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Guinea: Three days of post-election violence

In the second week of November, Guinea experienced three days of violence resulting in at least seven dead, after the declaration of the results of the presidential elections that have seen tension mounting in the country. After the first round of the elections, which took place on 27th June, the second round, postponed from its original 19th September date took place on 7th of November. The ballot result saw long-time opposition leader Alpha Condé (RPG) brought into power with 52.52% of the votes compared with the 47.48% share obtained by Cellou D. Diallo (UFDG).

Photo from the Alpha Condé campaign website

This is not in line with what the first round results led us to believe, reported the news agency, Lejourguinée [fr]:

Cellou Dalein Diallo et Alpha Condé [étaient] accrédités respectivement de 43,69% et 18,25% des voix à l'issue du premier tour tenu le 27 juin.

Cellou Dallein Diallo and Alpha Condé [gained] respectively 43.69% and 18.25% of the votes after the first round held on 27th June.

In the words of Cellou Dallein Diallo’s supporters, could all other ethnic groups in the country have voted against Diallo because he is a candidate of Fulani origin, the largest ethnic group (35%) in the country?

Electoral poster for the Cellou Dalein Diallo campaign

On November 17th the pro-Diallo website Guinée Libre [fr] questioned:

… le nettoyage ethnique dirigé contre les peuls dans les préfectures de Siguiri et de Kouroussa qui a empêché ces derniers de participer au vote dans ces régions.

…the ethnic cleansing targeted against the Fulani people in the provinces of Siguiri and Kouroussa, which is preventing them from voting in the regions.

The African information blog, Survie [fr], after 10th September, hinted that the victory of Alpha Condé was not what Françafrique would want to happen between the two rounds either:

Nous sommes heureux d’apprendre que Claude Guéant, le secrétaire général de l’Elysée, a un favori pour l’élection présidentielle guinéenne. Ex-cadre de la Banque centrale et ancien Premier ministre sous Lansana Conté (décembre 2004-avril 2006), Cellou Dalein Diallo lui a été présenté par Robert Bourgi et il s’est déjà entretenu une dizaine de fois avec lui (selon Jeune Afrique du 1er août 2010).

We are pleased to learn that Claude Gueant, Chief-of-Staff to French President Sarkozy has a preferred candidate for the presidential elections in Guinea. Gueant was introduced by Robert Bourgi [fr] to the former senior manager at the Central Bank of Guinea who was Prime Minister under Lasana Conté (December 2004 – April 2006), Cellou Dalein Diallo. Gueant and Diallo have since had around ten meetings with each other (according to Jeune Afrique, 1st August 2010).

By choosing Alpha Condé the people of Guinea are once again saying “no” to the influence of the former colonial power, just like in 1958 [fr]. However, this is not an improvement as is evidenced by the violence that ensued on the declaration of the result. On Tuesday 16th November Africaguinée.com [fr] condemned the:

Violences en Guinée: 2 nouveaux morts …

Violence in Guinea: 2 more dead…

The following day, 17th November, Africaguinée.com reported that a curfew had been imposed by the interim Prime Minister in the Cellou Dalein Diallo’s county in order to restore order to the situation:

Jean-Marie Doré impose le couvre feu dans plusieurs villes du Foutah…

Jean Marie Doré has imposed a curfew in several towns in Foutah…

There was still no peace on the 18th November as the website Net-A-Li reported on measures being deployed at national level [fr]:

Le général Sékouba Konaté a instauré mercredi, l’état d’urgence en Guinée, jusqu’à la proclamation des résultats définitifs de l’élection présidentielle. Les affrontements postélectoraux ont installé l’insécurité dans le pays, faisant ainsi 7 morts en trois jours. Cette décision du président Konaté vise à éviter de nouvelles violences dans le pays. Et elle fait suite à celle du premier ministre Jean Marie Doré qui a décrété mardi soir, un couvre-feu.

On Wednesday General Sékouba Konaté declared a state of emergency in Guinea until the definitive results of the presidential election are declared. The post-election clashes have led to insecurity in the country, resulting in 7 fatalities in three days. The decision by President Konaté was taken in order to avoid further violence in the country, and follows Prime Minister Jean Marie Doré’s decision on Tuesday to impose a curfew.

There have been numerous appeals for peace via various blogs, including one by the President of Senegal on the news website Seneweb [fr]:

Wade s’est entretenu avec Alpha, Cellou et Jean Marie Doré pour ’’une issue rapide à la crise’’

Wade met with Alpha, Cellou and Jean Marie Doré to find a “rapid resolution to the crisis.”

Journalists have also been caught up in the situation. On the Radio-Kakan website it was reported that:

… a le regret d’informer la population guinéenne que plusieurs de ses membres ont été inquiétés par des groupes d’individus qui ont menacés leurs journalistes, molestés et blessés certains d’entre eux, et cherchés à détruire leurs installations.

La plupart des radios sont passées au service minimum, car les journalistes et les animateurs ne peuvent se déplacer librement de peur d’être attaqués.

….it regrets to inform the Guinean population that several of its members are concerned at the groups of people who have threatened their journalists, beaten and injured them and also attempted to damage their equipment.

Most radio stations are broadcasting a minimal service as journalists and presenters are unable to move around freely for fear of being attacked.

On the evening of Thursday 18th, after three days of violence throughout the country, Aminata.com reported an improvement in the situation:

Crise postélectorale: Le calme revient peu à peu!
Post-election crisis: peace is returning little by little!

Via the few Twitter accounts, one can receive news regarding the situation in the capital on an hourly basis. On the evening of Thursday 18th @willoxh [fr] noted that the situation was gradually calming down:

Kaporo: Bon, 18h23… ça commence à tirer (pour faire rentrer les gens chez eux) #guinee

Conakry: Lycée Albert Camus – Reprise des cours le 22/11 (sauf contre ordre) #guinee

Conakry: Air France reprogramme ses vols dès demain, avec des arrivées à Conakry prévues les samedi, lundi, mardi et jeudi à 07h30 #guinee

Kaporo: Well, 1823 gunfire has started (to get people to return to their homes) #guinea
Conakry: Lycée Albert Camus – Lessons restarted 22/11 (apart from when ordered not to do so) #guinea

Conakry: Air France is restarting its flights from tomorrow with arrivals scheduled for Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Thursday at 7.30am #guinea

On the evening of Friday 19th it was noted [fr] that the curfew was being respected:

Kaporo: pas un seul tir depuis 18h00 (début du couvre feu) :o))

Kaporo: not a single shot since 6pm (start of the curfew) :o))
  • http://konakryexpress.maneno.org Abdoulaye Bah

    The arests were made on a discriminatory bassis. Peulhs, the ethnic group of the looser Diallo were arested (some at their home), beaten, insulted, humiliated, theirs properties burnt or stolen. They were deported some to unknown destinations.

    International NGO Amnesty International, International Crisis Group nad Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports:

    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.

    Source:http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2010/11/24/guinea-ensure-fair-trials-post-election-violence

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