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Abstract: I consider it a singular honour to have been invited today by Chatham House
to address this august forum. The Economic Community of West African
States (ECOWAS), which I represent, is a regional organisation which has,
over the years, gained your attention only for the unfortunate reasons of state
implosion and instability caused by bad governance and marginalisation. I
therefore welcome the opportunity to throw further light on its objectives,
challenges, and achievements, which factors have effectively brought
together fifteen West African states in the enterprise of improving upon the
living standards of 230 million people as well as integrating them.
The term ‘Chatham House Rule’ is today an internationally-accepted cliché
that this Institute has contributed to international diplomacy discourse, a
reference norm in rigorous and policy-oriented exchanges on global peace
and security. I therefore view your invitation to lead today’s discourse about
‘Democracy in the context of Regional Integration in West Africa’ as an
unique honour for me personally, and a recognition of ECOWAS as a leading
brand in regional integration.
Ladies and gentlemen, the evolution of ECOWAS can only be properly
understood against the backdrop of the fascinating history and circumstances
of West Africa since establishing contact with the world beyond its borders.
The fact that slavery, colonialism, as well as racial and economic
marginalisation, had left an intrinsic yearning for freedom, unity and solidarity
among peoples of African descent everywhere defines its wish to integrate its
states and peoples.
Abstract: In his books The Bottom Billion: Why the Poorest Countries
Are Failing and What Can Be Done about It and Wars, Guns, and Votes: Democracy in Dangerous Places (cited henceforth
as BB and WGV, respectively), Paul Collier attempts to
bring African and other poor countries with problems of
“stuck” development back into the conversation of economists,
policymakers, and an educated nonspecialist readership. Book cover testimonials from The Economist, Larry
Summers, Larry Diamond, and New York Times columnist
Nicholas Krist of give a sense of the readership Collier
has targeted. Using analysis based on econometric studies
he has conducted with his research colleagues at Oxford
and the World Bank, he first tries to make sense of the
world’s “basket cases,” and then to propose policy interventions
that may help them to set themselves right.
Abstract: In early 2008, International Alert and its partner organisations in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone
launched a new sub-regional initiative funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark and
intended to empower citizens to challenge actual and perceived threats to human security and
personal safety experienced by vulnerable groups, especially women and girls, in the war-affected
area where the original three member states of the Mano River Union (MRU) converge.1
Between 1989 and 2003, these three countries experienced a catastrophic series of interlinked
wars that straddled the boundaries of the MRU, killing up to 300,000 people and displacing
several million, hundreds of thousands of them fleeing as refugees to neighbouring MRU states.
One of the legacies of these sub-regional wars and displacements has been a culture of impunity
surrounding sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
Untold, thousands of women and girls, but
also many men and boys, live with the psychological and sometimes physical or human legacy of
SGBV across the sub-region.
Such behaviour has not existed in isolation. In parallel to sexual violence, there is a legacy of
domestic violence and disempowerment of women that is embedded in many patriarchal cultures,
not just in West Africa.
In response to these post-war challenges, International Alert and its partners designed a tricountry
initiative to reduce threats to personal security, especially threats to women and girls, and
to challenge the culture of impunity around SGBV. The aim has been to empower communities
to lobby for more comprehensive and gender-sensitive reporting of SGBV, for more inclusive
and gender-sensitive security and justice responses, and for a coherent sub-regional response to
violence in border communities. The project has developed culturally- and linguistically-specific
programming for a network of community radio stations along the borders of the three countries
in order to promote a transformative dialogue that challenges local knowledge, attitudes and
practices around SGBV to reduce perpetration and the stigmatisation of survivors. It has also
developed a network of “animators” in nine war-affected communities who provide information,
counselling and advocacy to men and women in order to guide them through prevention and
redress actions, including access to statutory security and justice systems.
This report aims to capture the experiences of the project over two and a half years in the context
of work in three interlinked but quite specific country contexts. It looks at the extent of SGBV and domestic violence as experienced in the target communities, details the challenges and best
practices of project staff in their attempts to raise awareness and change attitudes and practices,
and analyses the particular challenges of providing security and accessing justice (statutory or
customary) in the various target communities. It concludes with a series of recommendations
for the improved provision of security and justice for women, girls and other vulnerable groups
within the MRU.
Abstract: In June and November 2010, the Guinean people went to the polls and for the first time since
the country’s independence from France in 1958, elected their president in an atmosphere
largely free of intimidation, fear, or manipulation. Many Guineans viewed these hugely
significant elections as having the potential to end over 50 years of authoritarianism, human
rights abuse, and corruption.
Since independence, Guinean presidents Ahmed Sékou Touré (1958-1984), Lansana Conté
(1984-2008), and Captain Moussa Dadis Camara (2008-2009) have relied on ruling party
militias and security forces to intimidate and violently repress opposition voices. Thousands
of Guineans—intellectuals, teachers, civil servants, union officials, religious and community
leaders, and businesspeople—who dared to oppose the government have been tortured,
starved, or beaten to death by state security forces, or were executed in police custody and
This report calls on the government to bring to justice those responsible for massacres in 2007 and 2009. It says that the government should strengthen the judiciary and provide it with adequate resources, rein in and reform the security sector, and ensure that Guinea’s population can benefit from the country’s abundant natural resources. Human Rights Watch also recommended establishing a truth commission to uncover the causes of Guinea’s violent past and an anti-corruption commission to end the misuse of its wealth.
Abstract: This special research report provides an analysis of a set of new issues that have been emerging in the West African subregion and possible implications for the Security Council in the coming year(s). It identifies some key emerging threats to peace and security in the 16-state subregion and their linkages to existing security challenges. The report points to a key feature: the fact that some of the new threats are essentially criminal rather than political in nature. However, it explains also the growing political and security implications. The report also highlights action already taken by the Council to recognise these threats and considers options available to the Council to tackle these issues going forward.
The raw material for the study was derived from literature research; field research in a number of countries in the West African subregion (including Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria); and interviews in the region with diplomats, government officials and officials of relevant international intergovernmental bodies (e.g. UN Office in West Africa or UNOWA, UN Office for Drugs and Crime or UNODC, the Economic Community of West African States or ECOWAS and the AU), NGOs and academics.
Abstract: Since gaining independence from France in 1958, Guinea has remained relatively stable and has never experienced violent conflict. Until the bloodless military coup of 2008, it had had only two governments: the socialist administration of Sékou Touré (1958-1984) and the liberal regime of Lansana Conté (1984-2008). Despite some moves towards a more democratic system, including the adoption by referendum of a new constitution in 1990, the latter years of the Conté government were marked by bad governance, human rights violations, weak rule of law and impunity. This was compounded by the prolonged illness of the president, whose fitness to govern was widely doubted, and by 2003 there were fears that Guinea could become yet another failed state.
This analysis examines key factors (both structural
and dynamic) that could influence change
or cause instability in Guinea: the forces and
processes at work on the ground, the chances
of resolving issues that arise, and the challenges
and potential pitfalls that lie ahead. It includes
information based on interviews conducted with
government officials, bilateral partners and donors,
multilateral organisations, NGOs, academics
and the media in Conakry in May 2010.
Maternal mortality can be particularly high in conflict and chronic emergency settings, partly
due to inaccessible maternal care. This paper examines associations of refugee-led health
education, formal education, age, and parity on maternal knowledge, attitudes, and
practices among reproductive-age women in refugee camps in Guinea.
Data comes from a 1999 cross-sectional survey of 444 female refugees in 23 camps.
Associations of reported maternal health outcomes with exposure to health education
(exposed versus unexposed), formal education (none versus some), age (adolescent
versus adult), or parity (nulliparous, parous, grand multiparous), were analysed using
No significant differences were found in maternal knowledge or attitudes. Virtually all
respondents said pregnant women should attend antenatal care and knew the importance
of tetanus vaccination. Most recognised abdominal pain (75%) and headaches (24%) as
maternal danger signs and recommended facility attendance for danger signs. Most had
last delivered at a facility (67%), mainly for safety reasons (99%). Higher odds of facility
delivery were found for those exposed to RHG health education (adjusted odds ratio 2.03,
95%CI 1.23-3.01), formally educated (adjusted OR 1.93, 95%CI 1.05-3.92), or grand
multipara (adjusted OR 2.13, 95%CI 1.21-3.75). Main reasons for delivering at home were
distance to a facility (94%) and privacy (55%).
Refugee-led maternal health education appeared to increase facility delivery for these
refugee women. Improved knowledge of danger signs and the importance of skilled birth
attendance, while vital, may be less important in chronic emergency settings than
improving facility access where quality of care is acceptable.
Abstract: This briefing note seeks to contribute to the knowledge on Resolution 1325, building on
International Alert’s work in the MRU region during the last few years. The first section briefly
discusses the need to adjust the approach to implementing Resolution 1325 in challenging
contexts such as post-conflict Sierra Leone and Liberia and conflict-prone Guinea.2 Based on a
brief discussion of salient issues and thematic priorities across the three countries, the subsequent
section sketches the contours of a comprehensive agenda for implementing Resolution 1325 in
the MRU region. The three components of this agenda are addressing women’s security needs,
enhancing their political participation, and implementing gender equality legislation and policies.
The briefing note ends with the following four broad recommendations to sustain and enhance
work on Resolution 1325 in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone:
1. Working (better) with what exists: Engage custodians of the customary justice system.
2. Address sexual and gender-based violence: Mobilise communities through change agents.
3. Economics matters: Address the economic dimension of gender, peace and security.
4. From plans to action: Make smart investments in civil society.
Abstract: Across the globe today, you'll find almost three dozen raging conflicts, from the valleys of Afghanistan to the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the streets of Kashmir. But what are the next crises that might erupt in 2011? Here are a few worrisome spots that make our list. [Captions provided by International Crisis Group]
Abstract: Five actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and two improved in December 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.
Côte d’Ivoire was gripped by political crisis as incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo refused to cede power after losing to rival Alassane Outtara in the late-November presidential runoff polls. Post-election violence claimed thTensions remained high on the Korean peninsula just one month after North Korea shelled Yŏnp’yŏng Island in South Korea. Pyongyang threatened “brutal consequences beyond imagination” against the South as Seoul held live-fire artillery drills on the island. Russia and China called for a calming of tensions on the peninsula, but South Korea refused to cancel the drills amid domestic pressure to stand firm against the North.
Nigeria was hit by several deadly bomb attacks and ongoing Islamist militant violence over the month. At least 80 people were killed in coordinated explosions in the central city of Jos on 24 December. e lives of at least 170 people and more than 15,000 fled to neighbouring countries.
In Pakistan, the Taliban launched a wave of suicide attacks during the month that left scores dead. Many of those killed were locals supporting efforts against the militants. The situation in Guinea improved as former Prime Minister Cellou Diallo conceded defeat in the November presidential runoff and Alpha Condé was sworn in as the country’s first democratically elected president. Following a tense election period and concerted international efforts to avert renewed conflict, world leaders commended Guinea for a “historic achievement”.
Iraq ’s parliament unanimously approved a new 42-member government under incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on 21 December. The move ends nine months of political deadlock and protracted negotiations over government formation following parliamentary elections in March.
CrisisWatch also notes a marked deterioration in Mexico’s drug-related violence over the course of the past year, despite the killing of several high-profile cartel leaders
Abstract: Nine actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in November 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.
Tensions surged on the Korean peninsula as two South Korean civilians and two marines were killed when North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at Yeonpyeong Island, where South Korea was conducting military drills. Haiti ’s late month presidential elections ended in confusion, as several opposition candidates called for the vote to be annulled amid reports of fraud, and thousands of people took to the streets in protest. International observers from the OAS called the vote valid despite “serious irregularities”, but tensions remain high. Ivory Coast saw deadly pre-election clashes on the streets of the capital Abidjan between rival supporters of the two presidential candidates, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. The tightly contested 28 November run-off and delays in announcing the preliminary results has led to heightened tensions between the two camps and fears of further violence.
In Guinea, preliminary results declaring opposition leader Alpha Condé winner of the 7 November second round presidential election sparked three days of violence resulting in at least four deaths and dozens injured. CrisisWatch also noted deteriorated situations in Burundi, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Egypt and Western Sahara.
In Niger, the situation improved as results from the 31 October referendum showed 90 per cent of voters in favour of the new constitution, paving the way for January 2011 elections and a return to civilian rule.
Once again this month CrisisWatch describes violence against civilians in North and South Kivu provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Abstract: The present report, covering the period 1 August 2009 to 31 July 2010, is the
sixth annual report of the International Criminal Court submitted to the United
Nations. It covers the main developments in the activities of the Court and other
developments of relevance to the relationship between the Court and the United
Nations. The Court is seized of five situations. The situations in Uganda, the Democratic
Republic of the Congo and the Central African Republic were each previously
referred to the Court by those States, themselves Parties to the Rome Statute. The
situation in Darfur, the Sudan was referred by the United Nations Security Council.
In each case, the Prosecutor decided that there was a reasonable basis to open
investigations. During the reporting period, Pre-Trial Chamber II authorized the
Prosecutor to initiate an investigation into the situation in Kenya in relation to crimes
against humanity committed between 1 June 2005 and 26 November 2009. Further,
the Office of the Prosecutor is conducting preliminary examinations in various
situations, including in Afghanistan, Colombia, Côte d’Ivoire, Georgia, Guinea and
Abstract: Three actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in October 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.
Twin bomb blasts struck the Nigerian capital Abuja at the beginning of the month, killing at least a dozen people during celebrations of the country’s 50th anniversary of independence. A statement by the Niger Delta militant group MEND claiming responsibility for the blasts was later denied by former MEND leaders, although the group subsequently released a statement threatening a repeat of the attack. Meanwhile, tensions increased in Borno state as hundreds of troops were deployed in the state capital in response to a series of deadly attacks blamed on Islamic sect Boko Haram. Zimbabwe’s inclusive government looked increasingly unstable , threatening to fracture over differences on implementation of the 2008 Global Political Agreement and elections. The situation again deteriorated in Guinea, where CrisisWatch also identifies a conflict risk alert for November. October saw further political violence surrounding the second round of the presidential election between leading candidate Cellou Diallo and his rival Alpha Conde. Persistent tensions between the two camps following the controversial first round in June have been exacerbated by further delays to the run-off.
The announcement on 22 October that the polls would be postponed for a third time sparked more clashes along ethnic lines between rival supporters.
Abstract: This paper aims to appraise and map the security challenges that have faced West African countries since independence with a special focus on the period after 1990. It also assesses the efforts made by various national, regional, continental and extra-African actors and makes suggestions on how the shortcomings in these efforts could be improved. An effort is made to show the evolution of at least some of the challenges over the years, in the hope that this could contribute to a better formulation of policy responses.
The study is based on extensive review of existing literature, complemented by field research in the region undertaken in July and August 2010, in addition to general familiarity with the region from many previous research visits on related subjects.
Without neglecting other issues that could be considered as security threats, and without attempting any hierarchical ordering of these threats, the paper focuses on the following six major issues: i) armed conflict, ii) military coups and unconstitutional changes of government; iii) mismanagement of electoral processes; iv) transnational criminality, particularly drug trafficking, terrorism and maritime piracy in the Gulf of Guinea; v) poverty and illiteracy; vi) climate change and environmental degradation.
Abstract: Over the last decade, the international community
has been working toward a new and broader concept
of security, drawing input from a number of
governments, non-governmental organizations and
civil society groups as well as scholars and other
prominent individuals. This new concept—known
as human security—calls on states to ensure the
survival, livelihood and dignity of their inhabitants.
At the same time, it encourages e≠orts to equip
people to act more e≠ectively on their own behalf. Following the report by the Commission on Human Security, Human Security Now, this booklet seeks to show practical applications of human security and give the concept a human face. Between March-June 2006, in preparation for this publication, the Human Security Unit, a freelance journalist and a team of photographers visited dozens of project sites, conducting hundreds of interviews with local staff and beneficiaries. From these many compelling initiatives, nine stories were selected that reflect the range of issues, regions and institutions involved in human security work around the globe. Human security represents a fundamentally new
way of thinking about a range of contemporary
challenges—from hunger, poverty and failing
schools to armed conflict, forced migration and
human tra≤cking. Because these issues are closely
intertwined, human security emphasizes the need
for multi-sectoral responses and collaboration
among all stakeholders. Moreover, it aims to bridge
the gaps between security, humanitarian assistance,
human rights and development aid.
Abstract: Seven actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and none improved in September 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch.Guinea saw increased political and ethnic divisions, exacerbated by controversies related to the presidential elections. Two days of violent clashes in the capital between rival supporters of the two presidential candidates, Alpha Conde and Cellou Diallo, left one person dead and dozens injured. Continued delays in the timing of the run-off and Diallo’s rejection of the appointment of the election commission’s new head led to further tensions between the two camps.
In Sri Lanka moves by President Rajapaksa to consolidate his power through a de facto constitutional coup transformed the political terrain. On 8 September the parliament passed the 18th Amendment to the Constitution, which gives the President nearly unbridled power by scrapping term limits on the presidency, abolishing the Constitutional Council and allowing the President to appoint directly officials to the judiciary, police and electoral bodies.
More protesters were killed by police in Kashmir as anti-India demonstrations continued and spread to new areas, bringing the death toll from the demonstrations since June to over 100. The Indian government on 25 September announced an eight-point plan aimed at calming the situation. Separatist leaders rejected the initiative and said that protests will continue.
The situation in Burundi deteriorated as violent clashes between security forces and armed groups increased, alongside kidnappings and fatal attacks on civilians. There are increasingly credible indications that elements disgruntled with elections held earlier this year have re-established bases and taken up arms in the Rukoko and Kibira areas. However, local authorities deny that former rebels are regrouping and insist that bandits are behind the recent attacks.
The month saw a new upsurge of violence in Russia’s restive North Caucasus region, demonstrating the growing ability of guerrillas to carry out major operations. In the deadliest terrorist strike anywhere in Russia since the March subway bombings in Moscow, a suicide attack killed at least 17 at a market in the capital of North Ossetia. A spate of bold guerrilla attacks also struck security personnel and infrastructure in Dagestan. The situation in Ecuador took a dramatic turn at the end of the month when disaffected members of the police and armed forces staged a protest against proposed austerity measures, taking control of the National Assembly building and airport and laying siege to a hospital where President Correa had sought refuge. President Correa later said the revolt amounted to an attempted coup. Meanwhile, in Mozambique 13 people were killed and over 170 injured in three days of riots that took place early in the month over food and energy price increases.
Abstract: After decades of bad governance and misuse, the armed
forces are a potential source of instability which could
still throw Guinea and the region into chaos. At the very
least, if not reformed thoroughly, they will continue to
pose a threat to democratic civilian rule. The recent establishment
of a transitional government and the ongoing,
although fragile, electoral process are a significant opportunity.
Getting army reform wrong could have disastrous
consequences for the country’s political future. Getting it
right entails numerous technical challenges, redefining
the relationship of the armed forces with civilian power
and addressing the critical issue of military financing, in
order to create disciplined, effective and affordable armed
forces. The suspension of the second round of the presidential
elections, originally scheduled for 19 September,
has heightened tension. Though the army has remained
neutral, fears remain that if the election is not completed
successfully and without excessive delay, it may seize the
opportunity to intervene again. This would be a major
setback to any prospect of medium-term reform, which
requires respect for civilian rule and oversight.
Abstract: The Towards Enhancing the Capacity of the African Union in Mediation report is based on a seminar organised by the African Union Commission on 15 and 16 October 2009. Armed conflict is one of the greatest threats to Africa’s development. Today, many African countries are in the throes of civil conflict, several more face a heightened risk of experiencing armed violence, while others are recently emerging from protracted wars. The challenges ahead are sobering. The African Union (AU) organised a seminar entitled ‘Towards Enhancing the Capacity of the African Union in Mediation’, which was held at the Commission of the African Union, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 15 and 16 October 2009. The seminar was the culmination of a series of consultations launched in late 2008, in collaboration with the United Nations (UN) and other stakeholders, to reflect on lessons learned from mediation experiences in Africa. The Addis Ababa seminar brought together policymakers, mediation experts and civil society actors to develop a more strategic approach in enhancing the AU’s mediation capacity. In so doing the participants addressed the following themes: improving the AU’s performance in mediation, consolidating and integrating the approaches of the AU and the RECs in mediation, and discussing collaboration with partners including the UN. This report provides a succinct contextual framework to capture the essence of the discussions and subsequent recommendations presented at the seminar.
Abstract: A “government of national unity” was formed in Guinea on January 15, 2010, a year after a
military junta, the National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD), took power in a
coup d’état. While the CNDD has not been dissolved, it has agreed to share power with civilian
opposition groups in the lead-up to presidential elections, scheduled for June 27, 2010. Defense
Minister Sekouba Konate has assumed executive power as interim president, while opposition
spokesman Jean-Marie Dore was named prime minister. The formation of a unity government followed six weeks of political uncertainty after CNDD
President Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara was shot in December 2009 by a member of his personal
guard and evacuated for medical treatment. The appointment of the unity government has
temporarily stemmed international concerns over political instability in Guinea and its potential
spillover into fragile neighboring countries, such as Liberia and Côte d’Ivoire. However, concerns
remain over the political will to hold elections, impunity and disorder among the security forces,
and the potential for “spoilers” to disrupt Guinea’s long-awaited transition to civilian rule. The United States, which had been highly critical of Dadis Camara’s erratic leadership, has
expressed support for Guinea’s transitional government. At the same time, certain restrictions on
U.S. bilateral assistance and targeted travel restrictions against CNDD members and others
remain in place. As electoral preparations advance, a number of issues will confront U.S. policy.
These include U.S. relations with the Guinean government; the status of U.S. assistance and
travel restrictions on CNDD members; the monitoring of progress toward elections; U.S. policy
toward a potential International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation of alleged CNDD human
rights abuses; and potential U.S. support for security sector reform in Guinea.
Abstract: The International Criminal Court (ICC), established in 2002, has to-date initiated investigations
exclusively in Sub-Saharan Africa. The ICC Prosecutor has opened cases against 16 individuals
for alleged crimes in northern Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Central African
Republic, and the Darfur region of Sudan. In addition, the Prosecutor is investigating postelection
violence in Kenya and analyzing situations—a preliminary step toward initiating a full
investigation—in Guinea and several other African countries, as well as several countries outside
of Africa. Congressional interest in the work of the ICC in Africa has arisen from concern over
gross human rights violations on the African continent and beyond. On March 4, 2009, ICC judges issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-
Bashir for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The case against Bashir represents the first
attempt by the ICC to pursue a sitting head of state. The prosecution has drawn praise from
human rights advocates as a step toward ending impunity for serious human rights abuses in
Africa. However, it has also raised concerns that ICC actions could endanger peace processes in
Darfur and southern Sudan. Additional fears that the ICC could imperil international
humanitarian operations were heightened when the Sudanese government responded to the
warrant by expelling international relief agencies. This report provides background on ICC investigations in Africa and gives an overview of cases
currently before the Court. The report also examines issues raised in Africa by the ICC’s actions,
including the ICC’s possible role in deterring future abuses, and the potential impact of
international prosecutions on African peace processes.
Abstract: On Monday 28 September 2009, Guinean security forces inflicted acts of excessive force
and unlawful violence, including sexual violence, and other gross violations of human rights
against a group of unarmed civil society organisations and political parties peacefully
protesting at the Conakry Stadium. In the space of a few hours, more than 150 people were
killed by live ammunition or bladed weapons; over 40 women were raped in public or for
some of them in private houses after being drugged; more than 1500 people were wounded;
and many others went missing. Demonstrators were arrested and tortured while in detention
before being released on payment of a ransom, and the military surrounded hospitals and
mortuaries to prevent families from recovering the bodies of relatives.
Abstract: The Humanitarian Action Report is UNICEF's only publication dealing specifically with the needs of children and women in emergencies. It spotlights crises that require exceptional support, and additional funding, to save lives and protect children from harm in an increasingly challenging humanitarian environment.
This year's report – subtitled 'Partnering for children in emergencies' – says the world is seeing crises exacerbated by larger trends, such as climate change and the international financial downturn, that are beyond the capacity of any one agency to address.
The report appeals for nearly $1.2 billion in international donor funding for emergency-response efforts in 28 countries covering six regions – from Eastern Europe to Africa to Asia to Latin America. The funding will be used to support a greater emphasis on emergency preparedness, early warning, disaster risk reduction and rapid recovery.
Abstract: The September 28, 2009 massacres of
over 150 Guineans and maiming of others;
the brutal raping of women and reported
hiding of corpses of the victims, have
dashed all hopes of Guineans and pundits
who still afforded to give the military junta
a chance. Captain Dadis Camara has just
plummeted from a 'hero to a villain.' The
'wait and see' period that followed the
bloodless coup d'état after the death of
President Lansana Conté and the seizure
of power by Captain Dadis Camara has
flickered out. Our conclusion is that Guinea is at the
crossroads and what is needed now is to
prioritize the priorities in addressing the
present quagmire. A wrong approach, a
deviation from the main focus may hijack
the process and we may soon start
counting loses and missed opportunities.
Abstract: The Commission is in a position to confirm the identity of 156 persons who
were killed or who disappeared: 67 persons killed whose bodies were returned to
their families, 40 persons who were seen dead in the stadium or in morgues but
whose bodies have disappeared, and 49 persons who were seen in the stadium but
whose fate is unknown. It confirms that at least 109 women were subjected to rape
and other sexual violence, including sexual mutilation and sexual slavery. Several
women died of their wounds following particularly cruel sexual attacks. The
Commission also confirms hundreds of other cases of torture or of cruel, inhuman or
degrading treatment. Dozens of persons were arrested and arbitrarily detained in the
military camps of Alpha Yaya Diallo and Kundara and in the barracks of the riot
police (CMIS), where they were tortured. The security forces also systematically
stole demonstrators’ property and engaged in looting.
Abstract: At around 11:30 a.m. on the morning of September 28, 2009, several hundred members of
Guinea’s security forces burst into the September 28 Stadium in Guinea’s capital, Conakry,
and opened fire on tens of thousands of opposition supporters peacefully gathered there. By
late afternoon, at least 150 Guineans lay dead or dying in and around the stadium complex. In the hours and days following the violence, as desperate mothers, fathers, and other
family members attempted to find their loved ones, the security forces engaged in an
organized cover-up to hide the number of dead. After sealing off the stadium and morgues,
security forces removed scores of bodies from those places and buried them in mass graves.
For several days, additional abuses—including murder, rape, and pillage—were committed
by members of the security forces who had deployed throughout the neighborhoods from
where the majority of opposition supporters hailed. Scores of other opposition supporters
were arbitrarily detained in army and police camps where many were subjected to serious
abuses, including torture. To date, the Guinean government has failed to investigate, much
less hold accountable, any member of the Guinean security forces for their role in the killings,
rapes, and other abuses. In the course of an in-depth, on-the-ground investigation into the events of September 28
and their aftermath, Human Rights Watch interviewed some 240 individuals, including
victims wounded during the attack, witnesses present in the stadium, relatives of missing
people, soldiers who participated in the violent crackdown and the government cover-up,
medical staff, humanitarian officials, diplomats, journalists, and opposition leaders. The
investigation found that the majority of killings, sexual assaults, and other abuses described
in this report were committed by members of the elite Presidential Guard, in particular the
unit at the time directly responsible for the personal security of CNDD President Moussa Dadis Camara. Others who committed serious abuses included gendarmes, police, and men
in civilian clothes armed with machetes and knives.
The serious abuses carried out by the security forces on September 28 were not the actions
of a group of rogue, undisciplined soldiers, as has been argued by the Guinean government.