December 3, 2004 Minorities at Risk Project // Center for International Development and Conflict Management // University of Maryland
Ethnicity has been a key factor in the political history of Guyana since before independence. The Afro-Guyanese assimilated into the dominant European culture, while the East Indians maintained their culture. Half of today's population are of East Indian origin, while 39 percent are Afro-Guyanese - the rest are of European, other Asian, or indigenous descent.
Racial politics have long been played in Guyana with the People's Progressive Party (PPP) generally favoring the East Indian community and the People's National Congress (PNC) generally favoring the Afro-Guyanese. However, this overlooks the intermarriages, religious conversions, and the adoption of one another's cultural traits by members of each group. Since independence, each ruling regime has identified strongly with one of the dominant ethnic groups. When the PPP is in power, Afro-Guyanese complain of discrimination, and when the PNC has control Indo-Guyanese complain of discrimination. Though ethnic tensions seemed to decline slightly between the late 1980s and early 1990s, recent years have been marked by high political and ethnic tensions, including sometimes violent protest....
December 3, 2004 Minorities at Risk Project // Center for International Development and Conflict Management // University of Maryland
Ethnicity has been a key factor in the political history of Guyana since before independence. The Afro-Guyanese assimilated into the dominant European culture, while the East Indians maintained their culture. Half of today's population are of East Indian origin, while 39 percent are Afro-Guyanese - the rest are of European, other Asian, or indigenous descent. Racial politics have long been played in Guyana with the People's Progressive Party (PPP) generally favoring the East Indian community and the People's National Congress (PNC) generally favoring the Afro-Guyanese. Though ethnic tensions seemed to decline slightly between the late 1980s and early 1990s, recent years have been marked by high political and ethnic tensions, including sometimes violent protest....
Some 160 km off of the muddy Atlantic shores of Guyana and its neighbour, Suriname, lies what geologists suspect is the world's second-largest untapped oil resource, scattered in more than 100 pools. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates there could potentially be some 15.3 billion barrels, buried deep in the same rock formations that have been a source of petrodollars for neighbouring Venezuela and Brazil. If put into production, Guyana's theoretical reserves could eventually yield a daily output on par with Kuwait's. And a small Toronto-based oil company called CGX Energy Inc. is one of a few companies, including Exxon Mobil Corp. and Spain's Repsol YPF SA, that are licensed by Guyana to drill there. A bitter boundary dispute, though, has thwarted attempts to explore the most promising sites and keeps the oil dream on hold. The drama started in June 2000, when CGX first set off to drill one of two large targets it had identified as potentially holding half a billion barrels of oil each, some 13,000 feet below sea level. The company named the target Eagle, after the national bird of Guyana. (The other one was named Wishbone, "indicative of the fact that we had our fingers crossed," recalls CGX president Kerry Sully, a long-time oil executive.) As they waited for their rig to cross the ocean from Italy, Sully and his partners plotted its daily progress on the Internet. A mistake, it turned out -- Sully says the company was later told that "people from Suriname looked at it daily."...
By all indications, and from the evidence gathered
for this year’s Diamonds and Human
Security Annual Review, the Kimberley Process
(KP), designed to halt and prevent the return
of “conflict diamonds”, is failing. The cost of a
collapse would be disastrous for an industry
that benefits so many countries, and for the
millions of people in developing countries who
depend, directly and indirectly on it. A criminalized
diamond economy would re-emerge
and conflict diamonds could soon follow. The
problems can and must be fixed.
Accountability is the primary issue. There is no
KP central authority. The “chair” rotates annually
and has virtually no responsibility beyond a
convening function. Problems are shifted from
one “working group” to another; debates on
vital issues extend for years. “Consensus” in
the KP means that everyone must agree; a single
dissenter can block forward movement.
Nobody takes responsibility for action or inaction,
failure or success; the Kimberley Process
has no core body apart from its annual “plenary
meeting” and thus nobody is held responsible
The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme
(KPCS) has a peer review mechanism which
reviews each member’s compliance roughly
once every three years. Some reviews are thorough
and recommendations are heeded. In
many cases, however, recommendations are
ignored, and there is little or no follow-up —
this has been the case in the past with DRC
and Angola. And, as this Annual Review notes,
some reviews are completely bogus. In 2008, a
bloated, nine-member team visited Guinea, a
country beset by corruption, weak diamond
controls, and almost certain smuggling. The
team spent less than two hours outside the
capital and its report remained unfinished for
almost 11 months. A team visited Venezuela in
2008 but its makeup, agenda and itinerary
were dictated entirely by the Venezuelan government.
NGOs were barred and there were no visits to mining areas or border towns.
Zimbabwe, rife with smuggling and gross diamond-
related human rights abuse, consumed
months of ineffectual internal KP debate. In the
end, the KP agreed on a review mission, but only
after being publicly shamed into action by NGO
and media reports. The result is a lowest-common-
denominator “consensus” and continuing
October 7, 2009 Small Arms Survey // Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva // Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
The data in this report is derived from country submissions when possible,
and estimates when necessary. Estimates are extrapolated from each country’s
identified procurement, highest modern personnel totals, and strategic doctrine.
Except where noted, the military small arms and light weapons data
presented here is not official, comprehensive, or conclusive; it is for general
evaluation and comparison only. The complete methodology used here is described
in Chapter 2 of the Small Arms Survey 2006.
Small arms are state-owned handguns, submachine guns, rifles, shotguns,
and light and medium machine guns. Firearms are civilian-owned handguns,
submachine guns, rifles, and shotguns. Long at the forefront of international small arms issues, public debate and
activism in South America have largely focused on matters surrounding civilian
firearms, estimated here to total between 21.7 and 26.8 million. The reasons
for this civilian preoccupation are principally linked to chronic gun violence.
South America has 14 per cent of the global population, and roughly 3.5 to 4 per
cent of the world’s civilian firearms, but it suffers from roughly 40 per cent of
all homicides committed with firearms.
Military small arms are rarely part of public debate, largely because of a
strong culture of national security secrecy in South America. But military
small arms policy has attracted much closer scrutiny in recent years, especially
as military small arms and light weapons are diverted to criminals and
guerrillas, fuelling insurgencies and civil violence. This report focuses primarily
on issues surrounding surplus military small arms and light weapons in
the region. Law enforcement and civilian firearms inventories and issues are
recognized here as well, to ensure a balanced overall perspective.
The region’s military establishments do not have a strong record of identifying
or eliminating their surplus small arms, light weapons, or ammunition.
South America holds some of the world’s largest military small arms and
light weapons surpluses. Military inventories are not exceptionally large in
absolute terms, but they are a major element in global surplus problems. Among
the 12 independent countries of South America, there are an estimated 3.6
million military small arms as of 2007, 1.5 per cent of the global total. Of these,
approximately 1.3 million, more than one-third, are surplus....
October 29, 2008 Partnership Africa Canada // Global Witness
The illicit trade in rough diamonds is one of the greatest
threats facing the Kimberley Process (KP) certification
scheme. The KP was created to halt and prevent the
trade in conflict diamonds that cost so many lives
during the last two decades. At the end of the scheme’s
fifth year, the trafficking of conflict and illicit stones is
looking more like a dangerous rule than an exception.
Partnership Africa Canada and Global Witness have long
argued that the Kimberley Process should be more
proactive in monitoring infringements, and tougher in
curtailing this illicit trade. The situation today is getting
worse. In Venezuela, rampant diamond smuggling
continues while the government flouts the certification
scheme. Despite a UN embargo on Ivorian conflict
diamonds, stones are still mined in northern Côte
d’Ivoire, smuggled into international trading centres and
sold on to consumers. Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe
governor Gideon Gono recently stated that over 10,000
people were visiting the border town of Mutare every
month for illegal activities involving diamonds. Gono
said that over 2,000 local syndicates were smuggling
diamonds out of the country.
This paper reviews the issues around illicit flows of
rough diamonds, particularly in countries facing serious
challenges in controlling the artisanal mining sector.
We present the results of a survey assessing how
participant countries are enforcing KP controls and
monitoring the diamond industry, and we put forward
specific recommendations for changing the way the KP
is managed and implemented. We hope that the
procrastination and denial that have gripped the
Kimberley Process on these issues in recent years can be
replaced at the forthcoming Plenary Meeting in New Delhi
with a proactive and dedicated response to the problems....
Just as peace is not simply the absence of war,
an end to conflict diamonds does not necessarily
mean that diamonds will create prosperity
or that human security will prevail in the
areas where they are mined. The campaign to
halt conflict diamonds has largely succeeded,
although the phenomenon continues in Côte
d’Ivoire, seemingly beyond the ingenuity and
the powers of the 75 governments represented
in the Kimberley Process (KP) and the
world’s entire diamond industry. But the KP
challenge today is not just Côte d’Ivoire; the
larger challenge is to ensure that diamonds are
controlled and tracked in ways that prevent a
return of the much more deadly diamondfuelled
wars of the past.
Diamonds are not just symbols of love, fidelity
and purity, they are the most concentrated
form of wealth on earth, and because of that,
they attract problems. A raid on a Damiani
showroom in Milan netted thieves as much as
$30 million in diamond jewellery in February.
That was just one of many diamond heists. If
you Google “diamond theft 2008” you will
find more than five million articles. It stands to
reason, therefore, that conflict diamonds could
return to countries where development is
stunted and governance weak. That is why
organizations like the Diamond Development
Initiative (DDI) are so important, and why
efforts to bring greater transparency to the
extractive sector need all the support they can
get. The intergovernmental Extractive
Industries Transparency Initiative and the NGOled
Publish What You Pay Campaign are key
elements in this.
Partnership Africa Canada (PAC) has been a
leader in the campaign against conflict diamonds
since 1999. It has been, and remains an
active member of all Kimberley Process meetings
and working groups. We have produced
several background studies on diamond-related
issues, 17 occasional papers and a quarterly newsletter, "Other Facets". All are available on
the PAC website (www.pacweb.org).
Starting in 2003, we began to publish standalone
Annual Reviews of the Diamond Industry
on Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of
the Congo and Angola. The Annual Reviews,
published in English (all), French (DRC) and
Portuguese (Angola) aimed to provide governments,
civil society and investors with information
that would be helpful in the promotion of
greater transparency and more positive developmental
outcomes. The Annual Reviews have
been widely quoted and have become documents
of record on the diamond industries in
For 2008 we have taken a different approach,
expanding the project to cover more countries,
but producing one report rather than three.
This report — Diamonds and Human Security
Annual Review 2008 — concentrates on the
three countries most seriously affected by diamond-
fuelled conflict – Angola, DRC and
Sierra Leone – but we have also included articles
on countries touched by those conflicts, or
where internal controls over diamonds, and
where development considerations, remain
September 16, 2008 En la Mira - The Latin American Small Arms Watch
Although all countries, in theory report their authorized transfers - and
such information may even be available in certain public databases - the
task of providing an overview of SALW transfers, their parts and
munitions, is an arduous one. Nonetheless, despite the difficulties, we
have some extremely positive initiatives on a global scale, such as for
example, the Small Arms Survey, recognized as an important source of
information, especially on SALW production and transfers, as well as the
Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers (NISAT) which has a
database containing transfer records going back to 1962.Despite these
important initiatives, themselves when researchers, activists and policy
makers try to understand a regional market, such as Latin America and
the Caribbean, they encounter a dearth of information. With the intent of addressing this shortcoming, En La Mira has, since 2007, dedicated an
issue to transfers of SALWs, parts and ammunition in this region. Further, according to statistics from the United Nations Commodity Trade
Statistics Database (UN-Comtrade or Comtrade), USD 6.7 billion were
exported between 2004 and 2006, while USD 6.5 billion were imported.
Despite the fact that Latin America and the Caribbean represent 6% and
3%, respectively, of total transfers worldwide during this period, 42% of
firearms related homicide is committed in the region. This discrepancy
between the international transfer volume share and the levels of armsrelated
violence in Latin America and the Caribbean calls attention to
itself, above all because of the tragic and startling number of homicides.
Obviously, far from wishing to increase arms transfers in order to be more
in sync with homicide rates, we decided, a year ago, to study this issue
and periodically monitor its development based on our interest in
understanding the primary legal entry and exit routes of firearms and
ammunition. The result is a report - based on customs information as
stated by Latin American and Caribbean countries and their respective
partners - whose objective is to describe the movement of the SALW
imports and exports, as well as ammunition and parts, during the present
decade. Based on this data, we answer the following questions: who
exported and who imported? From whom? What? And when?
It is worth restating that the intent of this report is not to explain the
cause of arms imports and exports by Latin American countries. Beyond
merely providing information, we do indeed wish to awaken, by means of
the information presented here, the curiosity of other researches, activists
and government staff members such that they may continue to perform research in their countries regarding the transparency of this information,
on who is using the transferred SALW, and how.
The data used for this report came from the NISAT database, which
contains more than 800,000 entries for SALW transfers worldwide since
1962. The NISAT database gets its information from different sources,
COMTRADE among them. In this study we decided to restrict ourselves
to data from this latter source because, in theory, all countries report
transfers to the UN. This data is declared in accordance with the
Harmonized System (SH) merchandise classification system. The HS has
existed since 1988and, in 2007, was revised for the fourth time; previous
revisions were in 1992, 1996 and in 2002. Regarding the period analyzed,
we are looking at data up until 2006, since at the time the study closed
this was the most recent year available on NISAT....