West African Civil Society Forum Declaration on Guinea Political Situation
Monday, 10 October 2011
The West African Civil Society Forum (WACSOF), is seriously worried about the tense situation between the Guinean opposition and the incumbent government authorities. According to information received by us from our contacts in Guinea, the lack of dialogue between politicians, the crisis of trust between government and opposition, due to certain acts committed by agents of the state, litigation related to the legitimacy of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), or of the exclusion of a class of Guineans from positions of public responsibility of the state are, among others, the causes of serious tensions in Guinea.
The threshold of tolerance was crossed with the repression of a “peace march” organised by political parties to finalise the transition programme, on Tuesday, September 27, 2011 in Conakry and in some districts of the interior of the country; a march banned by the governor of Conakry in violation of the constitutional right to demonstrate and stage processions. The toll of the clashes reported three dead, a dozen injured and many arrested in the ranks of demonstrators, including the Vice-Chairman of New Democratic Forces (NFD) Mr Etienne Soropogui. Among law enforcement agencies, there were 23 injured.
A statement issued by the political parties to finalise the transition, alleged the use of a militia composed of traditional hunters known as “Donzo” to quell the demonstration. These “Donzo”, who would benefit from full protection, would chase their victims into the residences.
WACSOF’s strong commitment to the democratisation of political forces and respect for the provisions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Supplementary Protocol on Democracy and Good Governance, in particular, article 22, paragraph 1, is convinced that in any emerging democracy, dialogue and consensus are the only ways to strengthen the rule of law. Dr. Jibril Ibrahim, President, WACSOF, Abuja, Nigeria.