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Scores killed in opposition crackdown in Guinea

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. B

    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

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    Mail & Guardian



    Tuesday after security forces in the world's top bauxite producer Guinea shot dead at least 87 people protesting against a junta leader who seized power in December.

    The outcry boiled over amid reports that troops were reportedly removing bodies in the seaside capital Conakry to hide the scale of the bloodshed.

    "There are 87 bodies that were collected in and around the stadium after the military came through," a police source said, referring to the venue of Monday's rally and speaking on condition of anonymity.

    There are currently 47 bodies at the Samory Toure military camp in Conakry, four of them women, the source said.

    After crushing the protest against junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, military commanders issued instructions for all bodies from the demonstration at a city stadium to be taken to the Alpha Yaya Diallo military camp, rather than to morgues, a Red Cross source told Agence France-Presse.

    United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon slammed the "excessive use of force" and said he was "shocked by the loss of life, the high number of people injured and the destruction of property".

    Former colonial ruler France condemned "the violent repression exercised by the army against the opposition and civil society during a peaceful demonstration held in Conakry".

    Paris called on the junta to "show responsibility and to listen to the Guinean people's legitimate aspiration to democratically choose their leaders", and said Camara not standing for re-election "would allow for calm to return".

    A senior United States official in Washington said: "We're deeply concerned about the general breakdown in security in Conakry. We urge the Guinean government to exercise restraint and ensure the safety and security of Guinean and foreign nationals in accordance with universally accepted standards of human rights."
     
  2. Mbonea

    Mbonea JF-Expert Member

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    Papua New Guinea disease outbreak


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    AFP – Guinean police arrest a protester in front of the biggest stadium in the capital Conakry during a protest …


    By ALHASSAN SILLAH, Associated Press Writer

    CONAKRY, Guinea – Doctors treated hundreds of injured civilians Tuesday, a day after soldiers fired at a pro-democracy rally in the capital's stadium as the death toll in the West African country rose to 87, local Red Cross officials said.

    Burned-out cars littered quiet streets Tuesday morning as most terrified residents stayed home. At least two police stations were torched after the shooting spree and were blackened shells.

    Tensions have risen in Guinea amid rumors that military leader Capt. Moussa "Dadis" Camara may run in presidential elections set for Jan. 31. Camara, who rose to power in a December coup, said that the shootings by members of his presidential guard were beyond his control.

    "Those people who committed those atrocities were uncontrollable elements in the military," he told Radio France International on Monday night. "Even I, as head of state in this very tense situation, cannot claim to be able to control those elements in the military."

    New York-based Human Rights Watch said eyewitnesses told them that security forces had stripped female protesters and raped them in the streets. Other eyewitnesses said soldiers had stabbed protesters with knives and bayonets.

    "The killing of dozens of unarmed protesters is shocking even by the abusive standards of Guinea's coup government," said Corinne Dufka, senior West Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. "Guinea's leaders should order an immediate end to attacks on demonstrators and bring to justice those responsible for the bloodshed."

    The African Union, the European Union and the government of neighboring Senegal all quickly denounced Monday's violence. The AU had suspended Guinea's membership after Camara seized power in a December coup.

    The African Union Commission condemned the "indiscriminate firing on unarmed civilians," and urged Guinean officials to respect the freedom of expression and assembly.

    EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana called for the immediate release of arrested political leaders.

    Opposition leader Sidya Toure, a former prime minister, was arrested during the protests and released Tuesday. When he returned home, he said he found it had been ransacked.

    "I have come back to a broken home," he said. "What upsets me most is that they destroyed my library. All my books and souvenirs are gone."
    Camara came to power in a coup hours after longtime dictator Lansana Conte died. Camara initially said he would not run in a presidential election set for Jan. 31 but recently said he has the right to run.

    The opposition-led protest in the capital's main football stadium Monday drew some 50,000 people, with demonstrators chanting "We want true democracy."

    On Aug. 27, police fired tear gas to break up a demonstration in the capital, and last Thursday tens of thousands of residents in a town north of Conakry took to the streets with no serious incidents.

    Hardly anyone had heard of Camara, an army captain in his 40s, until Dec. 23, when his men broke down the glass doors of the state TV station. He announced that the constitution had been dissolved and that the country was now under the rule of a military junta.

    Since winning independence half a century ago from France, Guinea has been pillaged by its ruling elite. Its 10 million people are among the world's poorest, even though its soil has diamonds, gold, iron and half the world's reserves of the raw material used to make aluminum.


    Source: Association Press
     
  3. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

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    Guinea rally death toll nears 130


    BBC News Online

    Opposition leader Sidya Toure: "They just started to shoot people directly"

    At least 128 people were killed when Guinean troops opened fire on opposition protesters on Monday, rights groups and opposition figures claim. Earlier police said 87 people had died, but local activists say hospital sources confirmed a much higher toll.

    Human rights groups say they have had reports of soldiers bayoneting people and women being stripped and raped in the streets during the protest.

    Junta head Capt Moussa Dadis Camara denied knowledge of sexual assaults.

    But he admitted that some of his security forces had lost control.

    French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said France was suspending military ties with Guinea after the "savage and bloody" crackdown on opposition protesters, the French news agency AFP reported.

    Out of control

    About 50,000 people were protesting over rumours that Capt Camara intends to run for president in an election schedule for next January.

    [​IMG]ANALYSIS

    Paul Melly, African analyst

    This reminds us that the army which took power in December is in fact the same army that underpinned the Lansana Conte regime and the same army that was involved in the very bloody repression of protests in January and February of 2007.

    Capt Moussa Dadis Camara promised he wouldn't stand in any election in 2009 but by putting the election back to 2010 he's, as it were, got out of that promise.

    Cellou Dalein Diallo and Sidya Toure represent potentially the greatest threat to any candidacy by Dadis Camara should Guinea be allowed a free election. Both originated as prime ministers attempting to carry through reforms under the old regime; both found their reform programmes derailed.

    Guinea is naturally quite wealthy. It's not easy to just force down a regime through external pressure. The Conte regime survived years of the suspension of European aid without ever caving in to the EU's demands for political reform.

    But soldiers moved in to quell the rally using tear gas and baton charges and firing live ammunition into the crowds.

    The Guinean Organisation for Defence of Human Rights put the toll at 157 people killed and more than 1,200 wounded, although this has not been corroborated.

    Human rights groups said there were widespread reports of rape.

    "The military is going into districts, looting goods and raping women," Mamadi Kaba, the head of the Guinean branch of the African Encounter for the Defence of Human Rights (RADDHO), told AFP.

    "We have similar reports from several sources, including police sources and some close to the military," said Mr Kaba, from his office in Dakar, Senegal.

    An eyewitness told Human Rights Watch: "I saw several women stripped and then put inside the military trucks and taken away. I don't know what happened to them."

    "They were raping women publicly," opposition activist Mouctar Diallon said in an interview with French radio station RFI, adding that he had witnessed soldiers raping women with rifle butts during Monday's protests.

    Guinean human rights activist Souleymane Bah told Reuters news agency that people trying to escape from the shooting were "caught and finished off with bayonets".

    A doctor at a government hospital in Conakry said his wards looked like "a butchery".

    Threat of sanctions

    The BBC's Alhassan Sillah in Conakry says Capt Camara acknowledged that "uncontrollable soldiers" were responsible, but did not say how many people had died.

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    About 50,000 people were said to have protested

    Capt Camara He told local radio stations that it was difficult to control the soldiers when there was tension in the country.

    Our correspondent says the capital is calm at the moment, with the shops and schools closed, and little traffic on the roads.

    There has been worldwide condemnation of the violence.

    UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged the Guinean authorities to exercise maximum restraint, while the West African regional body Ecowas is reported to be pursuing sanctions against the military regime.

    Capt Camara staged a coup last December hours after the death of President Lansana Conte, who had ruled for more than two decades.

    The military takeover initially had some popular support, but in recent weeks there have been several anti-government protests.

    Guinean officials and former aides of Capt Camara have been accused of corruption and links to the drugs trade, including the son of former President Lansana Conte, who was shown confessing on TV to smuggling cocaine.

    Guinea expert Gilles Yabi told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme that the rally was "only the beginning" of demonstrations and counter-demonstrations that can be expected in the next few months.

    Should Capt Camara stand for president, he said, it would be a violation of the tacit agreement between military and civil forces which has kept him in power.

    And it would mark a perpetuation of the kind of rule that Guinea has seen for the past decade - which the military had promised to sweep away.
     
  4. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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  5. Dr. Chapa Kiuno

    Dr. Chapa Kiuno JF-Expert Member

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    Zaidi ya watu 150 wanahofiwa kufariki nchini Guinea baada ya wanajeshi walioipindua serikali kufyatua risasi hovyo kwa mamia ya waandamanaji waliokuwa wamejazana kwenye uwanja wa soka nchini humo.

    Maelfu ya watu walikuwa wamekusanyika katika mji mkuu wa Guinea, Conakry, kupinga hatua ya kiongozi wa kijeshi wa nchi hiyo kapteni Moussa Dadis Camara aliyeipindua serikali kuamua kuwania urais kwenye uchaguzi ujao utakaofanyika mwakani.

    Awali Camara, ambaye aliipindua serikali na kutwaa madaraka mwaka jana, aliwaonya watu wasijitokeze kwenye maandamano hayo ya kumpinga kugombea urais.

    Awali polisi na wanajeshi walirusha mabomu ya machozi kwa nia ya kuwatanya waandamanaji waliokuwa wamejazana kwenye uwanja wa soka wa Conakry arena wenye uwezo wa kuchukua watu 25,000.

    Wakati waandamanaji walipopagawa na kuanza kutawanyika hovyo, wanajeshi walianza kupiga risasi hovyo.

    "Wanajeshi walikuwa wakiwapiga risasi watu waliokuwa uwanjani na wale waliojaribu kutoka uwanjani walijikuta kwenye mashambulizi makali ya wanajeshi waliokuwa nje ya uwanja" alisema Souleymane Bah, mtetezi wa haki za binadamu nchini humo alipokuwa akiongea na shirika la habari la Reuters.

    Awali polisi walisema kwamba watu 87 waliuliwa kwenye maandamano hayo lakini mashirika ya kutetea haki za binadamu nchini humo yakinukuu taarifa za hospitali yalisema kwamba watu 157 waliuliwa na watu wengine 1,253 walijeruhiwa.

    Kulikuwa pia na taarifa za wanawake waandamanaji kubakwa na baadhi ya wanajeshi.

    Mwandishi wa habari wa AP aliripoti kushuhudia mamia ya watu wakiwa wamejazana kwenye holi la hospitali kuu ya Guinea, Donka hospital, huku baadhi yao wakiwa na majeraha ya risasi na wengine wakiwa na majeraha kutokana na vipigo vya wanajeshi.

    Mbali na vifo na majeruhi, viongozi wengi wa vyama vya upinzani walikamatwa na polisi.

    Vituo viwili vya polisi vilichomwa moto na mamia ya magari yaliyochomwa moto yalionekana kwenye mitaa ya Conakry.

     
  6. Josh Michael

    Josh Michael JF-Expert Member

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    Hali kama hizi zinaweza kutokea Tanzania ya leo
     
  7. Dr. Chapa Kiuno

    Dr. Chapa Kiuno JF-Expert Member

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    Yah! ndy tunaelekea huko n ukitaka kujua no hivyo subiri mwakani.
     
  8. Josh Michael

    Josh Michael JF-Expert Member

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    Serikali imetangaza kazi za Polisi Kibao kwa ajili ya kuwadhibiti watu mwakani, sasa wewe ngoja utaona mambo ya ajabu sana
     
  9. Ndahani

    Ndahani JF-Expert Member

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    Nawapa pole wananchi wa Guinea. That is the price people pay for getting real democracy
     
  10. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    It can happen anywhere Josh, what is needed is just a catalyst for the reaction to take place, the catalyst might be a botched election, food shortage, unemployment or anything that might lead to civil unrest, and when the anti riot police are unable to controll the masses, the military will be called to contain them. This is where orders are given that if they fail to contain the mobs using civil means, they shoot the rioters at sight, and thats where everything goes wrong.

    We (developing economies) are all vulnerable to such situations, its just dependent on the leader of the day.
     
  11. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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  12. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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  13. PoliteMsemakweli

    PoliteMsemakweli Member

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    Terrible things always happen in Africa. The land is rich with resources but we are among the poor of the poor. Tatizo hapa ni kwamba kuna matabaka kati ya wale waokuwanacho na wale ambao hawana hata katika nchi za kiafrika. Sasa wanajeshi wanachukulia nafasi kama hii kujichukulia wanachoweza kupata kwa wakati huo. Cha kushangaza wanabaka hata dada zao na mama zao yaani hata ngono tabu? Mungu ibariki Africa
     
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