Visit of Alpha Conde to Washington DC: Letter from Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon to President Obama
Visit OF Mr. Alpha Conde to WASHINGTON.
LETTER of POTTAL-FII-BHANTAL FOUTA DJALLON to MR. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATESdes ETAtS-UNIS
Washington, July 15, 2014.
His Excellency Mr. Barack Obama[Mr. President:],
President of the United States of America
Dear Mr. President,
We are honored to address you this letter on the occasion of the invitation you have made to some forty African heads of state[s]s this summer in order to promote democracy and strengthen economic cooperation with the continent. Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon welcomes this initiative. It is an opportunity to thank[ ] the government[Insert US] and the American people for the help they continue to provide to Africa. However, our organization would like to ask you to reconsider the invitation you have extended to the president of Guinea, Mr. Alpha Condé. The reasons for our request are explained in this letter. We would like you to take them into consideration, not only for the upcoming conference, but also for the overall assistance and cooperation policy of the United States with our country.
Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon is a non-profit organization with branches in Europe, Africa and Asia. Our organization is committed to fighting human rights violations in Guinea-Conakry. In that respect, we have established a special program, JUSTICE IN GUINEA, dedicated to eradicating chronic impunity that has reduced our country to a shadow of what it should have been, in regard to its potentials.
On the 28th of September 2009, over 200 people were killed and more than 175 women, mainly ethnic Fulani, were raped in broad daylight by agents of the military junta led by Captain Moussa Camara Daddis. Since his accession to power in 2010, Mr. Alpha Condé – to the dismay of all international and local observers – has shown a disturbing complacency with the perpetrators of these crimes against humanity. Many security officials identified in the UN report as responsible for these atrocities hold senior positions in the government. Not only the victims live in total state of abandonment but also they are under pressure and blackmail to drop any legal process. No action has been taken by the government to hear Captain Camara Daddis, the main responsible for the massacre. Military officers such as Claude Pivi and Tiégboro Camara, namely accused by the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, have been indicted but remain in the government cabinet.
Our organization is gravely concerned by this deliberate denial of justice. Mr. Alpha Conde’s complacency is simply unacceptable; it has ruined the hopes of setting Guinea on the path of democracy that his accession to power raised. For many observers of Guinea, Mr. Conde is creating conditions similar to those that allowed the genocide in Rwanda by purging the military apparatus as well as the recruiting and training in Angola of a militia composed exclusively of members of his ethnic group. At the same time military officers of other nationalities of the country are being retired in large numbers. This deliberate weakening of the security forces is accompanied by the establishment of a covert parallel militia of rangers and traditional warriors called Donzo. In the administration, Mr. Alpha Condé has established segregationist and divisive policies that have dissolved the remains of social cohesion in the civil service and the security apparatuses[,], which are in principle the conduits of a national identity. Citizens of President Alpha Condé’s tribe enjoy blatant favors at the expense of others civil servants whose career prospects are diminished if they are not simply sacked from the public administration. Guinea’s fragile economy is more than ever on the brinks of collapse with the government subjecting merchants and traders under constant and biased harassment and heavy taxation measures based on ethnic backgrounds.
The invitation made to Mr. Alpha Condé by your administration has the risk of working against the laudable initiative of encouraging and supporting good governance in Africa. Instead, it will be an encouragement to the consolidation is one of the most corrupt dictatorships of contemporary Africa. Isolating African leaders the likes of Mr. Condé would be a clear message of your administration to the African populations, particularly to the many helpless victims living in anonymity. Without a dramatic and unequivocal reaffirmation of the founding principle of justice in good governance, your administration takes the risk of maintaining the perception of a double standard in its African diplomacy. At a time of international outcry over the barbaric acts of Boko Haram against innocent women, it would be inappropriate to remain silent on the fate of hundreds of women who were raped in Guinea, four years ago.
Some international media circles and diplomats want at any costs to give Guinea the label of an “emerging democracy” with a president working for change. Actually, Mr. Alpha Condé is spending considerable sums of money that could be judiciously utilized to help the Guinean populations, in order to forge and maintain this image. A lobby of influential people in the United States, France and the United Kingdom is at work to hide the misdeeds and crimes of his administration. The assassination in their sleep of local inhabitants of Zogota following a dispute on salary arrears and hiring practices by mining companies, the kidnapping of youth from a market place in Conakry and their transfer under harsh conditions to Soronkoni in Upper-Guinea with the death of a few of them, the multiple assassinations of demonstrators or the detention with tortures of citizens under false accusations of fictitious plots against the government are a few examples of the climate of repression that have led Guinea to a new height of social tension. In conjunction with blatant cases of corruption in the awarding of mining contracts with payments of hundreds of millions of dollars whose destination remains hidden, while the citizens live in dire poverty, there are clear indications of a country sliding into autocracy and dictatorship. The support provided by the lobbyists only reinforces Mr. Alpha Condé choice of the dangerous logic of governing by denial of justice and contempt to the victims of the state violence, by trampling of the electoral process with pre-emptive strikes against certain ethnic groups in anticipation of the presidential elections of 2015. Any other goodwill gesture from the U.S. government in favor of the regime of Mr. Alpha Condé will be used as a blank check by his administration in the pursuit of this policy of division and chaos.
Pottal Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon is representative of a vast majority of the voiceless victims in Guinea. On behalf of that majority, we are calling on you to put pressure on Mr. Alpha Condé by suspending all forms of economic assistance to the Government of Guinea until tangible progress is made in the judicial process against all officers charged with crimes against humanity.
Our organization would like that the U.S. government to remind ECOWAS leaders of the moral indecency of allowing one of the main protagonists of the massacres of September 28th 2009, Mr. Daddis Camara, to enjoy a golden exile in Burkina Faso, with the privileges of a former head[of] of State. This laxity discredits ECOWAS and maintains a fertile ground for extremist groups. It projects on the African continent an image that goes against African values of respect for women as well as African aspirations to democracy and development. It institutionalizes impunity with serious threats to the stability of the region of West Africa. We urge you to put pressure on the presidents of the ECOWAS to setup an investigation committee composed of independent lawyers to hear and try the Captain Moussa Daddis Camara and his accomplices in the junta such as General Sekouba Konate.
The pressure of the United States of America on behalf of justice as true foundation of democracy is essential to save Guinea from the bleak prospects of a genocide that would have tragic consequences for the entire region of West Africa.
Our representatives in Washington DC are available to convey any additional information regarding this letter.
The Central Commission of Pottal Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon
Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon 3396 Third Avenue 1st Floor BRONX, NY 11456, Tel: 718-879-6697