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Conde Authorizes Opposition March, Monday, 2/18 — But, Don’t Go “Kumbayah” Just Yet (VIDEO)

February 16, 2013

The following video shows the massacre of participants in a march in Guinea on January 27, 2007, in which Guinean state security forces and soldiers from Guinea-Bissau, trucked in especially for the purpose, shot indiscriminately into the crowd.  The people responsible for this horror have never been brought to justice.  And this is why the video is being posted on this blog for the second time in a month.  Given that impunity is so rampant in Guinea and perpetrators are never brought to justice, it is not unlikely for crimes like this to be repeated.  This was a peaceful march of unarmed Guineans protesting against government economic policies.  Note that, well after the marchers were cleared from the highway, security forces continue to pursue them into the trees.

Many may wonder if Alpha Conde’s about-face regarding the opposition march (his announcement appears further below) is the result of a democratic epiphany. Others may think his minister of the interior, Alhassane Conde, got out of the blocks too quickly, yesterday when he announced the march was prohibited. But, in the end, the decision to go ahead with the march has little to do with Conde.

For a guy like Conde who stole an election, is getting ready to steal another, uses ethnic hate speech to justify repression of the majority of the population, and treats the opposition like an enemy of the state, he is not one to do the right thing unless he is pushed into a corner by someone or something that can do him harm.

What’s happened is that the long arm of the international community reached in and informed Conde he needs to fix the situation quickly, that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to publicly support his anti-democratic actions and that it does not want to see his thuggish state security agents on international television beating peaceful protesters who decide to exercise their constitutional right to participate in a needlessly prohibited march.

But, let’s not start with the “kumbayah” just yet. When Conde is forced to do something, he makes sure he resolves things to his advantage. And, this is the prediction for Monday. The march will be peaceful and the state security services will be somewhat in check because, after all, it is a government-approved march. Then, like many times in the past, Conde’s RPG party activists will infiltrate the procession as provacateurs, and initiate violence. Undoubtedly, there will be clashes between the RPG and opposition supporters allowing security forces to be unleashed to quell the violence. There should be no question about who will be the ones shot at, cracked over the head, and hauled off to jail.

Here’s hoping this is not the scenario which plays out. We will see what happens on Monday.  Conde’s announcement follows:

From Aminata.com

Translated into English by Google

In a statement from the press office of the Presidency of the Republic, received at our editorial office, the Head of State has authorized the opposition march scheduled Monday throughout the territory. Read the full press release:

Government press release

Conakry, February 16, 2013
“In this day held Saturday, February 16, 2013, a government meeting about the President of the Republic. Among other topics discussed, the proposed event is scheduled February 18, 2013 by various political parties.

After listening to the Prime Minister, Ministers in charge of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Security, Civil Protection and the Reform of the Security Sector and of the Minister of Human Rights and Civil Liberties, the President of the Republic reaffirms its commitment to respect the constitutional rights and freedoms, including the freedoms of expression, procession, meeting and processions on public roads, in strict compliance with our laws and regulations .

Therefore, the event scheduled by ADP and the Collective is not prohibited.

The Government invited the organizers to contact Ministers of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation, Security, Civil Protection and the Reform of the Security Sector, to ensure a peaceful conduct of the event.

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