Political camps supporting and opposing constitutional change so that President Condé can run for third term continued to mobilise, and authorities cracked down on opposition and civil society. Condé’s Party of Unity and Progress and its allies 2 Aug formed Coalition for the Defence of a New Constitution to build support for constitutional change. Opposition alliance Bloc Against Alpha Condé 21 Aug joined opposition movement National Front for the Defence of the Constitution as part of platform dubbed Fight against a Third Mandate. Authorities 2 Aug arrested leader of opposition Liberal Bloc, Faya Millimono, on defamation charges, even though he had retracted his accusation that Justice Minister Fofana was a former rebel, prompting his lawyers to call detention “excessive”; authorities 10 Aug released Millimono but said charges would proceed to court. In capital Conakry, court 19-21 Aug put CEO of LynxFM radio, Souleymane Diallo, and host of its phone-in program, Boubacar Alghassimou Diallo, under judicial monitoring after radio station broadcast accusations of embezzlement against govt official; dozens of journalists 26 Aug protested against “state’s harassment of private media” in front of offices of High Authority for Communication.
Guinea approaches the second free presidential election in its history under difficult circumstances. Unless the government convenes a serious dialogue with the opposition, it risks electoral violence and exacerbating ethnic divisions.
Overdue legislative elections in Guinea could rapidly degenerate into violence in the absence of consensus on electoral procedures.
Rising piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, which supplies around 40 per cent of Europe’s oil and 29 per cent of the U.S.’s, demands effective regional security cooperation and better economic governance to prevent the region becoming another Gulf of Aden. The full report is currently only available in French.
Unless Guinea’s main political actors agree on organising the pending legislative elections, there is a risk inter-communal tensions could spark violence that opens the army’s way back to power.
If the armed forces of Guinea are not reformed thoroughly, they will continue to pose a threat to democratic civilian rule and risk plunging the country and the region into chaos.
The killing of at least 160 participants in a peaceful demonstration, the rape of many women protestors, and the arrest of political leaders by security forces in Conakry on 28 September 2009 showed starkly the dangers that continued military rule poses to Guinea’s stability and to a region where three fragile countries are only just recovering from civil wars.
Originally published in Jeune Afrique
Originally published in The Guardian