Feb. 27 Guinea Opposition March: The Video, Starring Conde’s Cops as They Throw Rocks at Cars and People

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Power to the People!

NOTE:  Sorry, video placed in post last night was wrong one.  Now the full version is inserted below.

What a joyous treat it is to watch this video (further below). If anyone doubted that several hundred thousand opposition supporters participated in the march, this video confirms it as a virtual sea of people hit the streets in the struggle to liberate their country.

You will see that the march was interrupted several times by rock-throwing RPG supporters and police letting off tear gas. In some instances, the tear gas is massive and could easily have caused a stampede in the crowd.

There are great segments showing cheering people on either side of the highway as well as those in the caravan and march.  In the last few minutes you will see various opposition leaders making speeches.

But, the best five seconds of the video shows Conde’s not so finest cops, throwing rocks at the people in the caravan and at vehicles belonging to opposition leaders. The cop rock-throwing clip is repeated numerous times in the video so if you don’t catch right off, you will seeing it again soon.

Note that the video is a little grainy and throughout its 1 hour, 11 minutes length, it is punctuated several times with still pics and video and then returns to the chronological account of the march.

For those of you who do not have the time to view the whole video, here are a few highlights and the minute marks were you can see them:

-Rock throwing cops, 12 second mark (again, this clip is repeated throughout the video)

The crowd, I recommend you watch from the 5:24 mark through to the 15:00 mark

-Tear gas, 41:49 mark, 42:12, and 50:06

-Car damage, 48:09 mark

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FLASH! All Guinean Opposition Leaders Summoned to Appear in Court March 14 on Charges of Civil Liability for Damages Caused During Feb. 27 March

All leaders of all three blocks of the opposition, the Collective, the ADP and the CDR, are summoned to appear next Thursday, March 14 in the court of first instance in Dixinn and are accused of being “civilly liable for damages caused during the February 27, 2013 march in the streets of Conakry as members of the organizing committee.”

Parties mentioned are, among others, the NGR of Abe Sylla, the GPT of Kassory Fofana, the RDIG of Jean Marc Telliano, the UFDG of Cellou Dalein Diallo, the UFR of Sidya Touré, the UFC Aboubacar Sylla, the SARP of Lansana Kouyaté, the PPG Dean Charles Pascal Tolno, the UNRof Boubacar Barry, the AFAG of Baidy Aribot , thee GECI of Fode Mohamed Soumah, the PS of Thierno Saidou Bayo, and the NFD of Mouctar Diallo.

While the overall charge is “civil liability for damages,” the specific charges are numerous: gatherings, parades and processions on public roads while armed, assault with bodily harm, contempt of the custodians of the public force, damage to private property, interference with the exercise of rights and freedom and duties of maintaining order, destruction and damage buildings or public facilities or private . . ., etc.

Africaguinee.com contacted Cellou Daein Dialo of the UFDG party for comment. He said he was not surprised by the summons to court since Conde had said he would do so in a speech earlier. He added that “we are innocent victims of violence” and that the court process is not likely to promote “healing.”

GUINEA Opposition March a Huge Success (Pics) Plus Conde Loyalists Burn Down Opposition Party Office in Kankan While Cops Watch

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The placard says:  “Down with Waymark, long live dialogue and long live the vote of Guineans living abroad.”

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More pictures further below.

MARCH AND RALLY

Thousands upon thousands of opposition activists marched today protesting the impunity of Alpha Conde. It appears security services kept themselves in check and there were only two incidents reported – rock throwing and a stabbing of an opposition supporter by one of Conde’s RPG activists.

The march was large and lively and filled both sides of the Fidel Castro as it snaked from Gbessia-Conakry airport to the esplanade at the People’s Palace.

In a Reuters article, opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo was quoted as saying at the rally that, “The opposition will not accept dictatorship, the violation of the constitution or laws of the Republic. If Mr Alpha Conde continues to violate these laws then we’ll ask him to leave.” Diallo also promised even larger, stronger protests next week.

BREAK-IN AND BURNING OF OPPOSITION PARTY OFFICES IN KANKAN

Today, in Kankan, located about 435 miles from Conakry, Conde loyalists looted and burned the primary headquarters of the party of Lansana Kouyate, former prime minister, former presidential candidate, and opposition leader.  Apparently, the offices were destroyed because Conde’s supporters think Kouyate has broken away from Conde politically. A resident of Kankan said that police stood by and watched as the ransacking and burning took place. Lansana Kouyate was not present at the march today — he is out of the country for an extended period of time.

The following pictures and those which appear at the beginning of this post are from the UFDG party website:

On the Opposition. Conakry February 18, 2013 .

Opposition march in the capital, Conakry, February 18, 2013

GUINEA OPPOSITION MARCH UPDATE 9-20: “The Crowd is Enormous”

This post will be updated periodically throughout the day.

Guinean websites, Africaguinee, Guinee 58, Aminata, and Leguepard were sources for the following report:

UPDATE 2 – 4PM, EST

-Opposition  marchers finally reached the esplanade at the September 28 stadium around 5PM local time.  In the area of the Avaria market, before reaching the stadium, there was a second incident of rock throwing by RPG supporters. The police fired off a few gas canisters and things calmed down.  At the stadium, opposition leaders gave speeches to rally the crowd. All in all, this was a very impressive march.  When Guinea Oye! receives pictures they will be posted.

 

UPDATE 1 – noon, EST

-In Conakry, the day began with Cellou Dalein Diallo rallying his supporters in Bambeto and Lansana Kouyate doing the same in Matoto. The, Diallo supporters left Bambeto and headed to Matoto to join with Kouyate supporters to take the Fidel Castro highway and head for the rally at the September 28 stadium.  According to all sources, the crowd is enormous, in spite of heavy rain, and stretching for several kilometers.

-Marchers are carrying signs which call attention to their concerns about legislative elections: “No Election Fraud,” “Waymark and Sabary Technology (election contractors) Should Get Out of Guinea Elections,” “Guineans in the Diaspora Should Be Allowed Vote in Legislative Elections.”

-Opposition leaders observed at the march are Cellou Dalein Diallo, Lansana Kouyate, Sidya Toure, Aboubacar Sylla, and Faya Millimono. Other leaders will join the march before the rally at the stadium.

-The police appear to be in near “stand down” mode. Before the march a national police official said that they would walk along the perimeter of the march, but not to interfere. It appears they are doing just that. Everything was going peacefully until RPG (Conde’s party) supporters began throwing stones at those in the march. The police asked marchers to ignore them and to speed up the march. Some opposition supporters began to hurl stones back. There should be more information on this later today.

-Some news sources suggest that the sheer number of people in the opposition march is forcing Alpha Conde to conduct a government shake-up.  It is rumored that the shake-up will involve dismissal of military holding positions in the government, the appointment of Francois Fall to be Foreign Affairs minister and, like a bad penny which keeps showing up, Louceny Camara to receive an appointment to Conde’s cabinet.

-In Labe, people are demonstrating, all shops are closed. and the town is virtually paralyzed. Mamou merchants shut their shops down in a show of support for the opposition march. No protests have been observed in Kankan, Siguiri, and Fria.

Guinea 8-31: Conde Sends Emissaries to Opp. Leaders, Toure to Attend US Democratic Convention, Opp. Reps Resign from Cabinet and CENI, Next Opp. March – 9-20, and Conde’s Son in London with Mines Minister to Stop a Leak

After Assassination Attempt, Conde Sends Emissaries to Sidya Toure

Leguepard.net is reporting that on Wednesday, August 29, two Conde representatives arrived at Toure’s office to ask if he could meet with the president. Toure said such a meeting was out of the question.

It appears that emissaries visited both Lansana Kouyate and Cellou Dalein Diallo to ask them to meet with Conde as well.

Sidya Toure Will Attend the Democratic Convention in the U. S.

Leguepard.net is reporting Sidya Toure, former Prime Minister, former presidential candidate, current opposition party leader, and now, after Monday, a target of a Guinean government assassination attempt, has been invited to attend the U. S. Democratic convention in Charlotte, NC., September 4-6.

While we don’t know who invited him, it is likely that Guineans who have been in the U. S. for a long time and have strong ties to the Democratic Party greased the skids to make it happen.

This news is all the buzz in Guinea. It is rumored that Toure is taking with him plenty of information revealing Alpha Conde’s authoritarian and corrupt government and its deleterious effect on the people.

Opposition Representatives Resign from Government Cabinet, CENI and maybe CNT

Lansana Kouyate confirmed yesterday that both opposition ministers, Koulibaly and Cisse, resigned from the cabinet. This morning, seven members of the CENI resigned. In addition, as many as eight opposition representatives may resign from the National Transition Council.

Next Opposition March – September 20

The opposition has decided march again on September 20. Details to come.

Guinea Human Rights Group Statement on Events of August 27, 2012

FIDH Statement and OGDH

The Guinean authorities must ensure the safety of the protesters and to organize elections

FIDH and its member organization in Guinea OGDH, are deeply concerned about the political and security situation prevailing in Conakry, following the violence that erupted on the sidelines of an event, Monday, Aug. 27. Our organizations call the Guinean government, the police and the opposition parties to refrain from violence and the establishment of a consensual framework for the parliamentary elections, the last step political transition initiated in 2010.

Monday, August 27, 2012, many confrontations took place in Conakry, in common Dixinn and Matoto particular between security forces and supporters of the main opposition parties, meeting within the Collective political parties the completion of the transition (LPCP) and the Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), which had called for a protest in favor of the organization of elections. This day was marked by the arrest of dozens of opposition activists and injuring many others, both in the ranks of the demonstrators and within law enforcement.

According to reports, several political leaders were attacked by agents of the police and gendarmerie, including Diallo, President of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG), whose home was the target of several tear gas grenades in the morning, and Lansana Kouyate, president of the Party of Hope for National Development (SARP), which saw his car get several shots of nature still undetermined formally, while also carrying Mr. Diallo and Mr. Sidya Touré, President of the Union of Republican Forces (UFR) in the afternoon.

“It is important to clarify as soon as possible on the violence yesterday, which it seems that they could exceed the strict framework of policing and ensure in all circumstances the safety and law to show politicians and their supporters, “said Paul Nsapu, Secretary General of FIDH, who added:” if we welcome the absence of the military in law enforcement, which is now up exclusively the police and gendarmerie, the Guinean authorities must ensure the use of conventional weapons and non-lethal, and a proportional use of force. ‘

This violence is part of a particularly tense political context around the organization of elections and negotiations on the composition of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) (cf. http://fidh.org/Guinee-La- commemoration-of). Previous events, particularly May 10, 2012 and September 27, 2011, had already led to significant violence.

“Guinea, with the organization of free and transparent presidential elections in 2010 which saw Alpha Condé to power, is committed towards establishing the rule of law. It is urgent that it completes its political transition by organizing elections at the end of an inclusive process, in accordance with the Ouagadougou Accords of 15 January 2010. Guineans in general aspire to democracy and respect for human rights, “said Thierno Maadjou Sow, president of the OGDH.

Conde’s Son, Mohamed, and Mines Minister, Mohamed Lamin Fofana, in London

Leguepard.net is reporting that Mohamed Conde and Mines minister, Fofana, travelled to London this week to meet with the mining lobby to stop a leak about Alpha Conde’s “shell game” management of the country’s resources which allows him to pocket millions. Supposedly, mining companies decided to collaborate in outing Conde as well as Tony Blair, former British prime minister and Bernard Kouchner, former French foreign minister, and Conde’s best friend since grade schoo regarding mining swindling schemes. Both Blair and Kouchner visited Guinea recently. Blair told Conde in a press conference in Conakry that he could connect him with mining lobbying representatives. Conde responded that Blair’s “address book will be very helpful.” Let’s see what gifts son, Mohamed, and Fofana bear upon their return.

All the Young Opposition Supporters Arrested by Police Monday Have Been Released

Young opposition supporters, arrested on Monday when they attempted to exercise their constitutional rights to free speech and free movement, have been released from jail, including the son of opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo.

Someone at the Associated Press “Gets It”: Guinea Opposition Leaders Talk About Gov’t. Ambush

This article focuses on the events which unfolded in Guinea today, Monday, August 27 at what was supposed to have been a march by the opposition but turned into a shooting gallery instead.  It’s difficult to find an article in the US press that gives ample opportunity for members of the Guinean opposition to speak.  This article serves to  introduce Guinea’s opposition to the West, resists giving Conde accolades, and provides good background to hook it all ltogether.   A pretty good article to pass along to English speakers who are curious about today’s events in Guinea.

Fox News

Associated Press

CONAKRY, Guinea – Security forces in Guinea opened fire on a car carrying three of the country’s top opposition leaders Monday, leaving bullet holes in the sides of the vehicle and heightening tension between the country’s opposition and the ruling party, according to witnesses. No casualties were reported.

Opponents of the ruling party had gathered early Monday at the home of opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo, who came in second during the 2010 election. Before the crowd could amass outside his villa, police began firing tear gas at the house, said Sidya Toure, an opposition leader who came in third in the first round of the 2010 vote. Alongside them was Lansana Kouyate, an opposition leader who came in fourth place in the poll.

To try to get away from the tear gas, Toure said the three of them jumped into Kouyate’s bullet-proof car. The driver attempted to head to Kouyate’s house in the Matoto neighborhood of Conakry, but on the way police began pounding the car with tear gas, said Toure as well as witnesses on the street.

“It’s the first time that I have seen something like this happen in Guinea. They were throwing the cannisters, aiming for the car’s reservoir. Then they started to shoot,” Sidya said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press from Kouyate’s house, where the three had taken cover.

“They completely destroyed the cars that were in the convoy behind us. … At first, when I heard the shooting, I thought they must be shooting more tear gas. It was when we got out that we saw the impact of the bullets. … Thank God we were in a bullet-proof car,” he said.

The opposition has been holding regular protests to stand up to what they say is President Alpha Conde’s attempts to tinker with the electoral code. At issue is this the country’s parliamentary race which has been delayed many times due to disputes between the ruling party and the opposition over the makeup of the electoral list, and of the commission that will referee the race.

Over the weekend, the governor of Conakry issued a decree, outlawing the protest planned for Monday. The opposition decided to go ahead, despite the ban.

“Live rounds were fired at our car. It’s an inadmissible act,” Kouyate told private radio station Planet FM, after reaching his home. “We are holed up in my residence where we will decide what measures to take.”

The three leaders that were inside the car are some of the best-known politicians in Guinea. All three are former prime ministers, and all three ran in the 2010 presidential election, placing within the top four in the first round of the ballot.

In retaliation for the attack on the leaders, the opposition has decided to withdraw the members of their political parties currently serving in the institutions of the state, including its lawmakers in parliament, its Cabinet members and its appointees on the electoral commission.

In a statement read by Aboubacar Sylla, spokesman for a coalition of opposition parties, the leaders said: “We declare that we are suspending our participation in all the republican institutions.”

Sylla added that they will press charges against Conde’s government for “attempted assassination and brutality on a public right-of-way.” The statement also said the opposition is urging its supporters to continue peaceful protests throughout the country, auguring more unrest.

The decision to remove their members from the government will rob Conde’s administration of the image of inclusivity.

Guinea held its first democratic election in 2010, ending decades of dictatorship and strongman rule. However, the election was marred by ethnic violence. The majority of the protesters joining Monday’s demonstration were from the Peul ethnic group, the ethnicity of Cellou Dalein Diallo, the defeated candidate. However, they were joined by members of the Soussou ethnic group, the ethnicity of Toure, as well as some Malinke, the ethnicity of Kouyate.

Guinea: Attempted Assassination of Opposition Leaders Was Planned, Conde’s Thugs Try to Hang a Journalist, and Final Declaration of Opposition’s Withdrawal of Reps to Republican Institutions

Survivors of Conde’s Assassination Attempt Gathered at Kouyate’s Home: L to R,  Lansana Kouyate, Sidya Toure, and Cellou Dalein Diallo, all former prime ministers, all former presidential candidates and all leaders of their opposition parties.  According to Sidya Toure, today’s attempt was designed to “decapitate” the opposition.

The tear gas has subsided and some of those who were at “ground zero” today are reflecting on the day’s events.

Conde Ordered Assassaintion of Opposition Leaders

Sidya Toure, former prime minister, former presidential candidate and opposition leader was with opposition leaders, Cellou Diallo and Lansana Kouyate today, when the car they were riding in was fired upon by state security forces. No one was hurt because the car is armored. Further, Toure said state security tossed a grenade inside the car which was tossed back out. A grenade was thrown on top of the car. Just think a grenade on top of a car full of gasoline. Imagine the catastrophe.

Sidya confirms that he and other opposition leaders were aware Conde ordered their assassination and that it was planned even before the massacres in Zogota in early August.

As the three opposition leaders approached Kouyate’s home, there were members of militias nearby, many carrying machetes.

Please see Le Guepard for more information. 

RPG Activist Harass Journalist, One Almost Hanged

Yesterday at Nongo stadium, journalists attracted the most state security repression. They were surrounded, manhandled and threatened. Today, the level of violence against journalists went up a few notches. A media team from Espace radio and TV were in transit to the home of Lansana Kouyate when they were stopped at a roadblock manned by RPG activists. They told the journalists that media were not allowed any closer to Kouyate’s home. RPG activists stoned the journalists’ car and attempted to wrest it away from its owners. The RPG activists attempted to hang a reporter from Renaissance FM news, but the situation was defused, and he came away unharmed. The word is that RPG activists are collaborating with some members of the gendarmerie in a variety of activities, including roadblocks. For more information please see article at the website of Guinee-Conakry.

 

Opposition Finalizes Statement on Withdrawal of Their Representatives to the CENI, CNT, Government Cabinet

Earlier today, the opposition leadership announced it had decided to withdraw their representatives to the CENI, CNT, and Government cabinet. The only opposition representatives in the cabinet are from Lansana Kouyate’s party, the PEDN. Kouyate announced later today that, “there will be no PEDN representatives in the cabinet.”

The opposition formalized its decision in a declaration issued later today that you can read at Africaguinee