Conakry Gov, Sekou “Resco” Camara, Has No Tolerance for Post-Election Resistance: With Militias, Donzos and Mercenaries on His Speed Dial, Sounds Like He’s the Guy for the Job

RescoGov. of Conakry – Sekou “Resco” Camara – This guy is no Boy Scout!
About a month ago, the Governor of Conakry, Sekou “Resco” Camara, appeared at an Art and Trade School ceremony in Matam.  Camara is a board member of the school and was there to make a presentation.  Attendees can’t be faulted for expecting an education-oriented speech, because what they got was a sermon wrapped in a threat.  Camara told the audience that resistance to the Supreme Court’s ruling would not be tolerated and that he would see to it, personally, that troublemakers are dealt with in the capital city.  This would be a major feat, given that the number of those likely to resist the Supreme Court ruling would be well over the majority of the population of Conakry.
 
Camara told the audience, “When the Supreme Court announces the final results, the new Resco will signal his return.”  While one should be cautious about people who refer to themselves in the third person, it is wise to listen to what Camara says.  He is more likely than most to make good on a threat  — he has the power of his governorship and an endless supply of people and money.  Let’s just say that Camara has Malinke militias, Donzos, and mercenaries on speed dial.
 
 
Camara, a military officer, was appointed Governor by General Sekouba Konate during his transitional presidency. As the governor of Conakry, Camara’s responsibilities reach far and wide.  Conarky is his dominion and he has the arrogance to go with it.  Camara is often seen in public as any one of his three personas:  business suit slick, revernt boubou, and the downright comical uniform that makes him look like a Boy Scout.  But, this guy is no Boy Scout.  In his short time in office, he has racked up quite a record of repression.  He was indicted earlier this year for commanding and overseeing torture during the 2010 presidential election.  
 
As part of a full court press to secure the presidency for Alpha Conde in the second round of the election, Camara ordered illegal mass arrests of opposition supporters, primarily Peuls, and oversaw their torture. Like other administration officials who have betrayed the people’s trust, he has never been tried.
 
Also this year, Camara frustrated opposition efforts to secure permits for marches, often changing routes at the last minute landing participants in the path of Malinke militias supplemented by security forces.  During marches, Malinke militias and security forces regularly provoked, injured and killed peaceful opposition supporters.
 
But the worst came in February when the Governor coordinated violent attacks in Conakry’s Peul neighborhoods. Here is an account residents gave to Guineelibre.com about the attacks:
 
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.
 
The stepped-up attacks in Peul neighborhoods revealed that a small group of officials paid Malinke youth to commit violence as part of a militia.  The opposition issued a statement accusing four people, including Camara, of using state funds to hire and coordinate attacks.   Their statement appears below:

The full statement of the Guinean opposition

“Joint Declaration of the Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP), the Collective of Political Parties for the Completion of the Transition (Collective) and the Republican Club (CDR).


Political parties members of the ADP, the Collective and CDR inform the national and international authorities of the recurrent participation of donzos (hunters from the forest area who have been used as mercenaires by Alpha Conde – editor’s note) and other thugs of the ruling party (RPG-Arc-en-ciel) responsible for the repression of peaceful opposition protesters.


These private RPG militias which often benefit from the support of the police, are funded by a group called “Framework of Public Administration” which identifies targets and plans actions to be taken against opposition activists and their property.


Executives most involved in this business of repression of the opposition:


– SANKHON Malick, Director General of the Security Fund (CNSS) 
– Sekou Resco Camara, Governor of Conakry 
– Moussa Keita Kabassan, CEO of the National Center for Fisheries Surveillance (CNSP) 
– Moustapha NAITE, Managing Director of Built Heritage Public


They have the distinction of all being officials of the Guinean government using public funds to recruit, train and motivate real hordes of thugs who attack, rape and kill with the aim of discouraging any subsequent event of opposition. ADP, the Collective and CDR are of the opinion to witness and draw the attention of all organizations in defense of human rights regarding grave risks that these unscrupulous people, motivated solely by their personal interests are making a run at civil peace, political stability and national unity. In any event, the Guinean opposition has the right to complain to the national and international courts against these persons regarding incitement to hatred and violence, undermining national unity and repeated violations of human rights guaranteed by our Constitution.

 
Conakry, March 18th, 2013 
The Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP) 
The Collective Political Parties for Completing the Transition 
The Republican Club (CDR)

 
 
Obviously, Camara saved his best for last as he closed his speech to the students at the art and trade school:
 
Speaking of the opposition, Camara said, “Do not associate with their movement.  God has finished doing his job.  If a person is a head of state, each of us must accompany this man.”
 
“When the Supreme Court decides the final results, the new Resco will signal his return.  I warn all the world, eh!  There will never again be a mess in Conakry. That’s it! Recess is over.  Holidays are over.  It is now true democracy in Guinea.”  
 
 
Most Guineans would say that if this is what constitutes democracy in Guinea  — no thanks!
 
 
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(VIDEO – FR) Guinea Govt Plan – 1. RPG Provokes Opposition, 2. Opposition Responds and 3. Security Represses and Occupies

Since Sunday, the day after political leaders struck an agreement on legislative elections, there have been violent attacks by RPG thugs in opposition neighborhoods. And, with each day, the violence mounts.  In addition to violent attacks on opposition supporters, homes and businesses are being ransacked and burned, and most disturbing of all, women are being raped.  In addition, on Sunday, RPG thugs accosted the motorcade of Halimatou Diallo, wife of Cellou.  One of the vehicles, carrying several women, was set afire. 
 
From the reports coming out of Guinea, it appears that the three steps highlighted in the subject line above constitute the government’s plan to gain control over opposition supporters, primarily Peul neighborhoods in Conakry.  Firs,t RPG thugs initiate an attack , and, naturally the opposition must protect their families and defend their neighborhoods.  Then the security services,  which consist of police, gendarmes, and FOSSEL election cops apply the repression to the opposition.  UFDG vice-president, Dr. Fode Oussou Fofana, said two days ago that the government was trying to “militarize” opposition neighborhoods to prevent residents from getting to the polls on Saturday, September 28.  This makes sense and it also makes sense that the security forces will remain in these areas past the Saturday election.  It could be that these neighborhoods will be placed under certain restrictions and martial law is not out of the question either.
 
Check out the video below in which Mamadou Aliou Bah, a UFDG candidate for the assembly, reports on violence in and around his neighborhood.  Included in the report are details of what happened to the motorcade which included Halimatou Diallo.  
 
 
 
Also, today, Twitter was abuzz about the satirical paper, Le Canard Enchaine, which carried a note on its front page saying that tomorrow they would publish a story based on information from the CIA and DGSE (French External Intelligence services) about a planned coup d’etat in Guinea.  Guinee58.com comments on the idea suggesting that Le Carnard has been duped and the most likely culprit is Alpha Conde, himself. 
 
Of course this would not be the first time, would it?  The fake attack on Conde’s home in 2011, yielded the country a nuthouse of a trial, but did help Conde put some “troublesome” people behind bars.  Just think what a fake full blown coup attack could produce — hundreds incarcerated and a lot of summary executions.
 
Stay tuned . . .

HR Groups, FIDH-OGDH Call Charge of Claude Pivi For Sept. 28 Crimes, “A Big Step for Guinean Justice”

claudepivi1Claude Pivi, in Battle Dress

Guineastadium9-28-09, Opposition supporters gathered for a rally at stadium when state security accompanied by foreign mercenaries closed exits and began shooting, stabbing and raping

[Article translated into English via Google with editing by Guinea Oye]
Posted on June 28, 2013

Paris, Conakry, June 28, 2013 – Colonel Claude Pivi, head of presidential security, was formally charged yesterday by the judges in charge of the case on 28 September 2009. The day before, the General Ibrahima Balde, High Commander of the Gendarmerie was heard as a witness. Our organizations welcome this judicial advanced as expected by the civil parties than important for the judicial process and the Guinean justice.

The three judges assigned to investigate, since 1 February 2010, the case of September 28, indicted Colonel Claude Pivi for his role in the events at the stadium in Conakry, where at least 157 people were killed, and hundreds of women were raped. Mr. Pivi must now be heard on its merits, starting next week.

“Since the beginning of the investigation, the victims we assist in this procedure Claude Pivi feared that, due to his duties and his place in the military hierarchy, to escape justice. Yesterday, the judges have made a first response formally charging them. Mr. Pivi is innocent and he will now be able to prepare his defense, but it’s a first victory for the plaintiffs and more broadly in the fight against impunity in Guinea, “said Thierno Sow, president of the OGDH .

Claude Pivi was appointed Minister of Presidential Security by Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, head of the military junta in Guinea between December 2008 and January 2010. Since then it has been kept at the head of this elite unit, he still heads today. According to the report of the International Commission of Inquiry set up after the fact, Mr. Claude Pivi was among those who “could be held criminally responsible for their involvement in the events of September 28 and the following days.”

GUINEA16In the days after the massacre at the stadium, Guineans search for dead relatives

Our organizations, a civil action in this case, the judges have sent items including sending the presence and potential liability of Mr. Pivi in ​​fact a very serious near the stadium and in various districts of Conakry, in the day September 28 and the days that followed.

FIDH OGDH the AVIPA and AFADIS who met the Office of the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague in May 2013 had expressed concern at some sluggishness in the judicial system, and relayed the growing impatience of the victims, nearly 4 years after the fact. The International Criminal Court, which placed the preliminary analysis in Guinea after the events of the stadium, led an eighth mission in Conakry in early June to assess the progress of the investigation and make recommendations.

“This case is an opportunity for the Guinean court to try those responsible for serious violations of human rights. The Guinea must seize this opportunity to restore victims’ rights and to strengthen a judicial system which has suffered from arbitrary decisions for five decades, “said Mr. Drissa Traoré, Vice-President of FIDH.

However, our organizations have expressed concern about the serenity of the judicial process and the safety of its participants or victims who testified in this case, because of the position held by Mr. Pivi today as Minister of Presidential Security. As our organizations had recommended for Colonel Moussa Tiegboro Oumar Camara, indicted in February 2012, or the commanding Sekou Resco Camara, Governor of Conakry, charged in a case of torture in February 2013, both of which have been maintained their government positions, we recommend that stakeholders take all steps to ensure the independence and impartiality of the judicial processes in respect of the right to a fair trial. We therefore invite you to consider setting aside of these officials, blamed for acts of exceptional gravity.

guinea9-28greenberetfoulahSept. 28, 2009 – Several Guineans were apprehended on this day and never been seen since

FIDH OGDH the AVIPA and AFADIS out that the Council of Human Rights of the United Nations adopted in its 23th session held in Geneva in June 2013, a resolution on Guinea, including encouraging the Guinean Government to “support the work of the panel of judges and expedite legal proceedings against those responsible for the events of 28 September 2009.”

“Alpha Condé has made 2013 the year of justice, which we welcomed. Today, at the end of the first half of this year, the Guinean justice sends a strong signal with its charge of Claude Pivi, as it did in February charging the Commander Sékou Resco Camara, in another case. However, the Guinean justice must go further and the government will give it an even greater support for the taking stock in December is positive. For the symbolic affairs of the fight against impunity for January and February 2007, 28 September 2009 has now been added to the violence that rages in Conakry, including demonstrations in recent weeks, “said Karim Lahidji, President of FIDH

“ALPHA CONDE MUST GO!!” (Video) Guineans Protest at White House, Tourists Film Images of Conde’s Horror and Carnage

Today, a determined and spirited group of Guineans gathered in front of the White House to condemn Alpha Conde for gross human rights abuses including summary executions, rape, and burning of homes and businesses.  Alpha Conde, who came to the presidency through fraud in 2010, created a nightmare in Guinea by flagrantly violating the constitution and national laws and embracing violence to repress citizens.  Dissent, through peaceful protest by the country’s opposition, is met with deadly force, often resulting in the murders of young Guinean boys and men. Conde advocates ethnic hatred and gives security forces and his  Malinke militias carte blanche to invade Peul neighborhoods to kill families in their homes, rape women, and destroy houses and businesses.  

 
And, today, at the White House the anti-Conde protesters had the proof! They held huge placards that showed bloody images of Conde’s carnage (see videos below).  Tourists, normally excited by the sight of the White House, were far more interested in the protest and turned their cameras toward the protesters, taking both video and pictures. The tourists were from all over the world and, when they return home, those images will then be spread across the globe.
 
Bravo to the good, brave people of Guinea who came out today and told their story to the world.

Women’s March, Washington, June 4: Call for More Pressure on Guinean Gov’t. to Address State-Sponsored Rape and Murder

On September 28, 2009, state-sponsored forces attacked a stadium of peaceful opposition protesters and committed a massacre that left hundreds dead, at least 1,200 injured, and over 100 women brutally raped. Heretofore, those responsible have never been brought to justice by the Guinean government. For more information on this on this massacre, please see the Human Rights Watch report, “Bloody Monday.”

English

Women’s March – June 4, 2012 in Washington DC

Letter of Invitation
Women of Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Futa-Jallon, in collaboration with several grassroots organizations in Guinea, have organized a march in Washington DC, scheduled for June 4, 2012 at 10:00 AM.

The purpose of the march is to call upon international development agencies, the U.S. government and the general public to exert more pressure on the Guinean government to take concrete actions for justice in Guinea. Since the massacre of September 28, 2009, despite promises by the Guinean Government and pressure from the international community, nothing has been done to bring to justice the perpetrators of rape and murder. Not only do the criminals responsible for the massacre remain free, but they hold high positions in the apparatus of the state and benefit from the open support of the government, while their victims are neglected and suffer in silence.

The March on Washington is an opportunity to show our solidarity with women victims who have become the targets of dirty wars worldwide. The organizers of the march will present a memorandum for concrete action for justice in Guinea, as a way to prevent massacres and genocide which loom over Guinea, which will have important consequences for the entire region of West Africa.

The route of the march will be from Lafayette Square to the State Department and by the headquarters of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.


Participation in this event by your organization will allow our common cause to grow and will be greatly appreciated.

PLEASE RSVP TO PEOPLE BELOW:
 Kadiatou Diallo (240-632 1183)
 Ms. Diallo Yebhe (240-421-7999)
 Aissatou Barry Bobo (646-750-1411)

Francais:

La Marche des femmes – 4 Juin 2012 à Washington DC
Lettre d’invitation
Les femmes de Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon, en collaboration avec plusieurs organisations de base de la Guinée organise une marche à Washington DC le 4 Juin 2012 à partir de 10:00 du matin.

L’objet de la marche est de faire appel aux agences de développement international, le gouvernement des États-Unis et l’opinion publique afin d’exercer plus de pression sur le gouvernement guinéen pour des actions concrètes pour la justice en Guinée. Depuis les massacres du 28 Septembre, 2009, en dépit des promesses du Gouvernement guinéen et les pressions de la communauté internationale, rien n’a été fait pour traduire en justice les auteurs de viols et de meurtres. Non seulement les criminels demeurent libres, mais ils occupent des postes élevés dans l’appareil de l’état et bénéficient d’un soutien ouvert du gouvernement, tandis que leurs victimes sont négligées et souffrent en silence.
La marche de Washington est une occasion de montrer notre solidarité avec les femmes victimes qui sont devenues les cibles privilégiées des guerres sales à travers le monde. Les organisateurs de la marche présenteront un mémorandum pour des actions concrètes à prendre pour la justice en Guinée, comme un moyen de prévention de massacres et du génocide qui se profilent en Guinée et qui auront des conséquences importantes pour toute la région de l’Afrique de l’Ouest.

L’itinéraire de la marche sera de Lafayette Square au département d’État via les sièges de la Banque mondiale et du Fonds monétaire international.
La participation de votre organisation dans cette manifestation permettra de pousser notre cause commune et sera grandement appréciée.


S’IL VOUS PLAÎT R.S.V.P AUX PERSONNES CI-DESSOUS:
 Mme Diallo Kadiatou (240-632 1183)
 Mme Diallo Yebhe (240-421-7999)
 Mme Aissatou Barry Bobo (646-750-1411)

Guinea and Impunity: Rapist-Soldiers and Ethnic Cleansing

Four young Peul women in Labe, ranging in age from 18 to 24, were viciously and repeatedly raped by Guinean military during the last two weeks of November 2010.  All were kidnapped.  Two of the women were taken to rape houses, where one was held for two days along with five other women.  The other two victims were raped in the back of  pick-up trucks.

The military rapists dropped off the 20 year-old woman near a hospital leaving a note, probably of a threatening nature, for the prefect, Safioulahi Bah.  The victim was found later, rushed to the emergency room, and resuscitated.  Dropping this young woman near a hospital was not a humanitarian effort on the part of her rapists, rather it was an attempt to escape a murder charge — if she was going to die, they wanted her to do it at the hospital, not in their rape chamber.  Peul women have been raped by military soldiers in other parts of the country, including Dalaba and Pita as well.

Rape is a violent crime and a weapon of intimidation regardless of the circumstances. When members of the military rape it is a state-sponsored crime and everyone from the commanding officer, to the defense minister to the head of state is responsible.  The fact that the military targeted Peul women to rape means that the transitional government is engaged in yet another facet of its overall program to ethnically cleanse Peuls. 

Beneath the nose of the international community, the 2010 presidential election in Guinea was a showcase for ethnic targeting of Peuls.  The line was drawn in the sand early.  The “anyone but a Peul” for president was uttered repeatedly to discount Cellou Diallo’s candidacy from the start.  In the second round of the election, the Conde campaign’s rhetoric was often littered with anti-Peul slurs.  And, now we know more about the massive fraud the Conde campaign used to ensure that the Peul, Diallo, would not be able to put a toe inside the presidential palace.   We know that the electoral commission, the CENI, was infected by Louceny Camara who began stealing votes from Diallo in the first round.  We know numerous election computers were sent out of the country to be tampered with in Conde’s favor.  We know that all manner of voter list, ballot and voting station fraud was set into motion by the Conde campaign to steal Diallo’s votes.  We know Conde received financing for his campaign from the Guinean government and we know that the government worked collaboratively with Conde in the commission of fraud.

Yet, it was shortly before the election, when we witnessed the lengths to which the Conde campaign would go when it debuted an audacious anti-Peul scheme which would end in death, destruction, and displacement of Peuls.   In early October, Conde stated that Peuls had poisoned his campaign supporters through water distributed during a rally in Conakry.  While it is true that some of his supporters did become sick at the rally, it was from eating yogurt that had gone bad, not “poisoned” water.  The bad yogurt,  distributed by a Malinke businessman and friend of Conde’s, did send some to the hospital.  To beef up his “poisoning” lie,” Conde  paid several of his supporters to go to the hospital and pretend to be sick.  The more arrivals at the hospital of “poisoned” patients, the more entrenched the lie became and the more agitated Malinke supporters of Conde became.  Instinctively, Guineans knew where this was heading — a violent Malinke attack on Peuls, but only Conde and his crew knew where and when. 

Days after the supposed “poisoning incident,” Dr. Diallo, superintendent of Donka hospital, stated that rather than poisoning, it appeared that patients had a reaction to food that had gone bad and that the illness did not appear to be serious.  Out of nowhere, Prime Minister Jean-Marie Dore condemned Dr. Diallo for her remarks and suspended her.  What had Dr. Diallo done wrong?  She gave her medical opinion and, because it ran counter to the “poisoning” hoax narrative, she was “disciplined” by Dore.  By intervening, the Prime Minister elevated a dangerous political campaign lie to a matter of state and, in doing so, the Guinean government formally adopted the position of pitting one ethnic group against another in which it knew there would be a violent attack.  That is ethnic cleansing.

The lie was repeated over and over and, in late October, the Conde campaign incited an attack by Malinkes in Siguiri and Kouroussa, highly populated with Peuls, most of whom were supporters of Diallo.  Further evidence of the state’s policy to support ethnic cleansing came when it lent its security forces, dressed in plain clothes, to attack Peuls side-by-side with Malinkes.  As we know now, several Peuls died, hundreds were injured, and hundreds of businesses and homes were burned.  The attack was so brutal and destructive that Peuls were forced to flee to other areas of the country.  Yet, immediately after the attack, it was not clear as to what advantage this offered Conde.  It became clear as election day approached:  the attack was designed to force thousands of Peuls to flee to other parts of the country in order to prevent them from voting in their home districts on election day, resulting in the disenfranchisement of thousands of supporters of Conde’s opponent, Cellou Dalein Diallo.  Conde and the transitional government worked collaboratively to provoke a deadly civilian-military attack against Peuls — their fellow citizens.  This is state-sponsored ethnic cleansing

But, the template for ethnic targeting of Peuls came a year before on September 28, 2009, when a state-sponsored massacre and rape took place in and around a Conakry stadium filled with opposition demonstrators.  After a march, demonstrators headed to the stadium for a rally.  Guinean security forces waited for the stadium to fill, locked the doors and proceeded to fire upon, stab, and rape primarily Peuls.  Hundreds were killed, over a hundred women raped and tortured and Guineans, who have seen terrible violence in their country, had never witnessed before such wholesale carnage and mass violation of women.

The manner in which the soldiers raped women at the stadium provides a clue to one of the state’s primary objectives that day. Virtually all the women raped reported that their attackers used anti-Peul slurs.  The rapes were done outside, in the open which demonstrated the height of military impunity and determination to humiliate the women.  The rapists often stabbed women and cut off  breasts as well — mutilation is a particularly degrading form of violence and the psychological/physical effects remain forever.  Yet, the worst part came when their attackers used sticks and the barrel of guns to rape the women.  Some women were shot in the vagina.  It became clear, through the use of this technique, that the rapes were not just to intimidate, humilate or mutilate Peul women, but were meant to injure them so badly that many of them will never be able to bear children again.  This is ethnic cleansing through the womb.

Wikileaks cables reveal that the US, France, and Morocco did not want a quick ICC indictment of former military junta leader, Dadis Camara, for crimes committed on September 28, 2009, fearing a Guinean military uprising would disrupt the process they were putting in place for Guinea’s transition to a “democratic” government.  Nearly 15 months have passed since the stadium massacre and no one has been indicted.  By delaying ICC action, the West prevented timely punishment for the heinous stadium crimes, allowing impunity to become thoroughly institutionalized in Guinea’s military.  Is it any wonder then, in the post-electoral period, that commanding officers ordered extrajudicial executions of Peuls and rape of Peul women?  Is it any wonder that neither Konate, nor Dore, nor Conde condemned these military actions?

Most ethnic cleansing travesties begin in the same manner:  it starts out as jealousy, but quickly changes to hatred, especially when manipulated by governments intent on fanning the flames of violence of one ethnic group against another.  The perpetrators of the cleansing never see themselves as being able to overcome their hatred and are convinced that the only alternative is to eliminate their “foes.”  The stakes are even higher if the hated ethnic group outnumbers other ethnic groups.  This spawns paranoia and, when combined with hatred, the concoction is deadly.  While exact figures are not available, it is believed that the Peul ethnic group is much larger than the often reporterd 40 % of the population.  

Yet, as you would expect from a candidate who started out with only 18% of the vote in the first round running against a man with 44% , all of the Conde campaign’s fraud and killing and maiming and destruction of homes and businesses of Peuls, could not help him beat Diallo by the numbers.  While the Supreme Court selected Conde for the presidency, he continues campaigning on ethnic grounds.  Recently, on more than one occasion, he has stated that it is the Peul businessmen who are ruining the economy.  Will this be the first ethnic cleansing battleground?  Conde has an anti-Peul agenda and a Malinke military that will be only too happy to oblige.  After the September 28, 2009, massacre and rape of Peuls, after the post-electoral murder, maiming, and rape of Peuls by the military, and now with Conde, the man who instigated the electoral season’s ethnic cleansing attack in Siguiri and Kourroussa, who has just assumed the presidency, this is a very dangerous time for Peuls in Guinea — they will need all the help the Diaspora can offer.

And, the four young women discussed at the beginning of this post?  Thanks to the kindness and generosity of the US-based Amadou Diallo Foundation, they have been transferred to a medical facility in Senegal.  Before leaving Guinea they wanted to know if there would be police or military around them in Senegal.  They were relieved to hear that the answer was “no.”

Cellou Dalein Diallo and His UFDG Party To Make Complaint to the International Criminal Court

Defeated Guinea party to make complaint to world court

From Joe Penney, For CNN
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Defeated Guinean party claims troops repressed citizens
  • Prime minister claims party itself is to blame
  • International Criminal Court closely watching situation

Conakry, Guinea (CNN) — The Guinean political party that finished second in the West African country’s recent presidential runoff election will make an official complaint to the International Criminal Court, a senior party official told CNN on Saturday.

Guinea held its much-delayed presidential runoff election between two candidates, Cellou Dalein Diallo and Alpha Conde, on November 7. Provisional results issued November 15 by the electoral commission declared Conde the winner with 52.5 percent of the overall vote. The Supreme Court must now look at fraud allegations put forth by both Diallo and Conde, and will finalize the results by December 2.

On the day of the announcement and over the next two days, supporters of Diallo clashed with supporters of Conde and security officials in multiple cities around the country. At least nine people died and dozens more were injured.

The Guinean government subsequently declared a national state of emergency and a curfew restricting movement of people from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., but residents of ethnic Peul neighborhoods in the Conakry suburbs of Enco5, Bambeto, Hamdallaye and Cosa said that security forces entered the homes of civilians and shot at innocent people before and after the curfew was called.

Amnesty International, the U.N. High Commission for Human Rights and the International Crisis Group have all detailed what they say are examples of arbitrary arrests, excessive force, incitement of ethnic hatred and killings by Guinean security officials.

Diallo’s UFDG party (the French acronym for the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea), has said that the government backed a bloody repression by security forces against its supporters, who are largely from the Peul ethnic group. On Saturday, Oury Bah, UFDG’s vice president, told CNN that the party would be making an official complaint to the International Criminal Court.

“We are working on the case and it will be ready in a few days … there have been cases of [security forces] raping women, shooting at unarmed persons and inciting [ethnic] hatred,” Bah told CNN on Saturday.

Guinea’s prime minister, Jean-Marie Dore, denied UFDG’s accusations on national TV recently, saying that Diallo’s supporters were responsible for the violence.

If necessary, “we will ask the ICC to prosecute those who put people in the streets,” Dore said, referring to Diallo’s supporters.

In addition to accusing Diallo of inciting violence, Dore singled out journalist Mouctar Bah (no relation to Oury Bah) of French radio RFI for calling the government repression of post-election protesters “bloody.”

“What he said was a violation of the law because he cannot show a pool of blood in any Conakry neighborhood,” Dore said.

Mouctar Bah told CNN that the prime minister’s comments put him in a dangerous position.

“I’m scared for my personal security … if a prime minister talks about you, attacks you on television, he is leaving you vulnerable to extremists, to police, to the army and to political officials … I don’t have any confidence in the government,” Bah told CNN.

The ICC, based in The Hague, Netherlands, opened its file on Guinea after the September 28, 2009, massacre in Conakry, when security forces killed more than 150 peaceful protesters and injured more than 1,000, according to Human Rights Watch. The Guinean government said about 50 protesters died and that they were acting violently.

Fatou Bensouda, deputy prosecutor for the ICC, visited Conakry on November 19, when she released a statement saying, “The Office of the Prosecutor is keeping a close eye on the situation in Guinea and deplores that at least seven persons have been reportedly killed since the announcement of the election results.”

“All reported acts of violence will be closely scrutinized by the office in order to determine whether crimes have been committed that fall under the Court’s jurisdiction and should warrant an investigation.”

Guinea is still waiting for the Supreme Court to validate provisional results. It must review charges of fraud from both Diallo’s and Conde’s parties. Despite the provisional results, Diallo’s party is confident that it will emerge as winner.

“We have given the Supreme Court a document 50 centimeters (20 inches) wide with proof of fraud according to what the law demands. We are sure that with that, a dignified official will see that there has been fraud and the results will give El Hadj Cellou the victory,” Oury Bah said.

Guinea has been ruled by a military junta, led by Gen. Sekouba Konate, since the death of longtime autocrat Lansana Conte in December 2008. The presidential election is meant to complete the transition from military to civilian rule.

Despite immense mineral wealth, Guinea is one of the poorest countries in Africa.

 
 
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