Monday, February 19, 2007

[Guinean news] Curfew eased; hundreds of opposition members arrested

The BBC is one of several news outlets to report that the curfew in Guinea has been eased. People will be banned from the streets from 6:00 PM until 6:00 AM, which is quite a bit shorter than when it was first ordered. However under martial law, public gatherings are still illegal and the army has unrestricted power to search people's homes.

On Saturday, union leaders declared they would not negotiate until the draconian martial law was lifted. A high-ranking official in the CNTG union told Guinéenews that there was nothing to negotiate except how the government would apply the accord agreed upon on January 27.

Over the weekend, some 300 opposition members were reportedly arrested throughout the country and thrown into military detention centers.

Even Pope Benedict XVI has weighed in to the Guinea crisis calling on the regime to "respect of human and civil rights."

ECOWAS, the West African economic community, has dispatched high-ranking mission to Guinea. The mission included ECOWAS chairman Dr. Mohammed ibn-Chambas and Gen. Ibrahim Babangida, who spent eight years as Nigeria's military dictator and was a close ally of Lansana Conté.

The United Nations recently authorized another nearly $2.5 million to be spent on humanitarian operations particularly in more remote parts of Guinea.

The Daily Mail and Guardian of South Africa has a good summary of the crisis in Guinea and its origins.

No comments: