Raekwon, Paul Wall, Tego Calderon Head To Sierra Leone For VH1 Special

  VH1 continues their "Rock Doc" series with the tentatively titled special, Bling A Planet Rock, which features rappers Raekwon, Paul Wall and Reggaeton artist Tego Calderon.

The three artists are in Sierra Leone this week, to hear first hand accounts of people who have suffered at the hands of the lucrative diamond trade.

The documentary will also focus on how Hip-Hop has played a role in the country's 11-year civil war, which was mostly funded by the illegal trading of conflict or "blood" diamonds.

Raekwon, Wall and Calderon will visit mining communities and will meet with local musicians, children and government officials.

The documentary is being produced by Article 19 Films, in association with VH1 and the United Nations Development Program.

Producers of the documentary hope "Bling: A Planet Rock" educate Americans about conflict diamonds and bring global awareness to the issue.

The country was once a major exporter of slaves during the Transatlantic Slave Trade in the 1700's, until the capital of Freetown was founded in 1792 as a haven for African-American's who had fought for Britons during the American Revolutionary war.

Yesterday (July 12), Sierra Leone government officials signed a Tripartite agreement for agricultural assistance as the government attempts to reestablish authority over the country, after the civil war caused tens of thousands of deaths and displaced over 2 million people, or one-third of the impoverished country's population.

The program aims to secure the country's water, diversify food production and help increase crop production.

In March, Charles Taylor, former president of neighboring country Liberia, was indicted by the International Criminal Court for his role in allegedly helping to contribue the brutal civil war.

Taylor is currently in prison awaiting trial in The Hague court, located in the Netherlands, for war crimes in both Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Experts hope Taylor's arrest and trial will bring stability to the African coastal countries.


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