chiefdom, you cannot make your application by letter but must go in person. 2 4 Licensed plots used to be 400 x 400 feet before the war but now the plot size is 210 x 210 feet. Interview 14, 131 July 2004. 2 5 A photocopy of this policy is stapled to the notice board at the front entrance of the PDA. 2 6 Interview 36, 28 t h July 2004; Interview with Amienatta Conteh, 5 t h August 2004, and Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop II, 7 l h August 2004. 2 7 Interview 36,28 l h July 2004. 2 8 Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop II, 7* August 2004, interview with Mary Musa, 23 r d July 2004, and interview 36, 28 l h July 2004. See also chapter 6. 2 9 Interview with Mary Musa, 23 r d July 2004. 61 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry has designed and led the programme 3 0 ,1 am not aware of whether it has worked with the traditional and national authorities to prevent discrimination in access to land for mining. If the programme is not attending to this, then this is of concern i f social injustice and unequal access to opportunity is accepted as a cause of the war. 5.2.4 The Mining Calendar and the Implications of seasonality Mining activities are planned around the coming of the rains and how the rains affect the costs of mining. Investors undertake more mining in the dry season than in the rains because of the associated hazards and costs (see table 5.2 below). Some mining does occur in the rainy season, but principally where there is black mud 3 1 , where the gravel has already been extracted and removed to a drier location, or where the water levels do not threaten to wash gravel away or cover it completely (e.g. in river bed mining). The seasonality of mining costs and activities has implications for how people use opportunities in mining as part of their livelihoods (see chapter 7). T5.3 Variations in Mining Costs Between the Wet and Dry Seasons W E T season (end May to early September) DRY season (mid-September to mid-May) Labour supply Labour costs Crime rates Food Costs Fuel Costs Shelter costs Equipment costs i t t i T i r i (bag of rice 70,000Le32) (bag of rice 60,000Le) r i r i t i In the rainy season there are fewer diggers available for work because many return to their villages to work on their farms. The miners believed that only those who have found diamonds can afford to go home. If the diggers have made no money "they'll stick around, loitering and committing crimes" 3 3 . The cost of labour increases in the rainy season, less because of supply shortages, but because the cost of supporting the diggers increases: food costs increase, the work is harder, diggers are more vulnerable to getting sick, and shelter is more easily damaged or needs to be made secure (e.g. the purchasing of tarpaulin for the roof) to ensure that diggers stay healthy. Food costs increase because of supply shortages and because the diggers are hungrier because of the cold and the harder work. The miners said the diggers try to encourage them to give up to 4 cups of rice a day (that is 33% - 50% more than usual) or wi l l ask for more 'dashes' to buy extra food (see below). Miners do this reluctantly as rice is in short supply in the wet season because it is harvested at the end of the season. It is also more difficult to import rice into the region during the rainy season owing to the poor quality of the roads. There is almost a 15% difference in the price of rice between the two seasons. Fuel costs are most vulnerable to international fluctuations in the price of gasoline and diesel, but costs also increase in the wet season owing to the poor state of the roads, which creates supply shortages. Also, the greater need for water pumps and the use of machines to wash the gravel increase fuel consumption, Email from technical director, 201 January 2005. 3 1 Black mud is "the layer of soil on the gravel that sometimes is removed and put aside and is something you go back to in the rain", miner in Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop I, 24 l h July 2004. 3 2 This is the figure the miners told me in the workshop, but when my research assistant bought a bag of rice on my behalf in early August, it cost just Le56,000. 3 3 Structure of the Industry Workshop, 24 t h July 2004. 62 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry tightening local stocks. Equipment costs increase partly owing to the higher fuel costs, but also because of the greater demand for water pumps in the wet season 3 4. 5.2.5 Risks and Dilemmas Facing Miners in Planning their Operations Table 5.3 is the product of a discussion amongst the miners in the Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop II on what are the main risks they face as miners. I have included it to demonstrate what the doing of mining actually involves in order to emphasise the method and complexity of mining as a livelihood option and the fact that the miner is a businessperson. T5.4 The Risks Miners must Consider when Planning their Operations Dilemma Risks How to get money (support) No support, no mining Trustworthiness risk of going into an arrangement with a dishonest supporter How many people to engage Price changes risk of underestimating the cost of support per person, e.g. vulnerability to seasonal changes in costs (see table 5.2) Overemployment according to what work is possible at each stage - it is . expensive if workers are idle Underemployment increases the duration of mining Where shall I mine? (what kind of mining) Occurrence of boulders or ballop in the overburden increase costs or can be impassable. Their existence is generally unpredictable. Productivity risk of low yield Water level places with higher water level are more expensive to mine; risk of water level rising with the rains, lack of water means gravel must be transported to a washing pit. Which tools and machines should I use? (what kind of mining) Poor quality if the machines are badly manufactured or not maintained there is a risk they might blow up or not work so well Poor judgement use of wrong machines or too few machines, or delays in hiring machines can prolong the work Where shall I house my workers? Location proximity affects transport Quality affects health How much food to give each day Over- or underfeeding cause laziness. Overfeeding makes them lazier than underfeeding. How to keep my workers healthy Contagious diseases Duration of the work Uncertainty If the work takes too long it costs more Bad weather can make the work last longer Who do I sell to? Duping risk that the person you sell to will cheat you of a fair price or switch stones on you Theft risk that buyer will steal it Smuggling risk that buyer will smuggle the stone Criminals risk of selling to an unlicensed buyer How much to sell for Ignorance risk of not knowing the value of your diamond Financial Security Theft risk that other members of the production team have a criminal attitude or are disloyal Physical Security Violence exposure to people who might want to harm you. Who to employ Risk of criminal or violent dispositions See appendix 7 for comparative equipment costs between the two seasons. 63 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry Risk of disloyalty Which contract terms to use Winnings Allocation Systems Choice of winnings allocation system depends on the expected productivity of the mine and the knowledge and wishes of partners and employees Who handles the diamonds Risk of theft These risks give an idea of the dilemmas miners have when planning their operations. B y far the biggest risk they face is theft. They therefore choose supporters and dealers based on friends' recommendations on who is most trustworthy and fair 3 5 . They look for the same traits in their diggers and mines managers, as well as loyalty and industriousness. For this reason, some miners prefer to employ particular tribes who they associate with being loyal, hard-working, and experienced. Others wi l l purposefully employ family or people of the same tribe as themselves3 6.Trust is therefore one of the most important assets in a diamond business relationships, albeit something very hard to come by. 5.2.6 Roles and Responsibilities in the Industry The role someone wi l l take in diamond production differs according to his/her knowledge, ability, contacts, and investment capacity. In some roles tribe and gender also determine participation (see chapter 6). The arrangements entered into wi l l depend on the degree of trust and dependency which exists between the business partners. The Diver (River-Bed Mining Only) The role of divers is to extract the gravel from the bottom of the river-bed. Divers usually spend about 3 hours underwater. Diving is the most dangerous form of gravel extraction and so divers tend to be much better recompensed than ordinary diggers 3 7. Divers are very vulnerable in terms of their health. Blindness, deafness and chills are common as is poisoning and pulmonary damage owing to the level of diesel fumes and carbon monoxide divers inhale. One person told me that the typical life expectancy of a diver is about 3 years; yet the three I interviewed had been diving for 10, 19 and 21 years. O f them, 2 were from the same gang and worked for a substantial wage of 1,000,000 Leones per month, although they did not then get a share of the winnings. The other diver, however, earned 3 cups of rice and 2,000 Leones a day, had his health needs attended to, and received a share of any winnings. In his gang the divers get three times as much of the winnings per person as the washers because their risk is far greater3 8. Whilst less secure physically, divers are more secure financially. In its attempts to determine a "fair living wage" for diggers, the P D A does not consider the exceptional circumstances of divers. The Digger — doing production The diggers are all those people employed by the miners to do the hard labour (see photos 9, 10, 11 and 12 above). They include all those who strip, extract and wash the gravel. Sometimes diggers work alone or in pairs and do all three tasks i f the location requires it. Otherwise diggers that work alone tend to do overkicking (see below). In a mining gang the diggers wi l l sometimes have specialised functions within the gang (e.g. washing) owing to their skill level or the extent to which the financier trusts them 3 9 . Out of all the actors in the supply chain, the diggers are the most vulnerable (see chapter 6). They are at greater risk of suffering poor health, physical violence and economic exploitation whilst they also receive minimal and usually uncertain benefits (see support and winnings allocation systems below). Within the digger category, the exposure to risk and resiliency is further variegated according to one's position in the hierarchy of the gang which determines one's role, participation in decision-making, and entitlement to 3 5 Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop II, 7 t h August 2004. 3 6 Half of the miners asked had a preference for employing people of particular tribes, either Temne, Koranko or other Konos. 3 7 Divers were the only interviewees in the digger category who stated that their supporter covered funeral expenses. Interviews 32, 33 and 34, 26 l h July 2004. 3 8 Interview 33, 26 t h July 2004. 3 9 It is at the washing stage that it is easiest for diggers to steal diamonds. 64 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry the winnings. The gang usually has three levels in its hierarchy. At the top is the gang leader. He reconciles internal disputes and disciplines diggers who break the gang's code of conduct 4 0. Gang leaders usually negotiate with the licence-holder on behalf of the gang in the post-negotiated pricing system (see below). They also allocate tasks and the winnings within the gang. Usually the gang leader wi l l receive a 'tip' from the other diggers in recognition of his authority. In between are the ordinary diggers. At the bottom of the pile are the youngest members of the gangs, who do the chores, such as fetching food and water, or else are assigned the tedious job of waterboy 4 1 (see above). As one digger said, in Babar's words, "the elder ones, normally their pride doesn't allow them to do certain work. They feel they are too big to do such work. So the younger boys, or among them the young one in the group can be sent to do anything and he will not refuse because elders are telling him and he wil l respect the elders to do that42". Often the youngest person wi l l be given a smaller share of the winnings 4 3 . It is just this type of bias which some say inspired the war (Peters and Richards 1998, Archibald and Richards 2002; see also chapter 5). This digger's comments, as well as comments made in the Peiyima Focus Group (see chapter 6), suggest that the cultural institution of gerontocracy has not been absolutely overthrown. The D S R P ' s cooperative scheme which promotes meritocracy of responsibility between miners, at least in loan repayment, wi l l help promote such principles of meritocracy and reciprocity; it may also be undermined by people's predisposition to hierarchical social organisation based on wealth, age, gender and tribe. Permanently Employed Labour Some-diggers wi l l be employed for the whole mining season. If the miner is pleased with them s/he might support them over the wet season even when there is no mining to be done in order to keep them for the upcoming season 4 4. Diggers supported by a licensed miner to work their plot wi l l typically work 7.5 hours a day, 6 days a week, although during gravel extraction and washing they may work continuously, day and night, in order to get their winnings as soon as possible as well as to reduce the risk of theft4 5. Independent Labour — Gado Gangs and Overkickers Gado is illegal mining conducted by an unsupported gang of diggers who share their winnings equally between them. They generally receive less formal support than permanently employed labour (see below). This gives them greater flexibility once they do find a diamond as their obligation to their supporter is weak. Thus they are often free to sell to whoever they please for whatever price they can get. Gado gangs and other individual diggers wi l l sometimes seek contract work with licence-holders (called jagaja)46. In return they may be paid in cash and food for the day or they wi l l do kongoma (see below). Some diggers even offer their labour in exchange for sexual acts 4 7. Overkicking is a common type of mining conducted by people independently or in pairs. 11 of the diggers interviewed were overkicking. Overkickers wash the tailings of gravel that has already been washed. The only tools they need are shakers and buckets and perhaps picks and shovels. It is conducted in legal mining operations to ensure that nothing is overlooked and is also done illegally at mining sites or anywhere where the gravel is easily accessible. Overkicking is often pursued seasonally by diggers who have been involved in riverbed mining in the dry season and so are without work in the wet season. Sometimes they do overkicking on behalf of their previous supporter (e.g. interview 17) or they operate independently (e.g. interview 12). The D S R P does not engage with the occurrence of this type of mining. Its significance lies in it being pursued extensively as a livelihood, commonly by the very vulnerable. One gang leader explained to me that it is his responsibility to fire people who break the rules of the gang, for example, if they are violent or start a fight. Interview 10, 9 l h July 2004. 4 1 In one case a woman digger was employed as a waterwoman and cook. Interview MC-7, 6 l h August 2004. 4 2 Interview 10, 9 t h July 2004. 4 3 Interview 23, 16th July 2004. 4 4 Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop I, 24 t h July 2004. 4 5 Interview 10, 9 t h July 2004 and Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop I, 24 , h July 2004. 4 6 Focus group with industry experts, 23 r d June 2004. 4 7 Interview 3, 1st July 2004. 65 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry Both gado and overkicking are tactics which improve the probability of getting winnings. In overkicking the digger spends most of his time washing without having to do 3 months of stripping and extraction beforehand 4 8. In gado, the diggers do not have a boss with whom they have to share their winnings. In most cases, however, they are done without the benefit (or restrictions) of daily support, although in some cases gado gangs and overkickers were given occasional support by their 'customers', a previous supporter, a village elder, or a wealthier member of the gang (such as one with a family farm). Gado and overkicking can only be legal i f the individual or gang do them in a licensed plot and sell the diamonds to the license-holder. Where they do it in unlicensed land or sell the diamonds to anyone but the license-holder, they are operating illegally. In fact, the majority of people mining illegally do gado or overkicking. Reducing illegal mining therefore requires more engagement with the role these types of mining have in increasing people's security by assessing the particular benefits and disadvantages they bring compared to the alternative the D S R P is suggesting — the mining cooperatives. It may prove problematic to persuade those doing gado or overkicking to cease their illegal activities because they prefer the independence it brings them. Also, some overkickers would not be welcomed into cooperatives because their productivity or contribution to the group may be perceived to be compromised owing to their age, gender, or health (see human capital in chapter 6). This raises the question of what else can be done to encourage overkickers and gado gangs to. mine legally. One solution may be the designation of certain areas which are no longer payable for usual mining activities as legal sites for overkicking. This would give those people, who are not welcomed in gangs, a legal option. It would also protect them from official harassment. This type of land use designation could be a zoning stage in between land being suitable and unsuitable for smallscale or artisanal mining activities, which typically involve about 50 diggers per acre. Migrants Migrants supposedly constitute 20 to 40% of the rural population (Richards, Bah & Vincent 2004: 41). Out of the 48 diggers 11 were permanent immigrants, 6 of whom had migrated to the diamond area from elsewhere in Kono. 4 were seasonal migrants but spent at least 10 months of the year in Kono. It was not possible to ascertain exactly how many of the diggers seasonally migrate within Kono between their settled home and the mining sites where they find work. A l l the miners were native to Kono. Three had permanently migrated from agricultural to mining chiefdoms and 2 migrated seasonally to work elsewhere: one to Freetown and the other to Tonkolili . This research suggests that more investigations need to be made into others' claims that most diggers are migrants (for example Richards 1996a). However, it is very likely that we did not get the opportunity to interview many migrants given our sampling technique and the timing of the research (see chapter 2). Watchers and Security Guards — securing production Theft of gravel or equipment is very likely in artisanal mining. Watchers are therefore used to prevent theft. Most watchers are only necessary once the gravel has begun to be extracted and when washing is occurring. Often the watcher w i l l be a trusted relative 4 9. One miner employed a security guard to secure his gravel. He paid him 100,000 Leones and a bag of rice (equivalent to 60,000 Leones) a month 5 0 . In one diving operation investigated, the supporter employed guards to protect the fuel and diving equipment. In most cases, however, the diggers do the watching themselves. They may take it in turns or else the whole gang wi l l spend the night at the site because " i f you send one person, the gangs that come to wash the gravel at night and they wi l l hurt the person so for that the group goes" 5 1. During extraction and washing therefore, the gang may live 24-7 at the pit (see chapter 6 for health implications). 4 8 Interview 12, 9 l h July 2004. 4 9 Interviews 5 and AA-19, 7 t h and 28 l h July 2004. 5 0 Interview 18, 14lh July 2004. 5 1 Interview 18, 14* July 2004. 66 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry The Miner — managing production In this research I made the assumption that all miners were synonymous with licence-holders but this is not so. The miner is the person who manages production. S/he may also finance the operations and be the licence-holder. This is not always the case. Thus the miner may be the gang leader (illegal operations), the mines manager or foreman (the licence-holder's or supporter's representative at the mine), or the licence-holder himself (a miner with a licence). 10 diggers interviewed were actually miners: 8 diggers were foremen and 2 were gang leaders in illegal operations. The mines manager (also called the foreman) is usually employed by the supporter or licence-holder to represent them at the pit and to manage the operations on their behalves. He supervises, directs and organises activities. In some situations he wi l l be the one to buy the diamonds from the diggers on behalf of the licence-holder or supporter. He also acts as the supervisor when the gravel is being washed. Mines managers never own the diamonds; they are paid a percentage of the licence-holder's o r supporter's share of the diamond sales 5 2. There is usually a good degree of trust between the foreman and his boss. Often licence-holders wi l l use a family member (husband, brother, son, nephew) as their foreman. Sometimes a licence-holder allows another miner to mine a portion of his/her land for a pre-negotiated share of the gravel or winnings as rent. This arrangement enables a licence-holder to exploit his/her plot at a greater rate than s/he might otherwise be able given available capital and/or the desire to mine independently, i.e. without a supporter. Sub-leasing reduces the licence-holder's capital investment whilst enabling him/her to maximise exploitation of the land, which s/he otherwise might not be able to mine within the year. It is a way of maximising returns and spreading risk and bringing benefits to both the licence-holder and the tenant miner. One miner and one digger we interviewed had this type of arrangement together5 3. The Licence-holder - legalising production Licence-holders must be Sierra Leonean. They may also perform the roles of financier and mines manager as well. When this is the case a mines manager is not necessary so long as the licence-holder is prepared to manage the mine full time. In some situations the licence-holder wi l l perform no other role but provide the title to the land. In this situation s/he may go into business with a self-supported miner, or else with a supporter. In the case of the latter, the licence-holder wi l l employ his/her own miner to manage (and supervise) the operations and protect his/her interests and the supporter wi l l do the same, just as figure 5.1 shows. The Supporter — financing production B y the early 1960s, surface deposits had begun to become exhausted. The requirement to remove greater volumes of overburden to access the diamond-bearing soil increased the costs (and altered the methods) of artisanal production. This encouraged miners to turn to their buyers and local businessmen for financial support. This is how the supporter system was born (Zack-Williams 1995: 147-154). Not all mining supporters are dealers, but all established dealers, legal and illegal, are supporters. B y supporting they hope to obligate miners and diggers to bring their diamonds to them for sale 5 4 . The logic of supporting is that "it's supposed to give you (the supporter) the first option to buy . 5 5 " However, there is no guarantee people will be loyal to the supporter unless the arrangements are formal and prosecutable by law. A n exporter explained to me that "it's not a structured relationship, it's a risky relationship. I sometimes wonder the extent to which people are ahead in supporting. 5 6" One miner paid his mines manager 10% of his 40% share of the winnings (i.e. 4% of the overall winnings). Interview 18, 14 th July 2004. 5 3 Interviews 5 and 6, 7 t h July 2004. 5 4 Interview with Andre T. Hope, 20 t h July 2004. 5 5 Interview with Andre T. Hope, 20 t h July 2004. 5 6 Interview with Andre T. Hope, 20 l h July 2004. 67 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry A consultant commissioned by the D S R P characterises the supporter-client relationship as one of exploitation and debt bondage (Moyers 2003, M S I 2004b). There are in reality many different types of supporter-client relationships between various actors in the artisanal mining industry. Support may be formal or informal, substantial or piecemeal, occasional or regular. It may exist between diggers and a financier, miners and a financier, or between diggers themselves. These different arrangements produce different risks and obligations between the parties and different potentials for exploitation. A brief exploration of supportive relationships should help elucidate the scope of their diversity. Some supporters enter into formal arrangements with their 'clients', with the conditions of their agreement written, witnessed, signed and lodged with the Ministry of Mines 5 7 . This type of support is usually substantial and intended principally for mining-related activities, although the supporter may also offer the client relief as and when they require it. This is the support system used mostly by Lebanese dealers and international investors to support licensed miners and, by extension, their diggers, and the one which the D S R P is trying to alter. It is a business arrangement. One miner explained how his relationship with his Spanish supporter works: "He does all the logistics of the work, all the financing, and then after all the exercise, we go and sit down in his office and he 11 bring out the document of his expenditure and he will calculate his expenditure and my manager will produce his own document and they will do a comparison. After that we come to business. After the business he will tell me that this diamond is so-so-so-so-so, and out of that we will divide it between us. He will get his own 60% and I will also take my own 40 %. He'll remove the expenditure before we go into the share. This means that if the diamond cost one million Leones and that you have spent two hundred thousand Leones on expenditures, you should deduct the amount spent and go into proportional share with the 800,000 left by 60% - 40% shares58." If the miner has not kept a careful tab of expenditures and i f he does not have the skills to value the diamond, the supporter can argue that the cost of the operations exceeded the value of the diamond and give him nothing. This is a very common strategy for cheating miners and diggers and is supposedly the principle route by which miners end up in a state of debt bondage (Moyers 2003; M S I 2004b). The same miner explains how this happened with his previous supporter: "Last year I got diamonds but I was cheated. The financier told me that all his expenditure was twenty six million Leones and then all the winnings cost twenty two million Leones, so I took him to the Mines office. The Mines engineer interfered in the issue. Later on he paid my money. From there the agreement was over59" Although this is a singular experience, this miner's ability to achieve a just outcome and to move on to a new supporter suggests that the bonds of debt may not be as tight as Moyers's overview would imply. It also suggests that either the authorities are beginning to do their job better or that the miner in question was already sufficiently secure to be able to persuade the authorities to rule on his side. It can actually happen that the mining expenditures are at a deficit and the diamonds discovered are not likely to bring any gains. In this case, the miner might cheat the supporter. For example: "You have a situation sometimes arising where may be in their hold for 30 million leones to a supporter, you find a stone worth 25. You 're not going to be inclined to want to go to that guy because you still owe him 5 million after you've given him the stone. So what happens is you then go somewhere else, you try and liquidate, get your 25 million and you continue your operation with that 25 million and in the meantime you say to your supporter, hang on, something good will come. 60" Informal interview with international buyer, 2" August 2004. Also interview 18, 14l July 2004. Interview 18, 14* July 2004. Interview 18, 14th July 2004. Interview with Andre T. Hope, 20* July 2004. 68 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry This is a risky play for a miner. If a supporter feels a digger or miner has cheated him, he wi l l involve the police and most likely get his way because "it is the person who has the money who gets their way" 6 1 . Similar supporting arrangements can be entered into for mining operations but without the formality of a written agreement. This type of informal but committed support may be regular or piecemeal according to the supporter's liquidity or the supported's needs. These relationships are based more on trust and good wi l l or a pre-established sense of reciprocity, for example, amongst family members 6 2. Some diggers provide this type of support to their gang. Diggers only acted as supporters where they operated as a gado gang (see above) or had a sub-contract arrangement with a licence-holder to mine in his licensed plot in exchange for a share of the gravel (i.e. they were actually miners) 6 3 . They depended on other personal or household livelihood activities (for example farming, petty trading, gold-panning) to provide the cash and food to support their gang, or else had a relationship of support with a wealthier person, either on a fully committed or occasional basis. Lastly, there is the type of support which is irregular and without commitment. This type of arrangement exists mostly between the small-time illegal dealers or local patrons and the most vulnerable diggers we interviewed, but the Lebanese dealers I interviewed admitted offering occasional relief to certain community members 6 4. Although the obligation therein is small on either side, there is still some expectation that the diggers and miners wi l l bring their winnings to the supporter. Since the commitment is weak, it is common for the diggers to seek support from more than one person 6 5. This may lead to problems once a diamond is discovered. For example, "Sometimes somebody has a supporter, the supporter gets sick and fed up of him, says "I 'm not going to give you anything else" so he has to go to somebody else. So eventually sometimes you can have somebody who has three different supporters, and all of a sudden when he finds a stone, all hell breaks loose. 6 6" This lack of structure and obligation may lead to conflict but it also gives the digger or miner options as to whom they would prefer to sell the stone. Altogether then, the supporter is a type of patron. Supporting mining activities is one of many options for a patron, in a society where patronage is both a coping and livelihood strategy and has historically been the principle means of social protection and promotion (see chapters 5 and 6). Supporters serve similar roles in society as the state and the bank does, say, in Europe. People rely on wealthier community members to provide them with welfare relief and investment capital. They are instrumental in the redistribution of wealth and provide the fuel for economic growth. In Sierra Leone, the state and the banks are incapable of providing these services. And just as the western nation-state expects the person receiving welfare to be loyal to the state and meet their civic responsibilities, so supporters expect the person receiving support to be loyal to them and to meet their responsibilities as a client (cf. Wood 2002). One facet of I D M is to provide an alternative source of credit for licence-holders, miners, and diggers to do their mining so that they no longer have to rely on traditional supporters i f they do not want to. Certainly we did hear some stories from diggers and miners about how they had been cheated by a supporter in the past 6 7, but over half of diggers and 5 out of 7 miners said they trusted their current 'boss' (i.e. supporter) 100% to treat them fairly. Only 15% of diggers said they did not trust them at all and all miners trusted them at least 50%. This casts some doubt on the view that supporter-client relationships are deeply exploitative or at least understood to be so. Some diggers and miners are certainly aware that they are being taken advantage of, but perhaps they accept this exploitation as a necessary exchange for 6 1 Interview with Mary Musa, 23 r d July 2004. 6 2 Interview with Kono licensed dealer, 3 r d August 2004, and interview 22, 16lh July 2004. 6 3 Licence-holders will only go into this arrangement where they cannot afford to support a sufficient number of diggers to get the job done. 6 4 Interview with Lebanese dealers, 5 l h August 2004. 6 5 Interview 23, 16lh July 2004. 6 6 Interview with Andre T. Hope, 20'h July 2004. 6 7 e.g. Interview 18, 14th July 2004. 69 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry the security of knowing that their supporter(s) wi l l protect them whenever need be. For miners and diggers in Sierra Leone dependence (and its associated obligations) may be preferable to independence, as it brings greater security even i f it dampens one's potential for promotion (cf. Wood 2003). This security in dependency may not be a fixed aspect of Sierra Leonean culture but purely symptomatic of the limited options people have had available to them for accessing the credit necessary to improve their security in a post-conflict recovery economy. It is a necessary trade-off. The D S R P ' s credit scheme wi l l test this by providing new options for protection and promotion. A low participation rate would suggest that people do not have the confidence to risk greater independence from their traditional supporters or the desire to be more independent. One miner was wary that i f he joined a P D A cooperative which failed, he would not be able to re-establish a relationship with his current supporter6 8. M S I is aware that some miners may have this fear 6 9. If the rate or participation is high then it would suggest that miners are electing to depend on reciprocal rather than hierarchical relations of protection. In the direct investment project, cooperative members wi l l be unable to elicit occasional relief from foreign investors to pay off their children's school fees or attend to the ailing health of a relative. The terms of exchange within the fmancier-miner(s) relationship wi l l shift from clientelism (i.e. protection without promotion) to empowerment (i.e. promotion without protection), whilst cooperative members wi l l depend on each other to provide protection and relief. In this way then the direct financing scheme offers miners the possibility of protection and promotion, albeit with the risk of relying on peers for protection rather than more powerful patrons, which is something some people may not be will ing to do (see also chapter 6). In summary, then, miners and diggers are not all as bound to their supporters as Moyers's (2003) version of the supporter-client relationship would have us believe and nor are they always oppressed within this relationship. In recognition of this, MSI ' s technical director says he hopes that traditional supporters wi l l actually be able to participate in the credit scheme within the next couple of years and that the programme has "no intention of ruining financial ties that work for both sides" 7 0. The programme's coordinators are therefore mindful of the complexity and variety of these supporter-client relationships. 5.2.7 Entitlements and Terms of Exchange The previous section considered the principle actors in the mining industry. Next I set out the terms of exchange which exist between them. I look at the levels of support given to diggers and how winnings are shared between the various actors. Regular Support Supporters give miners what they need to extract diamonds, that is, rice, tools, machines, and cash. In turn, the miners provide subsistence to the diggers. It is usual for the miner or supporter to provide diggers with at least some rice (between 2 and 3 cups a day) and some money to buy other foodstuffs for making 'soup' (i.e. sauce or stew). This daily cash payment varies geographically: some of the worst supported diggers we interviewed lived in Kamara chiefdom. They received Le 500 (~ $0.20) a day. In other parts, people were paid as much as Le 5,000 (~ $2.00) plus further support. The average amount received by the diggers interviewed was Lei ,900. One commitment of the P D A is to establish a minimum "fair living wage" for diggers but no consensus had yet been reached on what this would be when I was in the field (MSI 2003b: 11). Paul Temple explains why "We worked with the committee and sub-committees on how they should put it, we got it to vote and at the end of it they disagreed and they said, no, we can't have it. ...I said, why not? They said, well on one side, you know, we buy, ...we don't agree that we want to give them that share ... The second thing, when we looked at it, we also said, well we can't sign up to this either... because it's below the accepted poverty level.71" 6 8 Interview 2, 1st July 2004. 6 9 Email from technical advisor, 20 t h January 2005. 7 0 Email from technical advisor, 20 t h January 2005. 7 1 Interview with Paul Temple, 20 l h June 2004. 70 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry This divergence of opinions on an 'acceptable' wage for diggers reflects two things. Firstly, international standards, such as the poverty line, can impede progress in societies where poverty is so extreme and so far below it in the first place, as in Sierra Leone. Secondly, that miners are either exploiting diggers willingly - "we don't agree we want to give them that share" - or because they are concerned that by having to meet a minimum standard of payment, they increase their own insecurity owing to the uncertainty of returns at each mining site (cf. Global Witness & P A C 2004). Given that miners in the workshop admitted that they purposefully pay diggers in small notes so it looks like they are getting a lot of money, it seems more likely that miners are knowingly exploiting their diggers 7 2. Fortunately, the P D A has now agreed that the minimum wage for diggers in the I D M cooperatives wi l l be $2 per day, which is apparently approximately double the norm, as well as a share in the cooperative's profits 7 3. Apart from rice and money diggers might also be supported in their health, shelter, transport and funeral expenses, and even their children's education and family welfare. Supported diggers usually receive enough to tend to their own needs only. Some supporters make allowances for diggers who are married by providing them with their own room, for example 7 4, but it is unusual for a supporter to provide for diggers' families' daily needs. Diggers depend on other household members to do this (see chapter 6). The support received by the diggers we interviewed is shown in table 5.3. Not all of these diggers were permanently supported. Just over half of those mining illegally did so without support. T5.5 Diggers' Regular 'Income' as Provided by the Supporter of their Mining Activities No. of diggers Legal Illegal Rice Money Health Shelter Family welfare Transport Children's education Death expenses 8 7 1 V • 7 4 3 -id*. -i JJ1 T 4 2 2 v * V'i 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 V w s m m m m 1 1 1 / m / •-1 1 • 1 1 1 1 -Tfito'W 1 1 -1 1 -1 - 1 TOTAL 24 7 30 28 23 17 8 4 3 2 32. Receive regular support 11 Do not receive regular support 7 Support the gang themselves A l l diggers but 2 received rice from their supporter and all but 3 received money and health. Shelter was provided less commonly, most probably because the diggers employed were local. The only people who had their death expenses covered were the divers, which suggests that supporters recognise the elevated risk of fatalities in diving operations. Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop I, 24 t h July 2004. Email from technical advisor, 20 l h January 2005. Interview 36, 28 t h July 2004. 71 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry Winnings Allocation Systems Different allocation systems are used in different relationships and in accordance with the type of mining being conducted. Here I review 2 principle relationships of exchange - within the mining gang and between the gang and the financier; the relationship between the financier and the licence-holder has already been considered, I then consider who benefits from the most common arrangements. Before this I set out a typology of the various systems used today. Wage Labour Diggers are sometimes employed seasonally and paid cash only, meaning that those contracted do not get any share of the winnings and do not get other benefits such as food and shelter. The amount paid is usually 5,000 Leones a day. Occasional labour is often paid this way too. Pre-negotiated percentage of the cash winnings Prior to beginning work, the parties agree on the percentage share of the winnings once it has been converted into cash. Whatever quality of diamonds they find, they split the winnings according to this pre-negotiated percentage. This system is used today between supporters and licensed miners. The usual split is 60:40 or 70:30. It is also used to allocate winnings amongst the diggers, many of whom share winnings equally amongst themselves. It used to be the system used between the diggers and the miner in the 1960s. From the miner's perspective it is the optimum system i f the diggers know how to value diamonds (see below). From the digger's perspective, it should be the preferable system i f they do not know how to value diamonds. Pre-negotiated percentage of the gravel (Pile and bucket systems) Prior to beginning work, the parties agree on a percentage share of the gravel. This generally happens when diggers are unsupported or where a miner has sub-leased a portion of licensed land and pays the license-holder in gravel rather than winnings. This was the system used by the rebels and government forces during the war because it required no capital input other than the purchase of tools: half the gravel was to be washed for the commander, and half to be washed and shared among the junior soldiers who were digging. It is a high risk arrangement because there is no guarantee that your pile contains a diamond and even when your colleague finds one, you have no claim on it (unlike in the other systems). This system entails the biggest gamble. The bucket system is practically identical to the pile system. Instead of paying diggers in one big 'pile ' wherefrom the winnings of the pile wi l l be split amongst the whole gang (i.e. up to 50 men), the diggers are divided into teams of maybe 4 and each team receives a bucket of extracted gravel to wash for the boss and a bucket to wash for themselves. If they find any diamonds in their bucket, their little team gets to keep the winnings in their entirety so none wi l l get shared with the other diggers or with the boss. In practice, however, the gang wi l l usually either sell the diamonds to the 'boss' (who can then sell them under his licence) or wi l l sell the diamonds under the boss's licence and give him a 'tip' or commission for assisting them in selling it. Kongoma In kongoma the diggers contract their labour on a short-term basis in exchange for a portion of the gravel. This system is used when the supporter is no longer able to give support for the required work. Thus he gets no share of the winnings. For example, the 30 diggers he has employed cannot get the gravel extracted before the rains begin. In this situation the employed diggers or mines manager wi l l call on contract diggers, maybe a gado gang, who wi l l help out with the work and receive payment in the form of share of the extracted gravel at the end of the day. The agreement is made at the mine between the contract diggers and either the other diggers or the mines manager. Another scenario might be that the supporter has no liquidity and can no longer afford to pay his employed diggers. In this case the diggers might agree to exchange their labour for a bucket of gravel at the end of the day, which is theirs entirely. In kongoma the licence-holder and the supporter lose nothing i f the gravel proves to be unproductive because they are getting free labour. 72 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry Post-negotiated price In this situation, diggers 'sel l ' each winning to the mines manager or directly to the licence-holder -supporter team. Where the diamond is small the diggers are more likely to get a fair price because they know better the value of smaller stones and because the miners are happy to sacrifice small amounts of money to keep the diggers satisfied 7 5. If, however, winnings have been scarce up until that point and the supporter is in deficit, then they are likely to get nothing for small finds. This may encourage some diggers to steal. Diggers are far less likely to know the value of big winnings and often sell for too low a price. A knowledgeable miner can make a sizable sum from ignorant diggers with this system. And yet, according to one miner, this agreement is the best way to "really satisfy the diggers. They get satisfied when you agree on the price, and they know that is what you have to pay them, wherever you want to sell your diamond, you can go and sell it and bring their money 7 6". Supposedly, then, this is the system the diggers prefer, even i f it lays them bare to being duped. This is the system most commonly used today. The following table shows the systems used within each relationship of exchange 7 7. T5.6 Table Winnings Allocation Systems in Different Relationships Legality ••• Actors Between whom winnings are to be shared Legal Illegal \ l l l U l l g S t (.ado gang Amongst Employed Diggers Diggers + financier ( L l l and/or S ) L l l + S L l l + lessee Wage only oo X X S X X Pre-negotiated % winnings s 0 Pre-negotiated % gravel 2 pile 3 pile (5:5:2) X </ X </ X 0 Bucket system X X X Post-negotiated price (/) X 0 X Kongoma S s X X Gado / Kabudu X s (^) - it is not ordinarily used in this system - it is the predominant system used to allocate winnings between these actors today * L H is licence-holder, S is supporter. Within the Mining Gang Amongst the interviewees, in the majority of cases gangs allocated winnings equally amongst themselves. This was especially the case in gado gangs. In the remaining gangs, winnings are distributed either according to productivity (based on effort and skill) or according to age and position in the hierarchy. For example, "the diggers have their own society because they know how to shovel, they know who does and doesn't do it well or for passing the bucket. From there they pay you according to your work" 7 8 . The gang " Interview 10, 9 m July 2004. 7 6 Interview 5, 7 l h July 2004. 7 7 Based on exercise conducted in Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop I, 24 t h July 2004, and the interviews. 7 8 Interview 5, 7 l h July 2004. Note, when winnings are allocated unequally, it is also dependent on the position in the hierarchy according to age and role, and the amount of winnings. They are more likely to share winnings unequally when the winnings are significant. 73 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry leader decides who should get what. Usually he wi l l also receive a tip from the remaining diggers. In two cases, winnings were allocated differently according to the value of the gem: equally when the gem was of low value, and unequally when it was of high value with the gang leader taking a bigger share 7 9. Between the Diggers and the Financier (i.e. miner or supporter) The most common system used to allocate winnings between the diggers and the financier is post-negotiated pricing, according to the workshop participants, and pre-negotiated share of the winnings, according to interviewees. In fact, it is common for the parties to use both systems simultaneously. In other words, the parties agree on percentages and then renegotiate these once winnings are found according to expenditure and winnings to date 8 0. In one of the workshops, miners created the following table outlining the benefits and disadvantages of using the different systems within the digger - miner - supporter arrangement which is most typical of artisanal production. Table 5.7 Win-Lose Table For Winning Allocation Systems used between Digger and Miner or between Digger and Miner/Supporter Partnership ' - System" ._. Productivity - of gravel Digger Miner Supporter \ Tributors (wage only) Productive - + + Unproductive + - -Pre-negotiated % or winnings unimportant + + (if he is using his share to support the diggers) Prc-ncgotiated % of gravel 2 pile = 3 pile (5:5:2) bucket system Productive + + + Unproductive -+ (diggers sell to him so the diamonds can be sold under his licence) -Kongoma UonluiU \\><ik in lunge lni gravel) - -Productive - -Unproductive - + + Post-iicgofialcd price Unimportant ~ (unless the digger can value a diamond) ~r" (buys diamond cheaply) + S = win * = lose The table reveals that the system used most commonly today between diggers and the miner/supporter partnership - that of post-negotiated pricing - benefits the miner and supporter more than it does the diggers when the miner has superior valuing skills than the diggers. One aspect of the D S R P is to provide training to mining cooperatives in valuing diamonds. B y October 2004, 38 people had received training and, according to the programme's technical advisor, "al l of them had promised, as a condition of receiving the training, to hop on motorcycles and go to the pits to teach this information to the diggers" 8 1. However, all the diggers I interviewed who were working for PDA-member cooperatives knew very little 9 Interviews 10 and AA-14, 9'h and 23 r d July, 2004. 0 Structure of the Mining Industry Workshop I, 24 l h July 2004. 1 Email from technical advisor, 4 t h November 2004. 74 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry about the P D A and certainly had not received any training in valuing from their employers by that time in August. Besides access to capital, the most important asset anyone can have in the diamond industry is knowledge - where is the land productive, who should you trust, and how much is that diamond worth? And in a society where knowledge is power, it takes a lot more than encouragement to get licence-holders to transfer their valuing knowledge to their workers. It is good news that in December 2004 the P D A trained master trainers who wi l l be going to the mines in March 2005 to teach valuing skills to diggers 8 2. 5.2.8 Illegal mining Illegal mining happens wherever somebody mines land which is unlicensed, or wherever somebody who does not have a claim to the license, mines licensed land, for example i f someone steals gravel from a licensed plot for washing. A lot of illegal mining happens in the bush in Kono, increasingly in the east where diamonds have not yet been significantly exploited and where the chiefdoms do not have the same level of experience in issuing licences and monitoring the industry as in the chiefdoms I studied. O f the 48 diggers we interviewed, 28 were legal, 16 were illegal and four were of unknown status. A l l the miners were licensed except one, who was the land-owner. This proportion is likely to be unrealistically skewed towards the legal side because illegal miners would have been more reluctant to be interviewed and because our access to diggers was usually made possible through our contacts with P D A cooperatives, all of whose members are supposed to work in legal operations. The D S R P is designed to help the Government of Sierra Leone legalise the artisanal diamond supply chain. The D S R P therefore principally provides the opportunity for empowerment and enrichment for diggers and miners who mine and sell their diamonds legally. Legality or membership in a P D A cooperative is the passport for accessing the resources and the eventual benefits the D S R P is trying to make possible, although illegal operators benefit as "free riders" from the Diamond Area Community Development Fund 8 3 . But is legal mining a simple choice for all miners? Do people mine illegally because they just do not care to be licensed, or are there other forces at work? The choice of whether to mine legally or not is framed by the strength of a person's protection networks, whether they can finance themselves, what other livelihood options are available to them, and the relative attractiveness of these other options. Legal mining is the optimum choice for someone who can afford to obtain the licence and conduct the mining without support. Independent legal miners have explicit and enforceable rights and greater freedom to sell to whomever they please 8 4. This reduces their chance of theft and enables them to get better prices locally. For others, the legal option requires that they go into a supported arrangement in order to afford the licence and/or the costs of production. If the mine is unproductive, the miner might find himself with no earnings at the end of the year, or worse still, in debt: "When you get a license, you are under pressure always how to change this license when the year rounds. And you are working without getting a winning so that at the end you can get renew this license definitely you have to go into debt. And then you face the problem of worrying how to pay back these debts." 8 5 With general productivity falling, the risk of more people going into debt is increasing. For this reason the D S R P is timely in its efforts to help increase their returns as well as to provide an alternative lender to whom they may prefer to be indebted. Illegal mining, gado and overkicking offer people greater independence and a higher share of the winnings. Working for a licence-holder greatly reduces a digger's returns and also binds the digger to his authority. This means less flexibility in choosing which days he mines, and when he starts and finishes for the day. For diggers who mine to supplement another, principal livelihood therefore, illegal operations (i.e. gado or overkicking) are more feasible than working in a legal gang. One digger mined illegally although his brothers had licensed plots. He would rather work independently because then, i f he finds Email from technical advisor, 20' January 2005. Email from technical advisor, 20 t h January 2005. Interview 5, 7 l h July 2004. Interview 5, 7 t h July 2004. 75 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry anything, the money is all for him, and also because his brothers, like other licence-holders, do not support their workers satisfactorily in his opinion. He does, however, use his brothers' licences to sell his diamonds and gives them a tip for allowing him to do this 8 6 . Access to a licence-holder who wi l l buy your diamonds from you or allow you to sell to a licensed dealer under her licence gives illegal diggers a greater choice of buyers beyond the network of illegal dealers and makes illegal mining more possible. And with illegal mining more possible, the greater flexibility and independence it offers also makes it more attractive. The D S R P imagined style of mining is well-structured and very formal. A diversity of mining styles amongst cooperatives seems unlikely. W i l l the D S R P really lure illegal miners away from the freedoms illegal activities offer them? One miner stated that those who mine illegally either do not have the money to pay for a licence or are related to the authorities and so effectively have indemnity 8 7. Interviewee 19 was the nephew of a Paramount Chief and yet he mines without a licence. Interviewee 20 was the brother of a section chief who lives in the village where the digger does unlicensed surface mining. Interviewee 17 was supported by the town chief to do overkicking during the rainy season. Interviewee 8, whose father is a chief, mined in a gado gang in Yengema. Four out of 12 interviewees who were related to chiefs in some way mined illegally. This lends some support to interviewee 14's statement that "for other people like sons of paramount and town chiefs, they exercise their father's authorities to mine without license. They only look out for mines warden to demarcate lands and from that point, straight away they start to mine" 8 8 . If illegal mining is to be properly discouraged, the chiefs need to be further sensitised and/or suitably reprimanded for facilitating or ignoring illegal mining among family members. If they do not respect their own laws, how can they expect people in an increasingly individualistic society (Archibald and Richards 2002) to respect them too? Mining illegally increases the risk of persecution by the authorities, theft or duping. Without money to pay bribes or the protection of a 'big man', it is a risky business: Estelle: So in your opinion, why do some miners work without a licence? Miner: Because they don't have the funds and there is no opportunity for them. There is no opportunity for them to get the licence. Estelle: Why is there no opportunity? Miner: Well the opportunity is there - either you don't have the money for yourself or you don't have any family who is a big man among you to help you in any circumstances*9. For some people, however, mining legally is just not an option. Either they cannot afford the licence or they are excluded from participating in a legal gang because of their gender or age 9 0. On the other hand, where people have strong social contacts, illegal mining is the optimum choice because it offers greater profitability and greater independence. In other words, illegal mining is the strong person's preferable option and the poor person's fate. As the Government proceeds in developing its capacity to eliminate illegal mining, these different motivations need to be taken into consideration to ensure that the powerful do not continue to bear indemnity, whilst the vulnerable are pushed even further to the margins of survival. 5.2.9 Diamond Market ing If I D M proves successful in making the market more competitive and transparent, it may marginalise current dealers from the market unless they raise their standards (and prices) to compete with the buying scheme and operate more legally and transparently. It is believed that these dealers are exploitative and corrupt, often cheating diggers and miners of a fair price. It is also believed that they, along with the Interview 20,16 t h July 2004. Interview 14, 13 lh July 2004. Interview 14, 13 th July 2004. Interview 36, 28 t h July 2004. Interview 36, 28 l h July 2004. 76 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry exporters, are the principle smugglers 9 1. Bypassing them is seemingly simpler than trying to discipline them. Lastly, it is widely believed, especially amongst the locals, that through their smuggling and legitimate trading enterprises and because their roots are elsewhere (in West Africa and the Lebanon), they invest most of their diamond profits outside of the country, which debilitates the Kono economy. As one digger put it "we are left empty" 9 2. In what follows I investigate how those involved in buying diamonds affect the ability of diggers and miners to receive a fair price for their diamonds as this is one objective of I D M . Specifically I examine the roles of the dealing cartel and coaxers. I then briefly consider how diamonds are marketed illegally. I conclude by considering whether it is indeed in the interests of the people of Sierra Leone to marginalise these people from the diamond trade for the sake of peace and prosperity. Getting a Fair Price for the Diamond Valuing a diamond requires a complex understanding of what yield and type of cut diamond the rough diamond can produce as well as the relative importance of how the quality and rarity of colour, the weight, and the demand for the resultant shape wi l l affect the price of the feasible cut diamond. As each diamond is unique and the value of a diamond is based largely on its relative beauty, pricing is a highly subjective skill . Furthermore, value per carat increases exponentially as the size of the diamond increases. Thus it was very difficult to map how the value of a diamond changes up the supply chain. In very approximate terms, a good quality rough gem weighing one carat wi l l bring a dealer $600, an exporter $700 and an international buyer would sell to a jeweller for $900 9 3 . The Dealing Cartel Often a miner wi l l take his/her diamond to several potential buyers before settling on the price. A common activity amongst dealers, especially the Lebanese ones apparently, is 'putting the passport' (see Fithen 1999 for a detailed account of the Lebanese dealing community). A dealer 'puts the passport' on a diamond i f he wants to buy it but does not want to pay the miner's asking price. The dealer wi l l call around other dealers telling them what price he offered the miner. The next dealer the miner visits wi l l likely offer him a little less than this original price, and the third dealer wi l l offer less than this price and so on. A t some point the miner wi l l realise what is happening and either sell his stone there and then, try his luck with the original dealer or sell it out of town. One miner described how it happened to her: Estelle: So what do you do? Do you just sell to the next one or do you go back to the first? Miner: Oh, well you go back to the jirst. You find out that his price has gone down. He will tell you, oh no Pm sorry. I had some money but now I have used the money, euh, I can't do this now. And then he will pretend as if he doesn't want it because he knows now you don't have a choice. You see? ... No matter if you 're close to them. And especially when it comes to the Lebanese. There was a time 1 was going to sell one diamond to Bunguman. We are close, you know he is my friend, and he insisted he would pay me, he will pay me 900,000for the diamond I thought he was going to pay me a million for. I beg him, I say, well just give me a million now, he said no! You know, he refused! And then by the time you go to somebody else it would be 800 and when you come back to him he say, ah, no, I don't have money. The only money I have here is 800. Estelle: And he's your friend? Miner: Yes! No matter how friendly you are with him, when it comes to business ... they'll play the game94. 9 1 Interviews with Mines Monitoring Officer, 12 lh July 2004, local journalist, 5 t h August 2004, and official of the Network Movement for Justice and Development, 4 t h August 2004. Despite its obvious fascination, I am not revealing my findings on smuggling as this is not directly relevant to diggers' and miners' ability to reduce their poverty, although it certainly affects the Government's ability to assist them by depriving it of revenues. 9 2 Interview 16, 13 lh July 2004. 9 3 Interview with Lawrence Ndola-Myers, General Manager of the Gold and Diamond Office, 20 t h July 2004. 9 4 Interview with Amienatta Conteh, 5 l h August 2004. 77 Estelle Levin Chapter 5: The Kono Artisanal Diamond Industry Coaxers Some dealers, especially the Lebanese, employ West Africans to encourage miners to sell to them. Coaxers are usually Marakas or Fullahs, both of whom are known for their salesmanship. The Kono dealer suggested that the Lebanese would not employ Kono people as coaxers because "the Lebanese don't want us knowing their secrets"9 5.