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Angola pays price for riches say reports

Author: John Reed, Financial Times, Published on: 30 August 2006

Two separate reports have painted a bleak picture of health and human rights in Angola’s diamond-rich east. The findings are likely to increase international pressure on the country to improve governance and public services as it enjoys double-digit growth thanks to rising revenue from oil and diamonds. Médecins sans Frontières on Wednesday published results of a survey of infant mortality conducted in Xá-Muteba, in eastern Angola’s Lunda Norte province... Separately, a leading Angolan human-rights activist claims in a forthcoming report seen by the FT to have documented dozens of cases of “profoundly sadistic” human-rights abuses by security companies protecting diamond operations in Cuango municipality, in another part of Lunda Norte. Guards employed by the three companies used shovels, shovel handles, clubs and machetes to torture their victims, Rafael Marques alleges in “Operation Kissonde: the Diamonds of Humiliation and Misery.” The alleged abuses affected mostly garimpeiros, or individual artisanal diamond miners, whose activities sometimes clash with those of conventional mining and trading operations.

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