Sierra Leone pastor discovers 706-carat diamond in village

Sierra Leone pastor discovers 706-carat diamond in village

Sierra Leone's presidential spokesman Abdulai Bayraytay confirmed on Thursday that a diamond weighing over 700 carats has been discovered in the Kono district, a diamond-rich district in the Eastern Province of Sierra Leone.

Pastor Emmanuel Momoh, handed the big "diadem" over to President Ernest Bai Koroma, who thanked him for not smuggling it out of the country.

His diamond is the largest found in Sierra Leone since 1972, according Africa Today. It was auctioned in London.

Sierra Leone was the site of a civil war in the 1990s and early 2000s over diamonds and who would control and profit from them. Despite its mineral wealth, the country remains one of the poorest in the world.

"A gift from God, and it will be a awful thing if anyone tries to do something criminal with it", the president said.

Explaining his extraordinary gift to his country, Momoh said: 'I believe the government can do more, especially at a time when the country is undergoing some economic challenges.' He cited public transport and services such as electricity power supply as among those needed in Sierra Leone.

The president has given "clear instruction to the Ministry of Mines that the evaluation, sale and distribution of the proceeds must be done in the most transparent manner", he said.