PRESS RELEASE: Introducing the Final Report of the Electoral Observation Mission of the European Union to the Republic of Guinea, during the parliamentary elections of September 28, 2013
At the invitation of the Ministry of Territorial Administration and Decentralization (MPAD) of the Republic of Guinea and the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), the European Union (EU) has deployed an Election Observation Mission (EU EOM) to the legislative elections of 28 September 2013.
The mission, led by the Chief Observer and MEP Cristian Preda M., arrived in Conakry August 22, 2013. More than 80 observers, citizens of 26 EU members and diplomats in Conakry States have been deployed throughout the country to assess the electoral process against the Guinean laws and standards and international obligations but also on the regional organization of credible and transparent elections.
The head of the Electoral Observation Mission of the European Union and two of his colleagues arrived in Guinea January 19, 2014 to present the final results of their observation. Upon arrival in Conakry, Mr. Cristian Preda said: “After a long wait, Guinea has made a considerable effort to organize the election on 28 September. The acceptance of the final results by the Guinean people is a true sign of democratic maturity. Guineans need regular elections, free and fair. This implies the need to take into consideration the recommendations made by the Electoral Observation Missions of the European Union in 2010 and 2013, especially in view of the upcoming presidential presid be held in 2015. “
Chief Observer will present tomorrow, Monday, January 20, 2014, during a press conference in Conakry, the final report detailing the analysis and conclusions Mission led, after its observation work conducted throughout the electoral process. This document is accompanied by 34 recommendations on the various stages of the process and will be submitted for consideration by the Guinean authorities for the next elections. Here are the main ones:
– Review the provisions of the Electoral Code regarding statutory deadlines and set a deadline for administrative centralization Commissions votes (CACV), thereby forcing transmit, within the time limit, a copy of the minutes to the CENI.
– Establish a clear mechanism fixing the appeals against the decisions of the electoral administration to a higher court or judicial institutions authorized.
– The electoral map should allow distribution of seats based on the relative weight of the electorate or a complete census of the population in order to preserve the fairness of the vote.
– The EU EOM recommends political parties to allocate resources to the training of their delegates in the polls and CACV.
– Adopt a law on public funding of political parties, excluding election to determine allocations based on the number of seats in the Assembly.
– The structure of INEC should move eventually to a purely administrative and technical organization, in accordance with the transitional provisions of the Constitution.
– The website of INEC should be redesigned and enhanced to provide online in real time all the decisions and statements of the CENI, but also the consolidated results and polling.
– Education and awareness of voting should be a strengthening of skills within the electoral administration devolved.
– Mapping of polling stations and electoral list should be prerequisites for the organization of elections.
– Staff training of polling and CACV should benefit from all specimens, documents, materials and media used on election day.
– INEC must engage in streamlining operations of the centralization of results.
– Publish the Official Gazette, as soon as possible, the Organic Law No. L/2010/02/CNT of 22 June 2010 on the freedom of the press to ensure its implementation.
– Strengthen the capacity of journalists through skills training to professionalize their craft and develop their skills, particularly in the electoral field.
– Civil society should fully regain its independence vis-à-vis the institutions and the state.
– System of a 30% quota reserved for women candidates on the national lists places, could extend to single-member applications, thereby increasing their presence in the National Assembly.
– The installation of the Constitutional Court should be accompanied by adequate financial, human and technical, making still lacking the Guinean justice.
Finally, the EU EOM will hold a workshop, January 21, 2014, to present and discuss these recommendations, but also to address together the modalities of their implementation. This workshop will bring together main stakeholders in the electoral process and the other members of the EU EOM in the country during the return visit.
Late last night, Guinea Oye! posted an update on the Guinea election which included several news stories. One story stands out from the others because it provides a clue as to why the international community will most likely be in unison to support the outcome of this outrageously fraudulent election. Here is the story we posted last night about Alexander Von Lambsdorff, Chief of the EU electoral observation mission in Guinea followed by additional analysis from Guinea Oye!
-CHIEF OF THE EUROPEAN UNION ELECTORAL OBSERVATION MISSION IN CONAKRY, ALEXANDER VON LAMBSDORFF, SAYS HUMAN RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS ARE NOT WELL INFORMED ABOUT THE SITUATION IN GUINEA!
Mr. Von Lamsdorff should start looking over his shoulder a little more often now that he decided to take on the BIG international human rights organizations over the credibility of their data concerning the state of human rights in Guinea. Secondly, Von Lambsdorff refutes the one thing that the world is beginning to see clearly: in the post-election period, Guinean state security forces sought out unarmed Guineans of the Peul ethnicity and shot them, killing several and wounding hundreds. Von Lambsdorff maintains that there is no systematic violence against a particular Guinean community (of course, he doesn’t say Peuls, but they are who he is talking about) and he doesn’t want Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group, etc. mucking things up by saying the opposite.
Of course, the primary question is why is Von Lambsdorff trying to quash this awful truth when video evidence is popping up from many parts of Guinea. The only reason to deny the truth publicly is that acts of systematic, ethnically-targeted, state-sponsored violence usually end up in the lap of the head of state — that is, Konate. Remember that Konate is not out of the woods on the state-sponsored massacre of September 28, 2009, or one would hope. It’s quite possible that the international community made a deal with Konate. Desperate to have a conclusion to the Guinean electoral saga and to keep Guinea’s military of 50,000 under wraps, Konate may have been promised that he would be protected from prosecution by the International Criminal Court concerning the 2009 massacre, if he produced an election pronto. Another instance of ethnic cleansing could make it difficult for members of the international community to continue defending him.
In addition to Von Lamsdorff’s very interesting stories about human rights in Guinea, he stated that he will issue a comprehensive report on the election after the decision of the Supreme Court is announced. Can’t wait.
After further thought, it is clear that the international community, while anxious for Guinea to hold elections, is far more interested in having Konate remain a fixture in the country to keep its huge military under wraps. The election is secondary and the only thing that matters is that it is concluded quickly, not whether it is conducted in a democratic fashion. Interestingly enough, at a recent US Institute of Peace panel discussion about Guinea, William Fitzgerald, the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, US State Department, repeatedly emphasized a point that rings more true now ever. He admitted that the US was more concerned about Guinea’s huge military than anything else, including the election.
When Konate was first informed by the international community that was to put on a “democratic” election, he began strategizing about how to get out of it. The answer was simple: punt the election to the Prime Minister and the presidential candidate, whom the transitional government would anoint as the next president, Alpha Conde. In addition to receiving lucrative funding from the transitional government for his campaign, Conde had access to all aspects of the electoral process including computers,voter registration lists, ballots, voting cards and his expert on voter fraud, Lounceny Camara, at the electoral commission . While there is no dispute that Diallo won the election, he has no chance of being named the winner. Regardless of the final numbers, the transitional government was hellbent on putting Alpha Conde at the helm of the country and an international community, with formidable intelligence services, knew all about it.
Now, it is obvious that the international community wants Konate to stay past the election to babysit the army and this is why, even before final election results are announced, Konate stated he would be glad to serve as Minister of Defense if Conde asked him. This seemingly premature and somewhat abrupt announcement was not meant for general consumption, rather it was a targeted message to reassure restless soldiers that he would be around for a while. What Konate gets from pretending to put on a democratic election and a vow to continue “managing” the military in the Conde administration, is a detour away from the International Criminal Court for crimes committed in the September 2009 massacre. And, this is where Mr. Von Lamsdorff statements about ethnic cleansing come in.
Von Lambsdorff’s responsibility is to use the heft of the EU to obliterate detailed evidence gathered by international human rights organizations that the Guinean army specifically targeted unarmed Peuls, shot them, killing several and wounding hundreds. A similar scenario played out in the arrest and detainment of prisoners by state security forces during this same time period — virtually all were Peul. Lambsdorff’s job was to destroy the validity of the evidence collected by Human Rights Watch and the International Crisis Group to prevent it from becoming an integral part of the ICC’s deliberations. Otherwise the evidence could bring down a carefully built house of cards in which the international community forged a cozy and shameful relationship with Konate which might possibly leave him out in the cold with nothing but a one-way ticket to The Hague. More than anything, the international community fears the reaction of Guinea’s 50,000 soldier army should Konate be hauled away in handcuffs along with some of his commanding officers thrown in the trunk for the ride.
The problem with Von Lambsdorff, like most people coming from a superior stance, he thinks no one will catch on to what he is trying to do. Two Guinean websites had skewered him already by early this morning and no doubt more are in the hopper. Von Lambsdorff’s arrogance, caused him not to do his homework. Ethnically-targeted violence is part of the fabric of Guinea. Yet, Von Lambsdorff, in an attempt to carry the EU’s water by trying to discredit international human rights groups, should have known that it would be a great insult to the people of Guinea to say that state security forces did not engage in systematic targeting of the Peul in the government crackdown after the preliminary results were announced. Does Von Lambsdorff not know or not care that ethnic cleansing has a very recent precedent in Guinea? All studies on the military massacre and rape of opposition supporters on September 28, 2009, have concluded that the military repeatedly used anti-Peul epithets when conducting their crimes and told their victims they were being harmed because they are Peul. Does Von Lambsdorff not realize that equally revealing and damaging evidence exists of the state-sponsored ethnic-targeting in the most recent spate of violence?
Mr. Von Lambsdorff, lie to your wife, your boss, or your kids, but do not come to another country about which you understand little and lie about something as serious and traumatic as ethnically-targeted violence. Too many Guineans have died, too many women have been destroyed by rape, and too many families are in mourning for you to lie in an attempt to keep Konate and his high-ranking officers out of prison and to hold a murderous military in abeyance. You owe the people of Guinea a public apology.
Finally, a quick word about Human Rights Watch and International Crisis Group. It is because of both of these organizations that the world knows the truth about September 28, 2009, and now, post-electoral violence in Guinea. We are sure that both organizations will respond to Von Lambsdorff’s accusations and any respone they produce will by posted on this blog. Oh yes, and Mr. Lambsdorff, you owe these two groups a public apology as well.
(Dakar, November 5, 2010) – The special unit to maintain security during the second round of Guinea’s presidential elections, on November 7, 2010, should act with discipline, minimum force, and neutrality, Human Rights Watch said today. While the first round of elections took place in June in relative calm, the run-off election will take place amid heightened ethnic and political tensions.
In May, the Guinean government created the Special Force for a Safe Electoral Process (Force spéciale de sécurisation du processus électoral, FOSSEPEL), with 16,000 members, half of them police and half gendarmes, to ensure security during and after the electoral process. The few clashes between supporters of different political parties before and immediately after the first round were defused quickly and in apparent compliance with the principles of minimum use of force. However, FOSSEPEL officials’ response to political violence in late October in Conakry, the capital, was characterized by excessive force, lack of discipline, criminality, and ethnic partisanship.
“The chances for violence during, and particularly after, this election are very real,” said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Guinean security services must do all they can to protect all Guineans and ensure that the electorate is able to cast their votes free of fear.”
General Ibrahim Baldé, the head of the National Gendarmerie, commands the special unit. In July, Baldé signed a much-needed Use of Force Policy, under which Guinean security forces are required to adhere to internationally recognized best practices for responding to violence, including minimum use of force.
During the October clashes, Human Rights Watch received numerous credible reports of misconduct by policemen and gendarmes serving with FOSSEPEL, including beatings and assaults on party supporters. In some cases, the victims were even chased into their homes and workplaces. Based on the reports, some members of the security unit used the unrest as a pretext to loot shops and commit criminal acts, including theft of mobile phones, money, and other goods.
Each of the two candidates for the run-off election is from one of the country’s two largest ethnic groups, and members of each group largely support the candidate from their own group. Cellou Dalein Diallo, of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (Union des forces démocratiques de Guinée, UFDG), is a Peuhl; and Alpha Condé, Rally of the Guinean People Party (Rassemblement du peuple de Guinée, RPG), is a Malinké. Very few Peuhls are members of the security services, though.
Witnesses described how some FOSSEPEL officers targeted individuals for abuse and theft on the basis of their ethnicity, using racially motivated threats and warning them not to vote for a particular party. Scores of protesters were also arbitrarily detained in gendarme camps and denied access to legal representation.
After the unrest in October, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported that at least one person had been killed and 62 injured by the security forces in what it determined was excessive use of force. Members of FOSSEPEL have been implicated in many of the recorded incidents. During some incidents, demonstrators erected roadblocks, burned tires, and threw stones, wounding some members of the security forces.
Instead of initiating investigations into allegations of abuse, FOSSEPEL officials appear to have distanced themselves from responsibility, Human Rights Watch said. Local news sources have reported that senior members of the security forces, including Baldé himself, said the alleged abuses were committed by “uncontrolled elements” within the police, gendarmes, and army.
Political and ethnic tension has been steadily rising in Guinea since September. The body charged with overseeing the election has only recently resolved a leadership crisis, while Guineans have waited through three postponements for the presidential election’s second round. A suspected poisoning of dozens of supporters of the Guinean People Party during a meeting in Conakry spurred ethnically motivated attacks against members of the Peuhl ethnicity in at least four towns. The violence displaced about several thousands of people, mostly from the eastern towns of Siguiri, Kouroussa, and Kissidougou.
The tension has led many diplomats, analysts, and civil society leaders to warn of the likelihood of political violence after the second round. Human Rights Watch urged the Guinean authorities, especially General Baldé, to:
– Direct all members of FOSSEPEL forces to abide by the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials in policing demonstrations, and to frequently, and publicly, reinforce these instructions;
– Reiterate a zero-tolerance policy for criminal behavior and human rights abuses by the police and gendarmes; and
– Inform all ranks of the security forces that credible allegations of human rights abuses by security forces will be investigated and that those responsible will be disciplined and held to account.
The UN principles require law enforcement officials, in carrying out their duties, to use nonviolent means as far as possible before resorting to force. Whenever the lawful use of force is unavoidable, law enforcement officials must use restraint, minimize damage and injury at all times, and respect and preserve human life. Guinean authorities are responsible for ensuring that commanding officers are held accountable if they know, or had reason to know, that law enforcement officials under their command resorted to the unlawful use of force and firearms, and if they failed to take all measures in their power to prevent, suppress, or report such abuse.
Guinean security forces have on numerous occasions in the past used excessive and lethal force and engaged in widespread criminal activities in the course of responding to demonstrations. In 2006 and 2007, about 150 people were killed while protesting deteriorating economic conditions, and 1,700 were wounded. On September 28, 2009, at least 150 demonstrators were killed and 100 women and girls were raped by security forces during a bloody crackdown on demonstrators calling for free and fair elections.
Human Rights Watch also called on the United Nations, the European Union, France, and the United States to exert consistent and meaningful pressure on the security unit’s commanders and Guinea’s political leaders to ensure credible and peaceful elections.
“The second round of Guinea’s elections can be a turning point for people long denied the right to freely elect their president,” Dufka said. “If the security forces remain neutral, act professionally, and respond to any violence by making every effort to protect human life, they can help make this election a victory for all Guineans.”
Wednesday, 24 February, 2010, 14:14
Bern tightens sanctions against Guinea
Following in the footsteps of the European Union, Bern is now tightening sanctions against Guinea.
The Federal Cabinet has voted to introduce an embargo on the “delivery of goods which could be used against the local population.” The embargo on military equipment has been extended.
And the list of people whose assets will be frozen has grown from 42 to 71.
Brussels imposed additional sanctions on Guinea in December.
The European governments say their aim is to encourage the Guinea government to quickly establish a democratic state.
Military force to end Guinea power crisis
News – Africa news
The International Contact Group on Guinea (ICGG) said Wednesday that the African Union (AU) and the United Nations (UN) should send a combined force of military and civilian personnel to oversee Guinea’s return to civilian rule through the holding of elections within six months.
ICGG suggested that an international military force should be sent to Guinea to help in reforming the country’s military.
The contact group of influential international states and groups, including co-chairs, the AU, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and the UN, said the UN and the AU should send the force urgently.
Guinea slipped into a political crisis following the death of long-serving President Lansana Conte, when a group of soldiers, led by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, effectively seized power in the West African nation, earning suspension from AU.
The AU formed the contact group to facilitate political negotiations, leading to the holding of free and fair parliamentary and presidential elections.
However, the Guinean junta refused to cooperate with AU and its leaders and this earned it targeted sanctions.
In a communique issued after its 10th meeting in Addis Ababa, the contact group said the three international organizations must immediately initiate negotiations with the Guinean transitional government to facilitate the deployment.
‘The group appealed to all partners of Guinea to support the totality of these initiatives and to provide the necessary assistance for their implementation,’ it said.
Speaking during the opening session of the contact group meeting, AU chief Jean Ping said the formation of a temporary government to oversee Guinea’s return to civilian rule was a step that the organisation was ready to support.
In its recommendations, the contact group said EU, the International Organisation of the Francophonie (OIF), all members of the group, should seek for funds to help the Guinean authorities to smoothly complete the return to civilian rule.
‘The group urged ECOWAS, UN, EU, OIF, as well as the World Bank, to offer financial assistance, to help in completing this transitional process,’ the group said.
Guinea needs to undertake a fresh voters’ registration exercise for the conduct of the presidential elections.
The Guinean interim President, General Sekouba Konate, is leading the efforts to return the country to civilian rule following a military clash that ended with the near fatal shooting of junta leader, Camara, who is currently recuperating in Burkina Faso.
The group called on the Guinean politicians to support Konate and the Interim Prime Minister Jean-Marie Dore to lead the transitional government.
They said the interim government, to be formed as part of the 15 January agreements signed in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, should be put in place soon.
It said the reforms in Guinean defence and security sector should cover aspects aimed at improving the professionalism of the armed forces.
Addis Ababa – Pana 28/01/2010
Scott Stearns | Dakar 24 January 2010
Guinea’s electoral commission and international donors are discussing plans to organize elections in six months. The vote is part of a regionally-backed transitional authority meant to end more than one year of military rule.
Guinea’s National Independent Electoral Commission and international donors are meeting for the first time since regional mediator Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore reached the interim government deal with Guinea’s military leaders.
The talks are expected to focus on a timetable for voter and candidate registration as well as a preliminary budget for the cost of holding elections within six months.
Jean-Marie Dore will be the country’s new interim prime minister. He says keeping to that schedule presents considerable challenges for one of the world’s poorest countries.
Mr. Dore says the transition could be one month or it could be three years, depending on what has already been done with voter registration. While he says the transitional government will work to meet the six-month deadline, everything does not depend on the government.
Mr. Dore says the success of the election will depend on its organization. And if there is not enough money to organize it properly, he says Guinea will continue to struggle.
The U.N. Secretary Generals’ special representative for West Africa Said Djinnit says the six-month timetable can be met, but only if things are done quickly with proper support.
“This is a window of opportunity that should be seized by national stake-holders but also by international stake-holders to ensure that this time around we can help the country exit from the crisis and return to constitutional order,” he said.
Guinea has been under military rule since a December 2008 coup that brought to power Captain Moussa Dadis Camara. He was shot last month by the former head of the presidential guard who says Captain Camara was trying to blame him for the killing of at least 157 opposition protesters in September.
While Captain Camara continues to recover from those wounds in Burkina Faso, Defense Minister Sekouba Konate is Guinea’s acting military ruler. He and the interim prime minister will oversee the 101-member transitional authority.
Djinnit met with General Konate and Mr. Dore before the electoral commission meeting.
“I believe that all are keen to go through the shortest transition possible that will allow for preparing for the election as soon as possible, but also giving some time for some socio-economic support because I think it is very important that before the people of Guinea go to elections that the people could see the dividends of reconciliation in terms of resuming support by the international community, by the international financial institutions, and the key bilateral partners of Guinea to make sure that all efforts will converge towards making this opportunity a reality and returning quickly to democratic rule,” he said.
Djinnit was joined in Conakry by the head of the Economic Community of West African States Commission, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, and by African Union representative Ibrahim Fall.
Djinnit says the international community understands that Guinea will need strong support to meet its goal of having elections in June.
German Ambassador Karl Prinz told Guinea’s state television that the European Union is prepared to resume cooperation with the new government, will support the presidential elections, and will contribute to reforming the country’s military.