Angola: January 19, 2003


Police and army troops have begun a major operation to find and expel some 10,000 illegal diamond miners from Mali and Senegal. These men, operating in diamond fields in the center of the country, did business with UNITA, and this trade provided most of the money to fuel UNITA's military operations. It's been estimated that over $300 million worth of diamonds are still smuggled out of the country each year. UNITA, now a political party, is suspected of still being involved in diamond dealing. The miners have never been known engage in organized military activity and appear to be evading the police, not fighting them. 


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