Opposition’s “Ville Morte:” Cop Kills Youth in Bambeto and RPG Plan to Send Its Storm Troopers to “Police” Neighborhoods

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.

Guinea Update: Opposition to Take Election Case to ECOWAS Justice Court and The Right to Resist a Repressive Regime

CONDEDONZOSDonzos Celebrate after Attacking Opposition Supporters in a Permitted March  (Seriously, No Kidding)
Next Steps for Opposition
As expected, the Guinean opposition is checking closely with its base before deciding on the course to follow after announcement of the “results” by the Supreme Court on Friday evening, Nov. 17.  It looks like they will announce their future plans sometime on Tuesday.
The opposition points out firmly that the manner in which the Court didn’t deal election complaints filed concerning fraud or irregularities is unprecedented.  The Court essentially said that it was not “competent” to rule on the complaints because they do not consider such complaints to be under their purview!  With the Supreme Court punting on this issue, the people have no legal recourse in Guinea for dealing with serious election disputes.
This is quite a different outcome than in the 2010 presidential election when the Court disqualified votes from five constituencies.  If the Court was competent in 2010, why is it not competent to address disputes in 2013.  Of course there is practical reason for this — it’s Pandora’s box.  If you open the box to deal with even one dispute you are opening yourself to dealing with many more. 
 As a result, the opposition intends to seek redress from the Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) Court of Justice to request a total or partial elimination of the legislative election results. 
The Right to Resist a Repressive Regime
Various Guinean websites are reporting that opposition youth are gathered at the axis of Hamdallaye-Bambeto-Cosa, in Conakry.  Both yesterday and today they put up barricades and burned tires along the entrances into their neighborhoods. Today, word spread through the area that an independent journalist was kidnapped by security forces which brought even more people to the streets.
What is not being said is that the opposition protesters are not out on the streets by themselves.  As Conde has done all along, he sends into the opposition neighborhoods a full array of police, gendarmes, Malinke militias, FOSSPEL, and Donzos as provocateurs against opposition youth.  Conde also uses foreign mercenaries from Sierra Leone and Liberia (where those who committed much of the 2009 massacre originated), whom you can expect to be on the scene soon, if not already. 
An important clarification is required here.  Opposition protests are often described as “violent protests,” or protests which have “turned violent.”  What this leaves out is that these protests have been consistently peaceful.  If violence does occur, it is at the hands of state-sponsored forces and it is not used to curb crime, but to provoke.  After three years of state attacks on peaceful marchers and repeated encroachments into their neighborhoods without cause, in which people were killed, women were raped and homes and businesses were burned, it is only in the last six months that opposition supporters have begun to defend themselves, which is their right. 
A right, no doubt, they will have to exercise as Conde’s next wave of repression sweeps the country to silence the overwhelming majority of Guinean voters who did not vote for him.  


The Guinea Gov’t. Might Wish Opposition Supporters Would Turn on Their Leaders, But It Didn’t Happen Yesterday and Never Will

How does the Guinean government keep all its lies straight?  Over the airwaves yesterday, the government said that police protected opposition leaders when attacked by their own supporters.  This never happened.  It was Conde’s RPG thugs who attacked the leaders with the help and protection of the police.  Perhaps, those in the government are engaged in wishful thinking.  Can you blame them?  Hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters in the streets of Conakry, representing the overwhelming majority of the electorate, all calling for Conde’s departure, must be a maddening image to behold.
Of course, the government’s lie had less to do with wishful thinking and more with logistics and tactics which were planned well in advance to set up the attack on the opposition leaders by the RPG thugs and have the “security” forces support the effort.  A Conde supporter suggested that the young in the opposition are getting tired of being killed and injured by opposition leaders ordering them to the streets repeatedly.  Really?  Mr. Conde should thank these leaders because they are the only thing between him and young Guineans determined to have a democratic Guinea.
Below is the Opposition’s statement providing the facts on who did what to whom during yesterday’s march.
Opposition Statement on Aggression of “Security” Forces and RPG Thugs
The Republican opposition which includes the Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), the Collective of Political Parties for Completing the Transition, the Republican Club (CDR) and the FDP,followed with astonishment a radio announcement this Thursday, May 23, 2013 by the GuineanGovernment stating that the police protected opposition political leaders who were attackedby their own activists.
Contrary to the government statement, the opposition leaders were not protected by
the police.  Rather the police repressed opposition demonstrators and protected RPG hooligans as they violently attacked the leaders of the opposition masquerading as protesters.  Thus, the assertion that the opposition leaders were attacked by their own activists is totally unfounded.
As usual, the police, accompanied by the RPG thugs in support of Conde, soon after the protests, invaded opposition strongholds, such as Ratoma, in order to commit all kinds of atrocities.
The provisional results of these punitive expeditions, is that four were shot and killed, forty injured, several with bullet wounds, and arbitrary arrests and lots of damage.
The Republican opposition is warning the government against this recurring violence
against its supporters, because it would intensify the current socio-political tensions and inexorably lead our country into serious political instability which threatens civil peace and national cohesion.
While condemning all violence from whatever source, the Republican opposition reaffirms its openness to the organization of credible and inclusive elections in a peaceful climate through dialogue.
The Republican opposition is asking the people of Guinea to remain mobilized and united for the establishment of a democratic society that respects human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Conakry, le 23 mai 2013.

Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP),

Collective Political Parties for Completing the Transition,

Republican Club (CDR) 

Front Union for Democracy and Progress (PDF)

Guinea Opposition Re-Affirms Its Position on Elections: No Transparency, No Elections

It is announcements like this that scare the beejeebers out of the international community. The opposition, which represents the majority of the Guinean electorate, says, rather than boycott elections, it will prevent them altogether if the government insists on using the troublesome Waymark contract.  The opposition contends that the Waymark software has been rigged and the government intends to use it to commit the fraud necessary to give it a majority in the national assembly.
In 2010, the international community pushed for the completion of Guinea’s transition to civilian rule by forcing Guineans to vote in a grossly fraudulent election.  As Guinea slowly unraveled, the international community insisted on holding the election because it made the country look stable.  And,if elections go forward on June 30?  On July 1, the international community will have to explain how the band aid it put on Conde’s theft of the 2010 election erupted into such an earthquake in the legislative elections.
The opposition realizes, finally, that playing nice may be its forte, but it has not helped to dislodge Conde from the presidential palace. When injustice is ignored and derided, as the international community and Alpha Conde have done repeatedly to the opposition, well, you know what they say about payback.
2013-05-21 14:12

  • Conakry – Guinea’s opposition has threatened to prevent parliamentary elections taking place on June 30 unless the South African company responsible for managing the electoral roll is replaced, its leader said.

Cellou Dalein Diallo, head of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), said late on Monday that his party wanted Waymark and its local partner dropped in favour of “another operator selected on the basis of an international tender”.

“If this is not the case, we will not boycott the elections, but will prevent them outright,” he said, without elaborating.

Discontent is simmering in the west African country, where 15 people have been killed as violence has erupted several times during opposition protests calling for transparency in the election.

Among the protesters’ grievances was the selection of Waymark to revise the electoral roll, with opponents of President Alpha Conde accusing the company of colluding with the government to rig the election.

Opposition supporters in Guinea are also protesting against a decree that sets June 30 as the date for elections, which have been repeatedly delayed since 2011.

The main opposition parties underlined their suspicions over the transparency of the polls by refusing to submit their lists of candidates by Monday’s deadline, a member of Guinea’s election commission told AFP.

As a result, the candidates’ lists in most constituencies are made up of “parties unknown to most”, he said on condition of anonymity.

Meanwhile party leaders have accused the electoral commission of pricing them out of the vote by charging up to $11 600 for each nomination.

The last legislative elections were held in 2002 under then president Lansana Conte, who ruled the former French colony for 24 years until his death in December 2008, which prompted a disastrous coup marked by extreme police brutality.

The United Nations Security Council said in a statement in April that it was “worried about instability” in Guinea and called for calm in the restive nation.

Guinea Opposition March: Rocks Thrown at Opposition Procession and RPG Loyalist Stabs a Marcher


Thousands of opposition supporters hit the streets of Conakry this morning. It is late afternoon in Conakry and the opposition leaders have reached the esplanade at the Palais de Peuple, or People’s Palace where speeches are underway.

The security forces have been in check, thus far. Not so, for Conde’s RPG party loyalists. A group of youth RPG concealed themselves along the route of the march and launched rocks at the procession. In another incident, a young RPG loyalist stabbed an opposition marcher. Marchers overpowered the assailant and opposition bodyguards apprehended him. The young man stabbed was taken for medical treatment. 

In September 2011, Conde organized an attack on an opposition march which featured paid mercenaries, military soldiers dressed in plain clothes, and RPG loyalists who infiltrated  the march and attacked marchers with knives.  Hundreds of opposition supporters were followed back to their neighborhoods where the attacks continued as well as attacks on their families. Homes were ransacked and everything that was not nailed down was stolen.

If interested, the march is being live blogged on the UFDG party site, in French.

More updates to come . . .

Over 2,000 Guinean Public Employees Who Have Died, Retired, or Walked Off the Job Still Getting Paid and Some Are Receiving Two Paychecks

According to the following article, the commission which discovered these anomalies has been placed directly under Alpha Conde.

Hmmm . . .

Xinhua | 2012-11-27 16:12:18
By Agencies
The commission charged with reforming and modernizing Guinea’s public administration sector on Monday unearthed serious anomalies in the register of the country’s public service workers, after a month of verification exercise.The commission’s operation led to the discovery of 1,050 cases of dead public servants who continued to be paid every month and 932 cases who had deserted their work station but continued to receive their regular pay.In addition, 830 officers were receiving double payment, since they were registered as working both on contract and as permanent employees.At the same time, 35 workers who had already retired were still appearing on the payroll and they were still receiving their full pay as well as their retirement benefits.The verification exercise further found out that over 4,000 public sector workers had changed their date of birth to avoid going for retirement, about 979 of these were supposed to retire in 2011.Thousands of the public servants changed their rank using falsified documents, and without following the laid down administrative procedures.In a decree establishing the commission for reforming and modernizing Guinea’s public administration sector, the commission was placed under the direct authority of the country’s President, Alpha Conde.

Currently, Guinea’s public sector is estimated to have close to 100,000 employees.

Guinea Gov’t. Re-Shuffle Has Fingerprints of Int’l Community All Over it, Especially the Elysee Palace

The international community’s policy towards Guinea is straightforward: at all costs, the huge Guinean army must be prevented from rearing its ugly head and scaring away investors. In the 2010 presidential election, Conde, a Malinke, was deemed the person who could best prevent a coup by a largely Malinke army. Beyond that, the international community, which installed Conde in the presidency, has placed few constraints on him.

But now, the international community, anxious to close the deal on Guinea’s “democratic” transition by pressing for legislative elections, is watching Conde nervously. By Conde giving his security forces shoot-to-kill orders during peaceful demonstrations, making anti-Peul politics the center of his government policy, striking shady mining deals while courting mysterious loans, and relentlessly jerking the opposition around, when combined, scream for a presidential makeover. When you add Guinea’s refusal to pursue prosecutions for the September 28, 2009, massacre and the issuance of a UN statement this past September 28, that “political rape goes unpunished in Guinea,” the makeover becomes mandatory.

Unfortunately, the makeover is not designed to improve governance, rather it is a mechanism the international community will use to express its confidence that Guinean legislative elections will be “free and fair” and to ensure broad acceptance of the results, even if they are fraudulent, as was the case in the 2010 presidential election.

Who is capable of transforming Conde over the next few months? The answer is simple: Guinea’s former colonial ruler, France. This is the country where Conde lived for 59 years, this is the country where Conde met his good friend, Bernard Kouchner, the former foreign minister, and this is the country without which there would be no Organization of the International Francophonie which, with Kouchner at the forefront, orchestrated Conde’s “win” of the 2010 presidential election.

The first stage of Conde’s makeover is the re-shuffle of his cabinet. France’s prescription for the new cabinet is simple: get rid of the military uniforms sitting at the table in cabinet meetings and create a human rights ministry. The media are full of analyses of the re-shuffle of the Guinean government, much of it suggesting that Conde has fully embraced “democracy,” and that his government re-shuffle is proof. After two years with Conde at the helm of the country, journalists should know that Conde doesn’t do the right thing unless forced from the outside and, even then, he makes sure it is done in a way that is advantageous for him only.

Conde’s ridding the cabinet of the military is nothing more than an impressive swindle. He removed three senior military officers, which allows him to bill his government as “civilian,” which the media and the international community will translate as “democratic.” But two military officers remain in his government who are the primary perpetrators of the September 28, 2009, massacre. Claude Pivi, is the Minister for Presidential Security, but the new cabinet roster does not show his name nor list his position. And, Moussa Tiegboro Camara, technically not a cabinet member, but his czar-like responsibilities for drug enforcement, organized crime, and terrorism, ensure him a seat at cabinet meetings. Neither Pivi nor Camara were dumped in the re-shuffle. International human rights organizations have been banging Conde about Pivi and Camara, yet nothing is likely to change. Both men are from the ruling military junta of 2008-2009 and former interim president Sekouba Konate is rumored to have told Conde to make room for them in his government.

The second cabinet swindle is the establishment of a human rights ministry. After Conde clearly stated at a Washington meeting in 2011, in response to a question about human rights, that he was the president, not the head of human rights, it is clear this issue is not high on his agenda. Given that it is 2012 and almost every leader, good or bad, has a human rights office or ministry, Conde can no longer buck the idea of creating one. But, hold your applause because, just like other leaders who don’t give a damn about human rights, Conde has found a self-serving use for the new ministry. It will be nothing more than a repository for human rights complaints, which should fill very quickly given Guinea’s long-standing history of repression, and where the complaints will never see the light of day. Conde is using the same method to the September 28 massacre investigation and prosecutions by keeping the issue buried deep in the bowels of the Guinean judicial system.

But, this is not the end of Conde’s political makeover. In the next post, a bit of analysis about that near-love letter French president Hollande sent to Conde on the occasion of the anniversary of Guinea’s independence.

Stay tuned!