Human Rights Watch World Report (EN-FR): Guinea in 2013 – NOT a Pretty Picture

Manifestation_de_Bruxelles_22_Mars_2013ACKILLINGGuinean holds sign at demonstration against Alpha Conde which took place in Brussels on March 22, 2013
This week, Human Rights Watch, issued its World Report for 2014 which assesses the human rights situation throughout the world during 2013. Here is a link for the Guinea chapter which is in English (the link to French is at top of page).  Below are selected excerpts from the report.

Human Rights Watch has done a pretty good job of covering Guinea’s violent landscape and the impunity with which Alpha Conde and his  regime rule the country. Yet, there are two areas which HRW didn’t get right:  the nature of ethnic tensions in Guinea and the dynamic of the “violent” demonstrations.  Another post on this later.
There is nothing in this report that will surprise the overwhelming majority of Guineans. It’s shows clearly that, after stealing the 2010 presidential election, Conde arrived in office without a mandate to govern, requiring him to repress citizens who did not vote for him in order to cover his loss in the election.  Since the day he took over the helm of the country, nothing has improved for the people.  He’s driven the country to hell and seems to enjoy it.  
Excerpts from the HRW report on Guinea, 2013

Parliamentary Elections
“Parliamentary elections, not held since 2002, were to have taken place six months after the largely free and fair 2010 election of Alpha Condé as president. However, they were repeatedly delayed by opposition demands to address technical concerns involving the electoral list and the right of the diaspora to participate, among other issues. The delay exacerbated ethnic tensions, deepened a concentration of power in the executive branch, and generated considerable frustration within Guinean civil society and the country’s international partners.”
International Actors 
 “International actors—notably the United Nations Office of West Africa (UNOWA), European Union, France, the United States, and the Organisation internationale de la francophonie (OIF)—took proactive steps to resolve disputes over the organization of parliamentary elections, but rarely spoke out on the need for justice for past and recent crimes by state actors.”
 Accountability for September 28, 2009, and Other Crimes
“The panel has made important strides, having interviewed more than 300 victims and charged at least eight suspects including several high-level members of the security forces. However, progress continues to be stymied by insufficient government backing and support, including the government’s failure to place high-level suspects on leave from their government posts pending investigation and to satisfactorily resolve the judges’ outstanding request to question the former Guinean president, who is currently living in Burkina Faso. Some suspects have been in pretrial detention longer than the two years Guinean law permits.”
Judiciary and Detention Conditions
“Prison and detention centers in Guinea are severely overcrowded, and inmates and detainees lack adequate nutrition, sanitation, and medical care. The largest detention facility—designed for 300 detainees—accommodates some 1,100.”
Truth-Telling and Independent Human Rights Institutions
During 2013, the “Reflection Commission,” created by presidential decree in June 2011 to promote reconciliation, made no visible progress in fulfilling its mandate. The interim co-presidents appeared to limit its mandate to promoting reconciliation largely through prayer, while local human rights groups pushed for a commission that could meaningfully address impunity.
Conduct of Security Forces 
“On at least three occasions, members of the security forces attacked or failed to protect members of the opposition or their family members from violence meted out by ruling party militants. On several occasions, members of the security forces engaged in theft, extortion, and other crimes directed at people living in neighborhoods that largely supported the opposition. The police and gendarmes also failed to equally protect people during violent street demonstrations, including by standing by while protestors supporting the ruling party attacked and at times robbed opposition supporters.”
Freedom of the Media 
“In mid-August, soldiers stormed Bate FM in Kankan, shutting it down for airing President Condé being booed at a rally. At least three journalists were briefly detained. The station was later attacked and looted and one journalist was assaulted in the process. The attackers were allegedly supporters of the president.”
Key International Actors 
Guinea’s key international partners, notably the United Nations, European Union, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), France, and the United States, remained largely focused on ensuring progress in the long-delayed parliamentary elections. However, they remained largely silent on the need for those responsible for the September 2009 violence. While they made frequent calls to end the violent exchanges between supporters of the opposition and ruling party, they largely failed to condemn abuses by the security forces or demand that they be held accountable for their crimes.” 

Vincent Foucher, Int’l. Crisis Group, Punts His Way Through RFI Interview about Guinea Election

wpid-1378572890.jpgThese people, and many more, had their votes stolen in 2010, and now again, in 2013
Relief that the election is over seems to have surpassed both truth and an honest assessment of what is going on in Guinea.  Short and sweet, Conde, the CENI and the RPG collaborated with a few international representatives to steal Guinea’s second election in three years.  The international folks in Conakry are staring at the floor praying that no one will ask how the election, dripping in fraud, went.  It’s as though Don Corleone paid each a visit in the middle of the night to remind them about the “code of silence.”  Well, the election was a mess, everyone knows it and the silence is deafening.  
Word is coming from many corners of the country, that Conde received no more than 8-9% of the vote on September 28.  You do the math.  That’s a mountain of fraud and a sea full of people who sooner or later will be in the streets.  This will de-stabilize Guinea, as it should.
Foucher is a smart cookie and has remained engaged in Guinea for a long time.  Unfortunately, in the RFI interview, he played dumb, hemmed and hawed, ultimately succeeding in his determination not to say anything definitive. 
But Guinea Oye has a treat for everyone.  Rather than posting his interview today with RFI, we are posting the executive summary of a report entitled, “Guinea:  A Way Out of the Election Quagmire,” which Foucher wrote and the ICG issued in February 2013.  At the end of the summary you will find recommendations for just about every actor in the “election quagmire” except the opposition.  This may not be the most comprehensive list of recommendations, but it raises issues guaranteed to scare the beejeebers out of the international community and to make Conde snarl.  Now, this Foucher piece is worth a read.
CONDESUPCTAlpha Conde and His Judges

Guinea: A Way Out of the Election Quagmire

Africa Report N°199 18 Feb 2013


Two years after President Alpha Condé’s victory in the first really competitive election in the history of postcolonial Guinea, the country still does not have a national assembly. Forthcoming legislative elections look set to be complicated: ethnic tensions, compounded by the 2010 polls, remain high and the electoral system is deeply controversial. The establishment of a new Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in September 2012 was an important step, but progress stalled again in December on the issue of the voter register. President Condé must engage in a genuine dialogue with the opposition and the INEC must reach a consensual solution on the register. With international support, the government and opposition must consolidate the electoral system. Peaceful and credible legislative elections are essential to establish a parliament that reflects the country’s diversity, give the opposition a real voice, restore checks and balances, and prevent the hope raised by the replacement of illegitimate military leaders with an elected civilian president turning into disillusionment.

Direct dialogue between the government and opposition on the legislative elections started more than a year after Alpha Condé came to power, with the Inclusive Framework for Political Dialogue (Cadre de dialogue politique inclusif, CDPI). It ended two months later with limited results. Between March 2012 and February 2013, there were no further direct talks, but instead a series of interventions, facilitations, consultations and announcements. Some questions have been settled and others brushed aside, but the opposition still strongly disagrees on two key issues: the INEC and the voter register. Soon after a banned opposition protest on 27 August 2012, which led to widespread disorder in the capital Conakry, the government pledged to reconstitute the INEC, and the commission’s controversial president asked that his mandate not be renewed. His successor, Bakary Fofana, presented in December a timetable setting the elections for 12 May 2013. Does this signal a way forward? Did this peculiar form of dialogue, with accusations, manoeuvres and anger, eventually yield progress?

Although there has been some headway, the level of polarisation remains high. The appointment of the new INEC members created fresh friction, with its new president rapidly coming under fire, and it is this contentious institution that must resolve the key problem of the electoral register. Tension on that issue boiled over on 10 December, when the opposition accused Fofana of violating the procedures of INEC by refusing to release a report on the register prepared by the International Organisation of Francophonie (Organisation internationale de la francophonie, OIF), and considered calling for his resignation. Fofana’s announcement, the following day, that elections would be held in May 2013 raised the temperature further: the opposition rejected that date, arguing that the INEC plenary had not been consulted.

The opposition also protested against the technical weaknesses and lack of transparency in the process of revising the electoral register, as well as the lack of preparation for the Guinean diaspora’s vote. On 29 January, the opposition, allied with a number of “centrist” parties, called for new demonstrations and dismissed the direct dialogue called for by the authorities as a ploy to have them cancel the protest. During a new INEC meeting to discuss the electoral register on 11 February, the majority supporting President Condé voted to endorse the controversial revision while opposition commissioners walked out. They might decide to suspend permanently their participation.

In sum, the situation remains worrisome. Holding elections while the government and opposition disagree on fundamental issues is dangerous. The government shows contempt for the opposition and took almost a year to engage in dialogue. The opposition maintains that President Condé was elected through fraud and prefers to avoid elections (or, at least, does not want transparent and consensual polls). It accuses the regime of ethnic favouritism. Civil society, which played a key role at the end of the 2000s, is now divided along political and ethnic lines. Controversial elections against the backdrop of ethnic disputes raise many risks at both local and national levels.

Electoral turmoil could degenerate into significant violence. Security sector reform has made limited progress and tension remains very high between the security forces, accustomed to impunity and also affected by ethnic disputes, and the population, exasperated by police and army brutality. Electoral troubles could offer opportunities to those in the armed forces who have not fully accepted their new submission to civilian authority.

The Condé regime cannot simply talk about its good governance and development ambitions: it must also iron out political tensions. Moreover, it is more important that the vote is credible than that it takes place in May – although with so much time already lost it should take place as soon as possible and certainly before December 2013. For this to happen, dialogue is vital. The road to the elections will be rocky, but it is crucial to keep friction to a minimum, maintain serious dialogue between the parties and rebuild trust in the electoral apparatus. It is also necessary to strengthen the capacity of the political system – the judiciary, territorial administration, security forces, INEC, political parties – and for civil society to manage in a proper and credible manner the conflicts that will inevitably emerge during the long electoral journey ahead.


To break the election logjam and guarantee a credible vote

To the president of the republic:

1.  Set up regular meetings with the leaders of the main parties and the boards of the National Transition Council (Conseil national de transition, CNT) and INEC to discuss the political situation and establish shared understanding of the electoral system issue.

To the president of INEC:

2.  Provide all INEC commissioners with all the documents relating to the organisation of the elections and clarify the procedures for the revision of the electoral register.

3.  Reopen discussions on the electoral register in the INEC plenary without excluding any solution; on this issue and on others, the electoral commission must make credible decisions, which require operating on the basis of consensus rather than on a majority vote.

4.  Take the necessary steps to allow Guineans living in the diaspora to exercise their right to vote.

To the government of Guinea:

5.  Increase and publicise the repression of crimes and offences committed by members of the defence and security forces, whether in the execution of their duties or not.

6.  Consider, in consultation with human rights organisations, the creation of an observatory of impunity.

7.  Clarify publicly its position on, and its relations with, the different organisations of “donzo” traditional hunters, whose presence in urban areas is creating mistrust.

To the Guinean Social Movement:

8.  Prepare for the deployment of a national electoral observation mechanism inspired from the one implemented during the 2012 presidential election in Senegal.

To the international partners of Guinea:

9.  Mobilise and support international and non-governmental organisations involved in the electoral process to reinforce the credibility of the polls, including by:

a) supporting the Guinean Social Movement in the establishment of an electoral observation mechanism.

b) preparing local representatives of the different parties within INEC and its sub-structures, as well as magistrates, to the management of disputes that will no doubt emerge in the course of the electoral process.

Dakar/Brussels, 18 February 2013

Opposition Statement: Marches Suspended, Election Issues to Go Through Courts, and Possible “Partial” Invalidation (EN-FR)

When you can bring out a crowd like this, you are in the majority. 

Guinea Oye will be back soon to provide commentary about this odd political development.

Below is a link to the French version of the Opposition Statement.  Following that is the English version translated by Google.

Législatives : l’opposition sursoit les manifestations de rues

This is the main decision that came out of the conclave of politicians gathered at the leader of the opposition Cellou Dalein Diallo. After the constant threats of the opposition occupy the streets as a protest against electoral masquerade organized by INEC for the presidential party, the opposition leaders have finally resolved to resort to legal means. Read this statement.

For the sake of appeasement and to respond favorably to requests from civil society and the different calls by the international community, the Republican opposition has decided to postpone any public event and use the remedies provided by the Election Code to enforce its requirements for transparency of the legislative elections of 28 September 2013.

The members of the opposition parties involved in this election actually introduced within the statutory period and the required forms, their appeals to the Supreme Court to demand the cancellation and alternative partial invalidation of the elections because massive fraud.

The Supreme Court has the constitutional authority to settle electoral disputes is to decide independently on the basis of the law, disputes submitted to arbitration.

The Republican opposition reminded the President and judges of the Supreme Court that the Republican institution to which they have the privilege of belonging is subject only to the authority of the law and has the obligation to avoid any influence and reject any allegiance to the executive power, not to mention the law.

The Republican opposition hopes that the Supreme Court fully appreciates the issues of peace and social cohesion of its current mission to contribute to the results of the elections are actually consistent with the will of the people of Guinea to the future parliament and is a reflection of the votes actually cast by the electors.

The Republican opposition invites its members and supporters and all Guinean citizens who love freedom and democracy to listen to it and remain highly mobilized for their rights.


Conakry, 30/10/2013

The Republican opposition

Declaration: The Republican Opposition Launches a Call to the International Community to Ensure that Fraud Identified Will Be Factored into Election Results (FR-EN)

Déclaration : l’Opposition Républicaine lance un appel à la communauté internationale pour que les fraudes constatées soient reconnues et les élections reprises

Créé le mardi 8 octobre 2013 18:57

Des Leaders de l'Opposition en Guinée. Cellou Dalein Diallo en focus, en haut, á droite.Des Leaders de l’Opposition en Guinée. Cellou Dalein Diallo en focus, en haut, á droite.L’Opposition Républicaine dans sa déclaration du 04 octobre 2013, dénonçait la fraude massive organisée avant, pendant et après le vote par le pouvoir et la CENI, afin d’attribuer à la mouvance présidentielle, une majorité parlementaire factice.

Cette fraude massive s’est traduite par :

  • des bourrages massifs d’urnes ;
  • des falsifications, disparitions et substitutions de Procès Verbaux de dépouillement (principalement en Haute Guinée et en Guinée Forestière) ;
  • des omissions importantes d’électeurs (surtout à Fria, Télimélé et Moyenne Guinée) ;
  • des rétentions de cartes électorales et leur réutilisation illégale ;
  • des distributions sélectives de cartes d’électeur ;
  • l’expulsion des délégués de l’UFDG, du RDIG, de l’UFR et du PEDN des bureaux de vote à GUECKEDOU et à KISSIDOUGOU par les responsables des CEPI et CESPI ;
  • un manque de kits et d’urnes dans de nombreux bureaux de vote empêchant ainsi plus de 12.000 électeurs de voter ;
  • des immixtions de membres du Gouvernement dans le processus (surtout en Basse guinée, Haute guinée et Guinée Forestière) ;
  • la dissimulation de fiches de dépouillement  empêchant ainsi les CACV de comparer les chiffres portés sur les procès-verbaux falsifiés ;
  • des créations de bureaux de vote fictifs ;
  • des votes par récépissés, uniquement en Haute Guinée et Guinée forestière ;
  • etc.

Ces nombreux manquements tendent à attribuer une majorité indue au RPG Arc-en-ciel, en contradiction flagrante avec les résultats des suffrages exprimés en faveur de l’opposition guinéenne. L’essentiel des anomalies dénoncées par l’Opposition a été relevé par des observateurs présents sur l’ensemble du territoire, notamment ceux de l’Union Européenne.

Cependant, l’Opposition regrette que les garanties données par la communauté internationale, pour le déroulement transparent des élections législatives, ne se soient pas traduites dans les faits. L’affichage entre autres, des listes définitives, corrigeant toutes les anomalies, et normalement prévue par le chronogramme de la CENI, n’a pas été assuré.

Au vu des résultats publiés par la CENI à ce jour, malgré les fraudes, Le RPG Arc-en-Ciel n’obtient pas la majorité absolue à Conakry, en Basse Guinée et en Moyenne Guinée. Ainsi la majorité qu’il veut s’attribuer à l’Assemblée Nationale, se construit surtout par des fraudes systématiques organisées en Haute Guinée et en Guinée Forestière.

C’est pourquoi, l’Opposition Républicaine réaffirme son exigence d’annulation pure et simple de ces élections pour leur caractère éminemment frauduleux. D’ores et déjà, l’opposition suspend sa participation aux Comités de suivi et de veille des accords du 3 juillet ainsi qu’à la Commission de centralisation des résultats à la CENI.

Les Partis de l’Opposition Républicaine lancent un appel à la communauté internationale, garante de l’application de l’accord politique inter guinéen, afin qu’elle use de toute son influence pour que les fraudes constatées soient reconnues et les élections reprises en conséquence.

Les partis politiques de l’Opposition Républicaine invitent leurs militants et sympathisants à rester mobilisés et à l’écoute des prochaines décisions.

Conakry le 08 octobre 2013.

L’Opposition Républicaine.

The article was translated into English via Google.  No editing, so a bit rough.

Created Tuesday, October 8, 2013 6:57 p.m.

Leader of the Opposition in Guinea. Diallo in focus, top, á right.
Republican opposition in his statement of 4 October 2013, denounced the massive fraud organized before, during and after the voting power and INEC, to assign to the movement presidential, parliamentary majority dummy.

This massive fraud has resulted in:

  • massive ballot box stuffing;
  • falsifications, disappearances and substitutions of the Minutes of counting (mainly in Upper Guinea and Forest Guinea);
  • significant omissions of voters (especially Fria Télimélé and Middle Guinea);
  • retentions voting cards and illegal reuse;
  • selective distribution of voter cards;
  • the expulsion of delegates UFDG of RDIG, the UFR and SARP polls in Guéckédou and KISSIDOUGOU by the heads of CEPI and CESPI;
  • a lack of kits and urns in many polling stations and preventing more than 12,000 people to vote;
  • the interference of government officials in the process (especially in Lower Guinea, Upper Guinea and Forest Guinea);
  • concealment of counting cards and preventing CACV compare the figures reported in the minutes falsified;
  • creations offices fictitious vote;
  • voting receipts, only in Upper Guinea and Forest Guinea;
  • etc..

These many failures tend to attribute undue majority RPG Arc-en-ciel, in flagrant contradiction with the results of the votes cast in favor of the Guinean opposition. Most of the anomalies reported by the Opposition was noted by observers across the country, including those of the European Union.

However, the Opposition regrets that the guarantees given by the international community for the transparent parliamentary elections, did not be translated into action. The display among others, the final lists, correcting any anomalies, and normally provided by the timing of the INEC, was not insured.

Given published by the CENI results to date, despite the fraud, the RPG Arc-en-Ciel does not get an absolute majority in Conakry, Guinea and Lower Middle Guinea. Thus the majority he wants to assign to the National Assembly, is built mainly by systematic fraud organized in Upper Guinea and Forest Guinea.

That is why the opposition Republican reaffirms its outright cancellation of the election requirement for their highly fraudulent. Already, opposition suspends participation in monitoring committees and standby agreements of July 3 and the Commission of centralization results in the INEC.

The parties of the opposition Republican launched a call to the international community, guaranteeing the implementation of the political agreement inter Guinea, so it uses its influence to ensure that frauds are recognized and included in the election result .

The political parties of the opposition Republican invite their members and supporters to remain mobilized and listening to future decisions.

Conakry on 08 October 2013.

The Republican Opposition.

VIDEO: Is Guinea in Danger? Plus: Campaign Vehicle of Diallo’s Wife Attacked by RPG Youth and Set Afire, Fighting Among Youth in Conakry

2013-09-22 17:56:56

Nous venons de l’apprendre, le véhicule de campagne de Hadja Halimatou, épouse de Cellou Dalein a été attaqué et brûlé à Taouya par les partisans d’Alpha Condé réunis au coin appelé Kankan koura.

Le cortège de Hadja Halimatou qui partait en campagne à Taouya a été attaqué par deux groupes à deux niveaux différents. Ce qui laisse comprendre que l’action a été planifiée et qu’on l’a attendu pour l’agresser. En ce moment même, il y aurait des affrontements entre Malinkés et Peuls dans la zone.

Cela se produit au moment où des voix s’élèvent jusqu’en Europe pour mettre le monde en alerte face au danger que représente Alpha Condé pour la paix et la stabilité de toute la sous-région ouest-africaine (Suivre: La Guinée Conakry en danger). Dans cette émission on parle également du fait qu’Alpha Condé ne devrait même pas être président, n’ayant pas gagné dans les urnes malgré les fraudes organisées avec les ordinateurs volés de la Ceni (Lire).

Guinea: Opposition Gives International Community A Lesson in Democracy


Donzos (hunters), one of many irregular militias of Alpha Conde’s, celebrating after attack on opposition neighborhoods, primarily Peul, in 2011. 

At first, news of the cancellation of the opposition demonstration scheduled for this Thursday, September 19, suggested that either the opposition didn’t know what it was doing or it had caved in to international community pressure.  


Yet, on second glance, it is good strategy. Unlike the fraud of the 2010 election which oozed like a fast-moving slime throughout the country on election day, confounding voters with logistical “glitches,” voter intimidation tactics and and widespread disenfranchisement schemes, the government’s fraud weaved into the 2013 election is easily detectable because the opposition knows what to look for now and the government, arrogant after its 2010 theft, may have been a bit careless.

When it comes to Guinea, you cannot talk about the 2013 legislative elections without talking about the 2010 presidential election.  A previous post on this blog suggests that the 2013 election has little to do with Guineans’ economic, social and political needs, rather it is largely about advancing the goals of the international community.  The election of 2010 was a bloody, deadly, raping hell.  The fraud built into the election computers was not enough to pull out a sure “win” for Conde.  That required Gen. Sekouba Konate to unleash heavy repression and cruel tricks to disenfranchise voters throughout the country.  International representatives in Guinea watched it all and said nothing.  Most especially, they said nothing about ethnic killings even though Human Rights Watch, International Crisis Group and others, were screaming it from the rooftops.

Given this background, it was particularly prudent for the opposition to collect as much verifiable evidence as possible, before September 24, regarding the government’s intent to commit fraud in the 2013 election.  Signaling a welcome, but brief, respite from the international representatives’ mantra, “2013 elections must take place as planned,” the opposition turned its evidence over to Said Djinnit earlier this week.  While many members of the international community are ready to send Guineans over the cliff, like lemmings, to their political death, others know that the jig is up.  Now, the international community must take its foot off the accelerator.  No more coercion of the opposition — the country’s political majority.  The world is watching a lot more closely than just a few days ago.  

And, for all those tired of postponement after postponement of the election, you would be wise not to take such a simplistic view.  Yes, this election may not take place on Tuesday.  It has nothing to do with politicians’ egos, lack of patriotism, or unwillingness to let the country progress.  Quite the contrary.   All those who are concerned about the election not going off as planned because the country won’t be able to tackle its social and economic ills, you should know that Alpha Conde is your roadblock, not the postponement of a crooked election.  Those who remain impatient must have something to gain from no water, no electricity, keeping the opposition under wraps with state-sponsored violence, and proliferation of an anti-Peul policy which has prevented Guineans from direct participation ever since Alpha Conde usurped the presidency.  

Guinea Opposition to International Community: You Guaranteed Security of Electoral Register and July 3 Political Agreement – Now, It’s Time to Step Up

EXCERPT [Translated into English via Google with editing by Guinea Oye]
The Republican opposition held a meeting on Friday, September 13, 2013 from 10am to 12pm at the premises of the UFDG to CBG – Hamdallaye. During this meeting, the political parties of the opposition criticized the lack of real progress in the claims they made in their declaration of 10 September 2013.

Regarding the electoral register, no basis on which to judge its reliability has been provided by the CENI. In contrast, persistent evidence indicates that many duplicates were not refereed, that omissions and arbitrary relocation of voters have not been corrected.

In addition, the number of polling stations in opposition strongholds has been unjustifiably reduced, despite the increase in the number of voters.

Faced with this situation, the Republican opposition reiterates its requirements below:

1. Edit the voter lists by alphabetical order and display CARLE (the list) for a reasonable period time so that corrections can be made and then allow voters to ensure that all necessary corrections have been actually carried out;

2. The resumption of redistricting taking into account the realities on the ground, so that all voters have access to a polling station located at a reasonable distance from their homes and to effectively exercise their right to vote.

The Republican opposition is calling on the international community which has guaranteed the security of the electoral register and the implementation of the political agreement of July 3, 2013, to use all his influence to the satisfaction of both legitimate claims.

Failing to take a diligent account by CENI of its fundamental claims, the Republican opposition will resume its peaceful protests across the country as of Thursday, September 19, 2013. It therefore invites, its leaders and activists and all Guinean Democrats to mobilize for the success of these events.

Conakry, 14 September 2013

The Republican opposition