Al Jazeera Video: N’Zerekore, Guinea – “Ethnic Violence Threatens Guinea Mining”

Ethnic violence threatens Guinea mining

Violence that has left 50 people dead over past week puts strain on major international commodity contracts.

Last Modified: 23 Jul 2013 10:55

The UN has commended Guinea’s government for trying to restore calm in the west African nation. More than 50 people have been killed in fighting between tribes over the last week.

Guinea is the world’s biggest exporter of Bauxite, the main source of Aluminium. But the increase in tensions could threaten multi-million dollar contracts with a number of international mining companies. 

Al Jazeera’s Nazanine Moshiri reports from N’Zerekoure.

 Video

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Guinea’s State-Sponsored Crimes 2010: Gov. of Conakry, “Resco” Camara Indicted for Torture – Sekouba Konate Should Be Next

rescoSEKOU “RESCO” CAMARA, GOV.  OF CONAKRY

sskonateGEN.  SEKOUBA KONATE, former interim president of Guinea and “wonder boy” at the African Union (AU), where he has just been appointed the AU’s special military representative for Mali

Unfortunately, like most news about Guinea, the followig article lacks critical context about the indictment of the Governor of Conakry, Sekou Resco Camara, for torture committed in October 2010. What was happening in Guinea then? The second round of the presidential election between UFDG party candidate, Cellou Dalein Diallo and RPG candidate, Alpha Conde, was coming to a close and a plan to steal the election for Conde was in full swing.

The plan had many facets and involved the collusion of: Conde, RPG activists, interim president Sekouba Konate, Louceny Camara (Conde’s man on the electoral council), the International Organization of the Francophonie and the government of France. The first step in the plan was to ensure that the election went two rounds and the way to get there was to steal 50,000+ ballots from the only guy who could win outright in the first round, Diallo.

Seeing as Conde would have been lucky to come in fourth in the first round, he needed to amass all the resources he could to pull off a “win” at the end of the second round.  In addition to experts at electoral fraud, he would need extensive state repression to quell the increasingly angry Diallo supporters.

And this is where Governor of Conakry, Sekou Resco Camara, comes in. Repression of Diallo supporters,who are largely of the Peul ethnicity, was in high gear during the second round and Sekouba Konate and Camara were the central figures in meting it out. Konate deployed all the might of the military and security services to do battle with unarmed citizens in the streets. Hundreds upon hundreds of Diallo supporters were swept up in illegal arrests and thrown into jails where many of them were tortured. Camara orchestrated the arrests in Conakry and oversaw the torture.

So, finally, after two years and four months, Resco Camara, is indicted.

And, one more thing. After Conde’s “selection” as president, it is widely claimed that Sekouba Konate contacted Cellou Dalein Diallo and told him not to contest the result of the election because there were several groups of foreign mercenaries stationed throughout Conakry who were at the ready to commit a massacre against Peuls.

Seems like Camara shouldn’t have to go it alone.  How about an indictment of Sekouba Konate, preferably an international one, for crimes against humanity?

Agence France-Presse

February 16, 2013 10:46

Guinean governor charged with torture

The governor of Guinea’s capital Conakry has been charged with alleged acts of torture committed in October 2010, a judicial source said Saturday, in a move praised by rights groups.

Sekou Resco Camara was questioned and indicted by a Dixxin court, on the outskirts of Conakry, on Thursday after prosecutors last year opened an investigation into the case, the source said.

The governor is accused of arbitrarily arresting and detaining several people who were then subjected to “acts of torture” in his presence.

The former head of the Guinea army, General Nouhou Thiam, and the army’s deputy chief of staff, Commander Abubakar Sidiki Camara, are also suspects in the case.

At the time of the alleged crimes, Guinea was led by General Sekouba Konate’s transitional government. Following November 2010 elections, Konate was replaced by Alpha Conde — the country’s first democratically elected president.

Rights groups said the charges were an important step for a country marked by a history of political and military violence.

“This is very good news, carrying a strong message: no one is above the law, not even the forces of law and order,” said Thierno Maadjou Sow, the head of the OGDH Guinean human rights group.

“With the indictment of Conakry’s governor for acts of very serious nature, the Guinean justice sends an important signal in the fight against impunity,” said Souhayr Belhassen, head of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH).

bm-stb/ln/mm

Guinea Military Plane Crash: US to Join Canada in Helping Liberia with Investigation

GUINMILAIRCRASHSITE OF GUINEAN MILITARY PLANE CRASH IN LIBERIA

Liberia: U.S., Canada to Probe Guinean Plane Crash

13 February 2013

The Government of Liberia (GOL) has disclosed that the Governments of the United States of America and Canada have agreed to help with the investigation regarding the plan crash which claimed the lives of a Guinean military delegation in Liberia.

The disclosure was made Tuesday, 12 February 2013 by Liberia’s Ministers of Information and Foreign Affairs, Messrs. Lewis Browne and Augustine Ngafuan in separate interviews in Monrovia. A CASA Aircraft (CN35) 3X-GGG conveying senior Guinean government officials to Liberia’s 56th Armed Forces Day celebrations Monday, February 11, 2013 crashed in Charlesville, Margibi County, close to the country’s lone international airport, the Roberts International Airport (RIA), killing eleven people.

Wreckage of the airliner was beyond recognition as rescue workers, including Red Cross workers and other health workers, who later trooped to the crash scene, removed charred bodies of victims from the burnt aircraft which crash landed few kilometers from the RIA. Liberia’s Information Minister Lewis G. Brown, in a press conference later Monday afternoon confirmed the crash, indicating that: “The Roberts International Airport (RIA) confirms a crash incident involving a CASA Aircraft (CN35) with registration 3X-GGG approximately three miles south of the aerodrome.”

He revealed that the crashed plane flew from Conakry, the Republic of Guinea, adding that: “At 0709 GMT Air Traffic Control cleared the flight to land at RIA. That was the last known contact with the crew. A search and rescue team has been dispatched to the scene. The team comprises of RIA Rescue and Firefighting Department, UNMIL, authorities of the Liberia Civil Aviation Authority (LAA), the Firestone PPD Rescue and Firefighting Team, Firestone Medical Team and the Red Cross.”

A presidential statement issued in Guinea Monday through that country’s ministry of defense confirmed the deaths of Guinean army chief of staff, Gen. Souleymane Kelefa Diallo and five others, who were part of an official Guinean government delegation aboard the crashed aircraft bound for this year’s celebration of Liberia’s Armed Forces Day.

Reports gathered by this paper quotes Guinean military spokesman Alpha Barry as saying that: “I can confirm that there was a crash … There were between 12 and 18 officers on the plane.”

The reports divulged that two pilots were also killed in the crash, adding that the crashed CASA Aircraft (CN35) was an official Guinean military aircraft bought for Guinea’s air force for US$12 million. The reports revealed that a statement from the office of Guinean President Alpha Conde quotes the Guinean leader as immediately appointing Gen. Namory Traore as interim army chief of staff of Guinea.

Meanwhile, Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, while speaking at the official ceremony marking Armed Forces Day Monday, confirmed the crash, and called for a moment of silence for the crash victims; declaring Tuesday, 12 February 2013 a day of mourning, that was observed as a national holiday throughout the country.

Howbeit, Information Minister Browne divulged Tuesday that the black box and the digital voice recorder from the crashed CASA (CN35) 3X-GGG aircraft were found, and that the government of Canada has agreed to take the recovered items for examination. For his part, Foreign Affairs Minister Ngafuan Tuesday informed the populous local radio talk show, the Truth Breakfast Show, that: “Our bilateral partners, the Americans are offering to assist with the investigation.”

He corroborated Information Minister Browne’s assertion regarding the recovery of the crashed aircraft’s black box, adding that: “The crash site was protected; so all the relevant information has been recovered from there to assist the investigation so that we can know precisely what caused the crash.”

Liberian Inquiry into Guinean Military Air Crash, Bodies of Those Killed Returned to Conakry, and Opposition Postpones Its March

crashcover

(image from frontpageafricaonline.com)

Liberia initiated an inquiry into the crash of a Guinean military plane yesterday on its way to Monrovia. Eleven military officers were killed. Liberia asked Canadian authorities to analyze the black box and digital voice recordings to determine what happened.

This morning the bodies of the victims of the crash were returned to Guinea.

Alpha Conde called for three days of national morning through Wednesday.

As a result, the opposition its postponing its march, originally scheduled for tomorrow, and re-scheduling it for Monday, February 18.

More news as it becomes available.

Guinean Military Continues With Its 9-28-09 Modus Operandi: Murder, Rape and Mayhem Against Fellow Citizens

guineaguns

Source:  HUFFINGTON POST

Witnesses: 3 killed, others raped by Guinea army

CONAKRY, Guinea — A military crackdown on protesters in a remote Guinean town this week left three people dead and dozens more wounded, while at least three women were raped by soldiers, witnesses alleged Thursday. A defense official denied soldiers shot civilians, but the incident still added to concerns about Guinea’s army, which already has been implicated in a massacre and systematic rape in a country struggling to transition to democracy.
The crackdown occurred in the town of Gueckedou, located 700 kilometers (430 miles) southeast of Guinea’s capital, Conakry. Thousands of demonstrators there were calling for the resignation of a top regional official, and the army trucked in soldiers to disperse the protesters Tuesday.
Witnesses said the army opened fire first with tear gas, then with live rounds.
“I can confirm that three bodies were logged into the register at the prefecture’s hospital in Gueckedou. The bodies have been buried. The wounded are still arriving. Some with stab wounds. Some with bullet wounds,” said Sayon Teliano, a local health worker who was called to the hospital to help. Speaking Thursday, with soldiers still in the town, Teliano said the forensic report found that the three people who died were struck by bullets.
Retired army Col. Kamano Faro, who resides in Gueckedou, said the army used the protest as a pretext to brutalize the town. He said along with the three dead, at least 103 people were hurt, and dozens of boutiques and stores were pillaged.
“The army brought terror to our town,” Faro said. “In the neighborhood of Nongo, I saw soldiers going into people’s houses and breaking things. “I saw them grab the pots off of people’s fires, and eat the rice and the sauce that was inside. I know a pork seller, who was robbed of all his money. They even took his pig, and slaughtered it (to eat).”

Guinea, a nation of 10.2 million, spent much of its post-independence history under various types of military rule, starting with a 1984 coup by an army colonel, Lansana Conte. He died in office in 2008; hours later an army captain seized power.

 
In 2009, when tens of thousands of demonstrators crowded into the national soccer stadium in Conakry to demand the army relinquish control, the captain’s elite red beret-wearing guard sealed the gates to the stadium. They then opened fire with machine guns, mowing down the protesters – killing at least 157.
Women were also dragged onto the stadium turf, into the stands, under bleachers, and in neighboring structures and gang-raped by officers who stuffed their red berets into their mouths to silence them, a scene shocking even for this troubled region of Africa.
Rape was allegedly another tactic used by the armed forces during this week’s crackdown.

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!

UFDG Members Living in USA Denounce Attacks in Zogota and Siguiri and Demand Independent Investigations

The following statement from officials of the UFDG in the USA was translated into English using Google with some editing by Guinea Oye:

News: Statement by officials of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG) residing in the United States of America (USA)

Posted Aug 9, 2012 @ 3:42
Updated Aug 9, 2012 @ 3:45

© No protection of the guilty should be tolerated so that impunity in Guinea terminates.

We, who represent UFDG residents in the United States of America USA, have learned on the internet, read the report of some civil society organizations and watched the film of the massacres perpetrated by the Defence Forces and Security Forces (FDS) against populations Zogota the night of 4 to 5 August 2012. It is also the case of the unfortunate event that occurred in Siguiri Tuesday, August 7, 2012.

Faced with this sad situation, we bow reverently before the memory of the missing so that their souls may rest in peace. We partner with various bereaved families to share their pain following the massacres of their communities in both our countries. In this blessed month of Ramadan, we implore Allah Almighty that he should give his grace to victims. Amen.

We extend our deepest condolences to the families of individual victims, as well as communities in the Forest Guinea and that of Siguiri and people of Guinea.

Under the mandate dedicated to the MSDS for the protection of citizens by the Constitution and the ratification by the Republic of Guinea of the various conventions on the protection of human rights and human dignity, we strongly condemn these despicable acts.

We recall that impunity has always encouraged FDS officers to commit crimes against its own citizens they are supposed to protect. It is established that successive regimes have always sponsored the violence of state to stifle all thought of resistance of our people against autocracy that breeds bad governance in our dear Guinea.

We invite Guineans who love peace, justice, solidarity and social peace to mobilize to demand the country’s authorities to identify real perpetrators of these massacres and their transference to court so that they meet their forfeitures.

We require for this purpose an independent investigation so that full light is shed on these violations of human dignity that do not honor our country. It does not just address the perpetrators, but also the sponsors of the FDS descent on the localities of the two respective towns of Zogota Siguiri and must be identified and punished by law in all its rigor.

No protection of the guilty should be tolerated so that impunity ceases in Guinea.

Long live the United Guinea, Long live the National Unity and Long live Liberty