Opposition’s “Ville Morte:” Cop Kills Youth in Bambeto and RPG Plan to Send Its Storm Troopers to “Police” Neighborhoods
November 25, 2013
Today, Afriguinee is reporting that Mamadou Bailo Barry, age 21, was shot and killed at point blank range by a police officer in Bambeto.
The ville morte continues with most shops closed and traffic circulating, fairly unhindered, except for a few opposition neighborhoods where tires are burned. This preventive measure is reasonable given threats made by an RPG on Saturday against opposition supporters.
Saturday, Africaguinee reported that a member of the National Political Bureau of the RPG, Mbany Sangare, made an appeal to party supporters to defend Conakry during the opposition’s Dead City Day, by setting up “self defense brigades.” He said he wants to stop trouble before it begins. On Sunday evening, he planned to place brigades strategically around the capital to make sure the opposition, or the “anti-Guinean” as he likes to call it, doesn’t cause problems. Continuing with his “unpatriotic” theme, he claimed the opposition planned the “ville morte” for the same time as Alpha Conde’s donors’ conference in Abu Dhabi in an attempt to sabotage his efforts. “We must block the way of the saboteurs, bar the way of the anti-Guineans.” Further, Sangare instructed RPG loyalists on the best way to “subdue” opposition supporters — “tackle them and take them to the closest police station.”
Self defense brigades, eh? In most countries which operate under some kind of law, these “brigades” are vigilantes, who don’t usually announce ahead of time their plan to attack people. If they do, authorities detain them.
Faced with a “vigilantes gone wild,” scenario, government spokesman, Damantag Camara, needed to do some damage control. In another Africaquinee article on Saturday, Camara gave the administraton’s position: “It is only the government that has the authority to ensure the law. In a state of law, it is the police and the gendarmes which ensure the security of citizens and their property.”
Well, since Guinea does not operate under a state of law, Mr. Camara’s comments are disingenuous. Based on three years of attacks by the Conde administration against the opposition, the government uses vigilantes regularly. The vigilantes include Malinke militias, Donzos, and foreign mercenaries which often operate in tandem, and always supported by state security forces. Generally, the presence and intentions of these groups are not made public ahead of time, which gives the Guinean government a modicum of plausible deniability.
Rather than its “self defense brigades,” the RPG will have its Malinke militias on the streets today and the potential for danger is high. Yet, the biggest danger is if the militias enter the neighborhoods and attack the families of opposition supporters. Then, Donzos and foreign mercenaries are likely components.
While it might not benefit the citizens of Guinea now and, providing Alpha Conde hasn’t finagled changes in the Guinean constitution from Abu Dhabi, the Guinean constitution’s rights to free speech and assembly are still protected. One day, these freedoms will be respected.
Let’s see how the remainder of the day goes.