Gov. of Conakry – Sekou “Resco” Camara – This guy is no Boy Scout!
About a month ago, the Governor of Conakry, Sekou “Resco” Camara, appeared at an Art and Trade School ceremony in Matam. Camara is a board member of the school and was there to make a presentation. Attendees can’t be faulted for expecting an education-oriented speech, because what they got was a sermon wrapped in a threat. Camara told the audience that resistance to the Supreme Court’s ruling would not be tolerated and that he would see to it, personally, that troublemakers are dealt with in the capital city. This would be a major feat, given that the number of those likely to resist the Supreme Court ruling would be well over the majority of the population of Conakry.
Camara told the audience, “When the Supreme Court announces the final results, the new Resco will signal his return.” While one should be cautious about people who refer to themselves in the third person, it is wise to listen to what Camara says. He is more likely than most to make good on a threat — he has the power of his governorship and an endless supply of people and money. Let’s just say that Camara has Malinke militias, Donzos, and mercenaries on speed dial.
Camara, a military officer, was appointed Governor by General Sekouba Konate during his transitional presidency. As the governor of Conakry, Camara’s responsibilities reach far and wide. Conarky is his dominion and he has the arrogance to go with it. Camara is often seen in public as any one of his three personas: business suit slick, revernt boubou, and the downright comical uniform that makes him look like a Boy Scout. But, this guy is no Boy Scout. In his short time in office, he has racked up quite a record of repression. He was indicted earlier this year for commanding and overseeing torture during the 2010 presidential election.
As part of a full court press to secure the presidency for Alpha Conde in the second round of the election, Camara ordered illegal mass arrests of opposition supporters, primarily Peuls, and oversaw their torture. Like other administration officials who have betrayed the people’s trust, he has never been tried.
Also this year, Camara frustrated opposition efforts to secure permits for marches, often changing routes at the last minute landing participants in the path of Malinke militias supplemented by security forces. During marches, Malinke militias and security forces regularly provoked, injured and killed peaceful opposition supporters.
But the worst came in February when the Governor coordinated violent attacks in Conakry’s Peul neighborhoods. Here is an account residents gave to Guineelibre.com about the attacks:
FOREIGN MERCENARIES PART OF GOVERNMENT ASSAULT ON OPPOSITION NEIGHBORHOODS
More information is flowing out of the predominantly opposition neighborhoods in Conarky which were the subject of state-sponsored attacks during the “dead city” day. Several residents said that foreign mercenaries were part of the attack which included severe beatings, theft and rape. Residents said it was readily apparent that many of the attackers were not from Guinea and spoke languages used by natives of Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Angola. In addition, the presence of domestic mercenaries, “Donzos,” or hunters, were noted as well.
The stepped-up attacks in Peul neighborhoods revealed that a small group of officials paid Malinke youth to commit violence as part of a militia. The opposition issued a statement accusing four people, including Camara, of using state funds to hire and coordinate attacks. Their statement appears below:
The full statement of the Guinean opposition
“Joint Declaration of the Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), the Collective of Political Parties for the Completion of the Transition (Collective) and the Republican Club (CDR).
Political parties members of the ADP, the Collective and CDR inform the national and international authorities of the recurrent participation of donzos (hunters from the forest area who have been used as mercenaires by Alpha Conde – editor’s note) and other thugs of the ruling party (RPG-Arc-en-ciel) responsible for the repression of peaceful opposition protesters.
These private RPG militias which often benefit from the support of the police, are funded by a group called “Framework of Public Administration” which identifies targets and plans actions to be taken against opposition activists and their property.
Executives most involved in this business of repression of the opposition:
– SANKHON Malick, Director General of the Security Fund (CNSS)
– Sekou Resco Camara, Governor of Conakry
– Moussa Keita Kabassan, CEO of the National Center for Fisheries Surveillance (CNSP)
– Moustapha NAITE, Managing Director of Built Heritage Public
They have the distinction of all being officials of the Guinean government using public funds to recruit, train and motivate real hordes of thugs who attack, rape and kill with the aim of discouraging any subsequent event of opposition. ADP, the Collective and CDR are of the opinion to witness and draw the attention of all organizations in defense of human rights regarding grave risks that these unscrupulous people, motivated solely by their personal interests are making a run at civil peace, political stability and national unity. In any event, the Guinean opposition has the right to complain to the national and international courts against these persons regarding incitement to hatred and violence, undermining national unity and repeated violations of human rights guaranteed by our Constitution.
Conakry, March 18th, 2013
The Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP)
The Collective Political Parties for Completing the Transition
The Republican Club (CDR)
Obviously, Camara saved his best for last as he closed his speech to the students at the art and trade school:
Speaking of the opposition, Camara said, “Do not associate with their movement. God has finished doing his job. If a person is a head of state, each of us must accompany this man.”
“When the Supreme Court decides the final results, the new Resco will signal his return. I warn all the world, eh! There will never again be a mess in Conakry. That’s it! Recess is over. Holidays are over. It is now true democracy in Guinea.”
Most Guineans would say that if this is what constitutes democracy in Guinea — no thanks!