Diamond Barons Destroy Food Crops

Several hundred Angolan peasants and their families reportedly face the prospect of a state-sponsored famine in the northeastern diamond region of Lunda Norte thanks to the decision to destroy villages, homes and crops to expand mining operations. The Angolan diamond mining conglomerate, Sociedade Mineira do Cuango (SMC) is accused of ordering the systematic destruction of hundreds of food crop plantations in the Cafunfo area (Cuango municipality), with the local MPLA administration ordering the compulsory removal of the villagers and destruction of their homes, cash crops and vegetable gardens. Villagers complain that compensation for their destroyed harvests is wholly inadequate, amounting to 60,000 kwanzas (about US $115) in the informal exchange rate) and some empty water barrels. “The peasant may have planted crops in an area of between one and four hectares, but each only gets a maximum of 60,000 kwanzas sum, regardless of the size of the area cultivated,” says […]

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