Wednesday, January 24, 2007

[PC Guinea news] Peace Corps headquarters' statement on the safety of Guinea volunteers

Rumors have circulated in the last day or so which I will not repeat, as I am unable to confirm them. But on behalf of those who inquired, I pursued the matter with the Peace Corps. I received the following response today from Amanda Host, the Peace Corps (DC) press director:

As you are aware, due to the General Strike in Guinea that began on January 10th, all Peace Corps Volunteers in Guinea are currently on standfast. Under a standfast order Volunteers are to remain at their sites and maintain frequent communication with the Peace Corps office. No Americans have been targeted during the strike. In Guinea’s active history of labor strikes, there has not been an incident involving harm to a Volunteer nor have Americans been targeted.

Peace Corps Guinea is in regular contact with the 105 Volunteers, and all Volunteers are safe and accounted for. The Peace Corps office in Conakry remains open, as does the U.S. Embassy and the situation is being monitored carefully. Peace Corps Guinea has an Emergency Action Plan designed for situations such as this strike, and all Volunteers have been trained on what to do during these events. Peace Corps staff in Washington, D.C., is in constant communication with the staff in Guinea.

Please ask the families to contact the Peace Corps’ office of special services with any questions or concerns they may have. Special Services maintains a 24-hour a day, 7 days a week duty system. The telephone number during standard office hours is 1-800-424-8580, Extension 1470; the after hours number is 202-638-2574. The Office of Special Services can also be contacted via e-mail at

I realize this is not the specifics that many of you would have liked but I suspect there are privacy and safety issues that prevent them from releasing more details to me. Feel free to contact the OSS (see above) if you want more information.

-Brian Farenell, FOG Communications Director

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