. . . the Fossel is responsible for ensuring the safety of places of meetings and public events, polls, candidates, branches of CENI, leaders of political parties, national and international observers, the private and public media and electoral materials impartially.
The general leading Guinea’s election security forces on Wednesday urged candidates to accept the outcome of Sunday’s presidential run-off, as authorities issued a fresh batch of results.
“The leaders must understand they have a responsibility to accept the results, for the loser to accept defeat graciously,” General Ibrahim Balde, head of the national guard and electoral security forces, told Reuters.“If they do not, I do not want to say what will happen. No one wishes it,” he said.
HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH PRESS RELEASES ABOUT GUINEA SPECIAL ELECTION POLICE, FOSSEPEL, BRUTAL VIOLENCE IN 2010 ELECTION
November 5, 2010Press releaseEXCERPT
“However, FOSSEPEL officials’ response to political violence in late October in Conakry, the capital, was characterized by excessive force, lack of discipline, criminality, and ethnic partisanship.
“The chances for violence during, and particularly after, this election are very real,” said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The Guinean security services must do all they can to protect all Guineans and ensure that the electorate is able to cast their votes free of fear.”
General Ibrahim Baldé, the head of the National Gendarmerie, commands the special unit. In July, Baldé signed a much-needed Use of Force Policy, under which Guinean security forces are required to adhere to internationally recognized best practices for responding to violence, including minimum use of force.
During the October clashes, Human Rights Watch received numerous credible reports of misconduct by policemen and gendarmes serving with FOSSEPEL, including beatings and assaults on party supporters. In some cases, the victims were even chased into their homes and workplaces. Based on the reports, some members of the security unit used the unrest as a pretext to loot shops and commit criminal acts, including theft of mobile phones, money, and other goods.
Each of the two candidates for the run-off election is from one of the country’s two largest ethnic groups, and members of each group largely support the candidate from their own group. Cellou Dalein Diallo, of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (Union des forces démocratiques de Guinée, UFDG), is a Peuhl; and Alpha Condé, Rally of the Guinean People Party (Rassemblement du peuple de Guinée, RPG), is a Malinké. Very few Peuhls are members of the security services, though.
Witnesses described how some FOSSEPEL officers targeted individuals for abuse and theft on the basis of their ethnicity, using racially motivated threats and warning them not to vote for a particular party. Scores of protesters were also arbitrarily detained in gendarme camps and denied access to legal representation.
After the unrest in October, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) reported that at least one person had been killed and 62 injured by the security forces in what it determined was excessive use of force. Members of FOSSEPEL have been implicated in many of the recorded incidents. During some incidents, demonstrators erected roadblocks, burned tires, and threw stones, wounding some members of the security forces.
Instead of initiating investigations into allegations of abuse, FOSSEPEL officials appear to have distanced themselves from responsibility, Human Rights Watch said. Local news sources have reported that senior members of the security forces, including Baldé himself, said the alleged abuses were committed by “uncontrolled elements” within the police, gendarmes, and army.
Political and ethnic tension has been steadily rising in Guinea since September. The body charged with overseeing the election has only recently resolved a leadership crisis, while Guineans have waited through three postponements for the presidential election’s second round. A suspected poisoning of dozens of supporters of the Guinean People Party during a meeting in Conakry spurred ethnically motivated attacks against members of the Peuhl ethnicity in at least four towns. The violence displaced about several thousands of people, mostly from the eastern towns of Siguiri, Kouroussa, and Kissidougou.”
November 24, 2010Press releaseEXCERPT
Inter-communal Violence and Detentions
On November 15, 2010, the day the electoral commission declared Alpha Condé the winner of the presidential election, communal violence broke out between his largely Malinké and Susu supporters and the largely Peuhl supporters of his rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo. Some 125 people, including 26 boys, were among those arrested, charged, and transferred to Conakry’s central prison.
While numerous witnesses described supporters of both parties engaging in widespread acts of aggression, prison records seen by Human Rights Watch indicate that the detained men and boys are overwhelmingly Peuhl. The numbers suggest a disproportionate and ethnically motivated response to the violence by security forces, very few of whom are Peuhl. Human Rights Watch was unable to ascertain how many of those arrested were detained on the basis of credible allegations of criminal acts, or whether they were arbitrarily detained on the basis of their ethnicity.Witnesses in Conakry told Human Rights Watch that security forces had severely mistreated many of the men and boys both during and after their arrests, which in several cases occurred at their homes. Human Rights Watch urged government leaders to ensure that members of the security forces suspected of unlawful violence against the detainees are investigated and prosecuted in accordance with international fair trial standards.
HRW: New President Needs to Rein in Security Personnel, Ensure Political Neutrality
November 29, 2010
The grim accounts regarding how security forces acted and the rising inter-communal violence show just how challenging the new president’s job will be. To end Guinea’s long history of violence, the incoming government will need to rein in and ensure the neutrality of the security forces, and urgently address the causes of lingering ethnic tensions.Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch
(Dakar) – Security forces in Guinea used excessive force and displayed a lack of political neutrality when responding to election-related violence, Human Rights Watch said today. The violence, between supporters of presidential candidates Alpha Condé and Cellou Dalein Diallo, and between protesters and security services, took place in Conakry, the capital, and other cities between November 15 and 19, 2010. At least seven people died, and 220 were wounded.
Human Rights Watch conducted interviews in Guinea with over 80 victims and witnesses. The interviews confirmed that the security forces, dominated by ethnic groups that largely supported Condé’s party, used lethal force to suppress violence by members of the Peuhl ethnic group, who were protesting electoral irregularities against Diallo, their candidate. Guinea’s Supreme Court is expected to announce this week the final results of the contested, second-round election, which, despite some irregularities, was considered by international observers to be the freest in Guinea in 50 years. On November 15, election officials declared Condé the winner of the November 7 run-off election.
“The grim accounts regarding how security forces acted and the rising inter-communal violence show just how challenging the new president’s job will be,” said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “To end Guinea’s long history of violence, the incoming government will need to rein in and ensure the neutrality of the security forces, and urgently address the causes of lingering ethnic tensions.”
The Human Rights Watch investigation in Guinea showed that members of the security forces used ethnic slurs against members of the Peuhl ethnic group, collaborated with civilian mobs from ethnic groups that largely supported Condé, and in several cases looted and stole property from people who were perceived to have supported Diallo. Although the security forces may have sought to quell the violence that seized the cities of Conakry, Dalaba, and Labé, they failed to provide equal protection to all Guineans, Human Rights Watch said.
Behaving more as predators than protectors, security force members in Guinea have for decades been allowed to get away with abuses including extortion, banditry, theft, kidnapping, racketeering, and excessive use of lethal force, with no apparent fear of being held accountable. Successive authoritarian heads of state have used the security services for partisan ends to repress political opponents, influence the outcome of elections, and intimidate the judiciary.
Indeed, it is mentioned in the MoU that “Fossel mission is to maintain peace, the security and freedom of movement, protection of persons and property on
the territory National before, during and after the general elections of 2013. “
Understood that Fossel is committed to fulfill its mission without interfering in political and administrative local government affairs, nor to question the traditional role assigned to the security forces and defense.
Furthermore, Fossel is committed to improving collaboration with political parties, and further understood that political parties claim to have an internal security organization in the context of elections, political parties understood that engaged in the electoral process are bound by the provisions of the Electoral Code and the Code of Conduct for political parties, and at the same time, the parties undertake to improve collaboration with Fossel.
From the foregoing, the Fossel is responsible for ensuring the safety of places of meetings and public events, polls, candidates, branches of CENI, leaders of political parties, national and international observers, the private and public media and electoral materials and it impartially.
Then in the MOU it is also said that political parties are required to apply the rules of internal security for all activities relating to elections including their seats, places of meetings and procession routes.
And political parties are also responsible to educate their leaders and activists on the need to observe discipline and safety rules before, during and after the announcement of the results until the installation of the National Assembly.
Speaking, General Ibrahima Balde division above all thanked political parties while stating that this signature is a success for the simple reason of having put in place for the first time a legal framework and adaptable to different security realities in conjunction with the legislative elections, the holding is 24 September.
A report on the 31 political parties contesting only 17 responded to the call. And recognizing this fact, General Ibrahima Balde Division recommends that Fossel services in connection with all other political parties, trying to go through all the ways and means for all the other parties to the absent meeting may sign this Protocol.
Tel: 664 745 365
Translated into English via Google with editing by Guinea Oye
“They have beaten us in a very barbaric manner.”-– Opposition leader, Pascal Tolno.
Charles Pascal Tolno, leader of the opposition party – PGG who was arrested without cause at opposition march today in Conakry.
posted April 18, 2013 to 14h3
Shortly after his release from the Directorate of Judicial Police (DPJ), Dean Charles Pascal Tolno returned home. Breathless still from the experience, the Dean of the opposition would not soon forget what happened on Thursday, April 18, 2013. Especially when the procession of protesters, prevented from continuing on Highway Fidel Castro wanted to take the ramp that connects to Hamdallaye:
“They attacked our vehicle — I do not know what happened with the other vehicles. However, they attacked our vehicle. I was with Aboubacar Sylla, spokesman for the opposition and other young executives of the opposition. In total, there were five (5) persons in the vehicle. They beat the body guard and driver, they broke all the windows of the car and warped doors . They abused us in a very brutal way when they extracted us from the car. They took me by the head and feet. They took everything we had in our pockets. money, my phone . They took everything and they left! .”
And, the identity of their “attackers?” Mr. Tolno did not hesitate in his response: “These are POLICE OFFICERS … who know us very well and who insulted us by speaking in ways we could not have imagined.”
“During our transport to the police station, the police in the van with us were violent. One of them gave me a shot. Once Inside the police station, the CMIS, I received a blow to the chest and was injured, all in view of, and with the knowledge of, the Colonel … “.
“When we were transferred to the Directorate of Judicial Police (DPJ), as soon as we saw the Guinean minister for Human Rights, Gassama Diaby, the tune of the police changed saying that we had not suffered violence. It was Mr. Diaby who got us released.”
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
Here are two articles which, hopefully, will give you an idea about how the funeral procession went today. The first article is written by a Guinean journalist who made the full trip with the cortege. The second is a Reuters article which picks up where the Guinean article leaves off.
Many questions remain, especially the number of casualties. More info to come . . .
posted March 8, 2013 at 10:51
There were thousands of people, including political leaders, motorcyclists, motorists, who have made a fitting tribute to six young activists aged 13 to 22 years, who were buried Friday in Bambeto cemetery on the outskirts of Conakry.
Opposition leaders who participated are Cellou Dalein Diallo, Sidya Touré, Lansana Kouyaté, Aboubacar Sylla, Kassory Fofana, Mouctar Diallo, Dr. Faya Millimouno, Daniel Kolié, Ahmed Tidjane Diallo, Dr. Fode Fofana Oussou and the bereaved families and many excited young supporters.
It all started very normally with a reunion at the home Cellou Dalein Diallo in Dixinn Bora, then on to at Donka Hospital for the removal of the bodies, followed by the great Friday prayer.
After the funeral prayer, the procession drove slowly to the cemetery along Prince Highway towards Bambeto via Dixinn, Bellevue, Hamdallaye, Dar es Salaam and finally the Bambeto cemetary.
Throughout the march, the young shouting things like “Allahu Akbar (God is great hear),” or other slogans which are very hostile to the regime. “Alpha assassin!”, “Alpha dictator”, “zero Alpha”, “Alpha incompetent,”
Throughout the journey, women were in tears when they saw the picture of the young Mamadou Alpha Diallo 15 years old. “He’s a kid,” they said. “The bastards killed him while they went to buy a loaf of bread Koloma,” retorted his relatives in poular.
Everything went well, excerpt there were a few problems along the way. First in front of the former headquarters of the presidential party, RPG, in between Hamdallye and Miniere there was a heavy police presence. Young people just booed the police on the spot.
Then before the Hamdallaye Squadron, the gate of the cemetary was barricaded and the police were stationed on the balcony. “You killed our friends but we will punish you,” said the youth. “You kill us as if we were not men,” they shouted
As before, at the RPG headquarters of the presidential party in Hamdallaye, there, it was tear gas and throwing stones for several minutes. The procession was cut in half. Fortunately, opposition leaders and the remains had managed to cross the passage.
“The seat of the RPG is not a republican institution. So the police have no place there. The day the police will leave there, our walk will be peaceful,” said Dr. Fode Fofana Oussou of the UFDG.
To 4:30 p.m., the remains were buried in Bambeto. Anger, sadness were visible on all faces.
In an impromptu speech, Cellou Dalein Diallo, the main opposition leader criticized the retrograde policy of Alpha Condé, which he said is exclusionary and arbitrary.
On the return home, clashes were reported at the intersection between youth and Bambeto forces.
Fri Mar 8, 2013 3:59pm EST
By Saliou Samb
CONAKRY (Reuters) – Protesters clashed with Guinean police on Friday at a march by thousands of opposition supporters in the coastal capital Conakry, the latest in more than a week of violence stemming from a dispute over legislative elections.
Activists, who accuse President Alpha Conde of planning to rig the vote planned for May 12, were marking the funerals of nine people killed during rallies over the past 10 days.
Witnesses said a group attacked a temporary police post at a crossroads in the Bambeto neighborhood, near Conakry’s international airport, and police responded by firing warning shots and teargas to try to break up the crowd.
“They attacked the (police) post and wrecked it. We fired warning shots but the crowd continued to threaten us,” a police official, who asked not to be identified, told Reuters.
Eight police officers were injured and around 10 protesters arrested, he said.
“The crowd has dispersed … We can still hear the shooting,” local resident Souleymane Bah told Reuters by phone. Police reinforcements were arriving on the scene, he added.
Hundreds have been injured since the opposition started rallying in the capital on February 27 and disturbances have also spread to several towns in the interior of the mineral-rich West African country.
Guinea is the world’s top supplier of the aluminum ore bauxite and holds rich deposits of iron ore. But political turmoil has unnerved investors.
The May vote is meant to complete a transition to civilian rule after a 2008 military coup, thereby unlocking hundreds of millions of dollars in European aid.
Conde’s government met an opposition delegation on Monday to try to resolve the dispute – though the main opposition leaders did not attend the meeting in protest at security forces’ use of violence.
Government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara said authorities had offered to allow civil society groups and foreign diplomats to act as independent observers of the electoral process.
“The opposition should accept that as a guarantee,” he said, referring to the observers. “We hope the opposition’s demands are not just a way of dodging the discussion. That would really be a pity.”
The opposition has demanded the government replace the South African firm Waymark, saying there were irregularities when it was awarded a contract to update the electoral register. Activists also want the right to vote for Guineans overseas.
“We do not agree with the framework we are being offered,” said opposition spokesman Aboubacar Sylla. “We want the activities of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) to be frozen immediately so the conclusions of this dialogue can be applied.”
Behind Guinea’s political feuding there is a deep-rooted rivalry between the Malinke and the Peul, its two largest ethnic groups. The Malinke broadly support Conde, who comes from that ethnic group, while the opposition draws heavily from the Peul.
(Reporting by Saliou Samb; Editing by Andrew Heavens)
The following pictures are from the UFDG party website at www.ufdgonline.org
According to several Guinean websites, the march was nothing short of massive. A government spokesperson gave numbers for the injured over state TV this evening: 130 – 68 police, 62 civilians. The high number of police injured is suspect. Throughout the day the estimated number of injured climbed from 43 to 51 and now 130. In each estimate, the number of police injured kept apace with civilian injuries.
STAY TUNED . . .
SEPT. 28, 2009, state security forces commit massacre and rape against peaceful, unarmed demonstrators. Three and half years later, the impunity of the state persists. No one from the 2009 massacre has been indicted by a credible court.
NEXT OPPOSITION MARCH
The next opposition march will be Wednesday, Feb. 27. The route will be from the roundabout at Enco 5 to the September 28 Stadium.
FOREIGN MERCENARIES PART OF GOVERNMENT ASSAULT ON OPPOSITION NEIGHBORHOODS
More information is flowing out of the predominantly opposition neighborhoods in Conarky which were the subject of state-sponsored attacks during the “dead city” day. Several residents said that foreign mercenaries were part of the attack which included severe beatings, theft and rape. Residents said it was readily apparent that many of the attackers were not from Guinea and spoke languages used by natives of Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, and Angola. In addition, the presence of domestic mercenaries, “Donzos,” or hunters, were noted as well.
For more information, see Guineelibre.com
THE TRIAL RE: JULY 19, 2011, “ATTACK” ON CONDE’S HOME
Head prosecutor, William Fernandez, continues to play ringmaster at a trial most think is a circus. More and more suspects are identified and brought in for questioning before the court.
Bah Oury, VP of the UFDG party, in exile in France, after Conde tried to frame him as the mastermind behind the “attack,” was asked about the trial in an interview with Guinee58.com
Guinee58: Mr. Bah, a few days ago in Conakry the trial opened at the Assizes of the alleged perpetrators of the attack against the person of the Head of State, Alpha Condé. You yourself are accused of involvement in the attack. What do you think this trial?
Oury Bah: “This incredible trial at the Assizes of Conakry shows the gloomy and tragic reality of Alpha Conde’s governance . Systematic torture inflicted on prisoners, extra-judicial executions like that of Lieutenant Ousmane Koulibaly thrown out of a 3rd floor of a building in Camp Samory Touré and Soufiana Thierno Diallo, arbitrary arrests targeted against officers of the National Army and well as against young leaders of the Commune of Ratoma remind us that Camp Boiro methods are still used. This is a very serious setback for the rule of law and justice. This is the return of the “arbitrary rule.”
STAY TUNED . . .