Wikileaks on GUINEA: Western Diplomats, Intent on a Quick Transition, Wanted to Delay ICC Indictments for September 28, 2009 Massacre

Wikileaks on Guinea:  http://www.wikileaks.ch/tag/GV_0.html

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Belgian Military Training Gulf of Guinea States To Boost Maritime Security – Involves US, France and Great Britain

Security of Gulf of Guinea on agenda of a military training in Cameroon
 

APA – Douala (Cameroon) Belgian military instructors are currently holding vocational training in Douala with the participation of African countries including Democratic Republic of Congo in order to secure and stabilize the Gulf of Guinea in the framework of the Africa Partnership Station (APS) operation in which other countries like the United States, France and Great Britain are taking part.

The three-day training will allow participants to absorb the techniques to combat maritime piracy and to transmit to their compatriots what they have learnt.

“The ultimate goal is to enable them in the future, to be able to combat piracy, human trafficking, drug trafficking and fraudulent fishing”, Captain Jan Dujardin commander of the Belgian warship GODETIA said.

In addition to training typically related to the fight against piracy, the APS mission also put emphasis on the transport of humanitarian goods, individual training and maintenance of public relations.

The APS mission which the United States is the driving force is aimed at boosting maritime security.

After Morocco and The Gambia, Cameroon is the third stage of this training operation to secure the Gulf of Guinea, the next step to be the Congo, then, DRC, Benin, Senegal, and Morocco before returning to Belgium in early April via Portugal.

GUINEA: Camara, Now in Burkina Faso, to Meet with Ruling Council on Wednesday

Guinea’s Injured Military Leader Moves to Burkina Faso

After more than one month in a Moroccan military hospital, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara arrived in the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou, where he was helped from his aircraft by people supporting his arms as he walked slowly to the VIP lounge.

Scot Stearns | Dakar 13 January 2010
Guinea’s military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara (Oct 2009 file photo)
  

Guinea’s injured military leader is in Burkina Faso where he is expected to meet with members of his ruling council, Wednesday. The military chief was shot in December by the former head of the presidential guard.

After more than one month in a Moroccan military hospital, Captain Moussa Dadis Camara arrived in the Burkinabe capital, Ouagadougou, where he was helped from his aircraft by people supporting his arms as he walked slowly to the VIP lounge.

A statement from Burkina Faso’s Foreign Ministry says “considering the evolving state of his health,” Captain Camara will “continue his convalescence” in Ouagadougou.

Guinea’s military leader was shot in the head December 3 by the former head of the presidential guard, because he thought Captain Camara was trying to blame him for the killing of at least 157 opposition demonstrators in September.

A United Nations inquiry into that violence says there are “sufficient grounds for presuming direct criminal responsibility” by the former head of the presidential guard and Captain Camara, as well as other members of the ruling council, for what it calls systematic and organized killing.

Uncertainty about Captain Camara’s health has delayed regional efforts to negotiate a power-sharing agreement between the military government and its political opponents.

Acting military leader General Sekouba Konate visited Captain Camara in Morocco, last week, and said that, although his life is not in danger, it will take “time, patience, and additional medical care” before he recovers fully.

General Konate met with American and French officials during that visit.  The United States and France both want a civilian-led transitional government to organize free elections and both say that those elections will be more likely if Captain Camara does not return to Guinea.  French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner says the captain’s return could cause civil war.

A coalition of political parties, civil society groups and trade unions is responding cautiously to General Konate’s offer for political opponents to choose a new civilian prime minister, as part of that transition process.

Oury Bah, who heads the Union of Democratic Forces party, says there must first be a legal framework for this transition, explaining who is doing what and how they will do it. How long will the transition last?  And, what are the new prime minister’s powers?  Bah says this must all be made clear now to ensure a well-organized transitional authority that has broad support.

Lansana Kouyate heads Guinea’s Party for Hope and National Development.  He says the  opposition alliance must do its best to bring peace to Guinea.

Kouyate says it is important to have a structure in place for the new prime minister.  Kouyate asks if he will have the means to exercise real power.   He says the objective is not to nominate a prime minister.  That is simply part of the process.  Kouyate says the real objective is reaching a peaceful end to this transition.

Kouyate says the ultimate objective is organizing credible elections with the broadest possible participation.  Wherever the new prime minister comes from, Kouyate says that person must be capable of giving credibility to the election that will follow.

Captain Camara took power in a coup, 13 months ago, promising that no one in his ruling military council would stand for election.  But he eventually made clear his intention to run for president, sparking the September protest in which demonstrators were killed and women raped at Conakry’s main sports stadium.

The United Nations and the African Union say soldiers should not be allowed to run in Guinea’s next election.  The military government says it is up to voters to choose who they want to lead the country.

BREAKING: Guinea’s Camara Arrives in Burkina Faso

Guinea’s Camara arrives in Burkina Faso

Mathieu Bonkoungou
OUAGADOUGOU
Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:29pm EST
Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, chief of the ruling junta in Guinea, salutes during a ceremony with Burkina Faso's President Blaise Compaore at the international airport in Conakry October 5, 2009. REUTERS/Luc Gnago

OUAGADOUGOU (Reuters) – Guinean junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara arrived in Burkina Faso on Tuesday from Morocco after more than a month recovering from a failed attempt to assassinate him, a Reuters witness said.

With two people supporting him, Camara walked off the Moroccan airplane at the military airport in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou, the witness said.

The re-emergence in public of Camara comes just days after the senior junta official in his absence pledged to pave the way for a transition to civilian rule, raising hopes of an end to a crisis in the world’s top exporter of the aluminum ore bauxite.

It was not immediately known why he had travelled to Burkina Faso and authorities were not immediately available to comment. Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore has led mediation efforts between the junta and the opposition since Camara seized power in a 2008 coup.

“We have just found out about this,” said junta spokesman Idrissa Cherif in Conakry. “For the moment we have no other information about the circumstances of his transfer.”

A source close to the Burkinabe presidency said Moroccan officials called earlier in the evening to say Camara was coming.

“We were completely taken by surprise,” the source said.

Camara, whom a U.N. report has held to blame for the September 28 killing by security forces of more than 150 pro-democracy marchers, was wounded in the head in a December 3 attack by a former aide and has spent the last month in a Moroccan hospital.

His deputy, Defense Minister Sekouba Konate, has ruled the country in the meantime and last week raised hopes of an end to the crisis by agreeing to allow an opposition-led transition government prepare the way for elections.

(Reporting by Mathieu Bonkoungou; writing by Mark John; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

In Morocco, Behind the Scenes Discussions About Camara’s future

Morocco Says No to U.S. Demands to Arrest Dadis Camara

Moussa Dadid Camara – In Morocco for Treatment

According to reports coming out of Rabat, the Capital of Morocco, the government has politely turned down requests by the American government to arrest and detain Guinean President Dadis Camara who is in the country for medical treatment as a result of a gunshot wound to his head. A powerful U.S. delegation was dispatched to Morocco to try and persuade the Kingdom’s government to prevent the junta leader from leaving the country after his medical treatment is complete. But the Moroccan government keen not be seen as interfering in the domestic affairs of another country turned down the demand. There may have also been the fear in Morocco that by accepting U.S. demands it would play into terrorists minds who may start looking at Morocco as sympathetic to U.S. policy.

Morocco has managed to maintain a terror free atmosphere in its country despite occasional random attacks by undefined groups. The U.S. delegation also held meetings with Guinea’s Acting President, Sekouba Konate, who was also in Morocco to assess Dadis Camara’s condition. The delegation pressured Konate into calling for early elections in six months time and demanded that he reached out to the opposition and invite them to nominate someone as Prime Minister. It is understood that the decision of the opposition appointing a Prime Minister was the recommendation of the Moroccan government who in an attempt not to anger the U.S. government after denying the request to arrest Camara, offered that as a compromise. The Moroccan administration has been moving steadfastly in implementing democratic reforms and has recently been commended by a group of U.S. Senators for improving its human rights record.

It is also understood that Dadis Camara’s health is deteriorating fast – a cause for concern to his Moroccan hosts. Doctors are fighting round the clock to revive the junta leader whose condition has been described as ‘incapacitated’. Meanwhile reports that Acting President Sekouba Konate who also suffers from a liver ailment, was airlifted to Senegal for emergency treatment, has been denied by the Guinean authorities.

And Then, There is the Issue of AFRICOM

The Herald (Harare)
Published by the government of Zimbabwe
Africa: Africom – Latest U.S. Bid to Recolonise Continent

Tichaona Nhamoyebonde

7 January 2010

OPINION  

Harare — AFRICAN revolutionaries now have to sleep with one eye open because the United States of America is not stopping at anything in its bid to establish Africom, a highly-equipped US army that will be permanently resident in Africa to oversee the country’s imperialist interests.

Towards the end of last year, the US government intensified its efforts to bring a permanent army to settle in Africa, dubbed the African Command (Africom) as a latest tool for the subtle recolonisation of Africa.

Just before end of last year, General William E. Garret, Commander US Army for Africa, met with defence attaches from all African embassies in Washington to lure them into selling the idea of an American army based in Africa to their governments.

Latest reports from the White House this January indicate that 75 percent of the army’s establishment work has been done through a military unit based in Stuttgart, Germany, and that what is left is to get an African country to host the army and get things moving.

Liberia and Morocco have offered to host Africom while Sadc has closed out any possibility of any of its member states hosting the US army.

Other individual countries have remained quiet.

Liberia has longstanding ties with the US due to its slave history while errant Morocco, which is not a member of the African Union and does not hold elections, might want the US army to assist it to suppress any future democratic uprising.

Sadc’s refusal is a small victory for the people of Africa in their struggle for total independence but the rest of the regional blocs in Africa are yet to come up with a common position. This is worrying.

The US itself wanted a more strategic country than Morocco and Liberia since the army will be the epicentre of influencing, articulating and safeguarding US foreign and economic policies.

The other danger is that Africom will open up Africa as a battleground between America and anti-US terrorist groups.

Africom is a smokescreen behind which America wants to hide its means to secure Africa’s oil and other natural resources, nothing more.

African leaders must not forget that military might has been used by America and Europe again and again as the only effective way of accomplishing their agenda in ensuring that governments in each country are run by people who toe their line.

By virtue of its being resident in Africa, Africom will ensure that America has its tentacles easily reaching every African country and influencing every event to the American advantage.

By hosting the army, Africa will have sub-contracted its military independence to America and will have accepted the process that starts its recolonisation through an army that can subdue any attempts by Africa to show its own military prowess.

The major question is: Who will remove Africom once it is established? By what means?

By its origin Africom will be technically and financially superior to any African country’s army and will dictate the pace for regime change in any country at will and also give depth, direction and impetus to the US natural resource exploitation scheme.

There is no doubt that as soon as the army gets operational in Africa, all the gains of independence will be reversed.

If the current leadership in Africa succumbs to the whims of the US and accept the operation of this army in Africa, they will go down in the annals of history as that generation of politicians who accepted the evil to prevail.

Even William Shakespeare would turn and twist in his grave and say: “I told you guys that it takes good men to do nothing for evil to prevail.”

We must not forget that Africans, who are still smarting from colonialism-induced humiliation, subjugation, brutality and inferiority complex, do not need to be taken back to another form of colonialism, albeit subtle.

Africom has been controversial on the continent ever since former US president George W. Bush first announced it in February 2007.

African leaders must not forget that under the Barack Obama administration, US policy towards Africa and the rest of the developing world has not changed an inch. It remains militaristic and materialistic.

Officials in both the Bush and Obama administrations argue that the major objective of Africom is to professionalise security forces in key countries across Africa.

However, both administrations do not attempt to address the impact of the setting up of Africom on minority parties, governments and strong leaders considered errant or whether the US will not use Africom to promote friendly dictators.

Training and weapons programmes and arms transfers from Ukraine to Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Ethiopia and the transitional government in Somalia, clearly indicate the use of military might to maintain influence in governments in Africa, remains a priority of US foreign policy.

Ukraine’s current leadership was put into power by the US under the Orange Revolution and is being given a free role to supply weaponry in African conflicts.

African leaders must show solidarity and block every move by America to set up its bases in the motherland unless they want to see a new round of colonisation.

Kwame Nkrumah, Robert Mugabe, Sam Nujoma, Nelson Mandela, Julius Nyerere, Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Kenneth Kaunda, Augustino Neto and Samora Machel, among others, will have fought liberation wars for nothing, if Africom is allowed a base in Africa.

Thousands of Africans who died in colonial prisons and in war fronts during the liberation struggles, will have shed their blood for nothing if Africa is recolonised.

Why should the current crop of African leaders accept systematic recolonisation when they have learnt a lot from colonialism, apartheid and racism? Why should the current crop of African leaders fail to stand measure for measure against the US administration and tell it straight in the face that Africa does not need a foreign army since the AU is working out its own army.

African leaders do not need prophets from Mars to know that US’s fascination with oil, the war on terrorism and the military will now be centred on Africa, after that escapade in Iraq.

Tichaona Nhamoyebonde is a political scientist based in Cape Town, South Africa

Morocco Backs Guinea in Move Towards Civilian Rule and Suggests Camara in “Intensive” Care

Morocco backs Guinea move towards civilian rule
07 Jan 2010 01:00:19 GMT
Source: Reuters
* Morocco says it backs Guinea’s civil rule offer

* Camara in intensive care

* Rabat, Paris and Washington join efforts on Guinea crisis

RABAT, Jan 6 (Reuters) – Morocco backed on Wednesday a promise by Guinea’s deputy junta chief to pave the way for civilian rule, and said military leader Moussa Dadis Camara was in intensive care following an assassination attempt last month.

Camara has not been seen in public since he was evacuated from the west African state to Morocco for treatment after the Dec. 3 gun attack, and deputy junta chief Sekouba Konate said in Conakry on Wednesday that his life was not in danger.

However, a Moroccan foreign ministry statement suggested that Camara’s injuries were serious.

“The Kingdom of Morocco … which has received President Dadis Camara for intensive care, is pleased by the decision announced today by the Acting President General Sekouba Konate to immediately name a prime minister from the political forces to lead a transition government of national unity,” it said.

The junta’s steps towards civilian rule were the result of the mediation by Morocco with the help of France and the United States, it added.

Konate said also that Camara, who took power in a bloodless coup in December 2008, would need time to recover.

This marked the clearest signal yet that Camara’s political future was in doubt, and offered a possible way out of the deepening crisis in the unstable West African state, the world’s top exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite. Last month, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said it would be better for Camara to stay away from his country because his return could cause a civil war.

Western diplomats in Rabat said they believed Morocco had joined hands with Paris and Washington to keep Camara away from Guinea and bolster efforts in Conakry to return the country to a civilian government in his absence.

“The statement by the Moroccan foreign ministry made it clear for the first time that Captain Camara is in intensive care in Morocco which means that at least it will take time for him to leave Morocco and be back in Guinea,” a senior European diplomat told Reuters. A U.N. report has blamed Camara for a Sept. 28 massacre by Guinean security forces of more than 150 pro-democracy marchers in a stadium in Conakry. It said the International Criminal Court should get involved.

Konate, a professional soldier with no known ambitions for a front-line political role, visited Camara in hospital this week and held talks with U.S. and French diplomats who urged him to allow a return to civilian rule in Camara’s absence.

“(There were) several rounds of talks between the Acting President of Guinea and Moroccan officials, alone or with the presence of top French and U.S. officials sent by their governments for that goal to Morocco,” the foreign ministry statement said.

The talks stretched over one week in Rabat after Konate arrived in the Moroccan capital on Dec. 28, it added.

“The announcement by the acting president of Guinea one day after his return from Morocco is a significant and promising step forward,” the statement said.

Konate said on Wednesday he expected a transitional government to choose a new election date after a poll — initially set for this month — was delayed by the crisis. (Reporting by Lamine Ghanmi; Editing by David Stamp)