Tuesday, April 03, 2007

[Guinean news] 60 dead after boat capsizes; 'Blood aluminium'

-Many news organizations reported on the boat capsizement off the coast of Guinea that caused at least 60 deaths. The accident happened off the coast of Conakry with a vessel that had left the western city of Forécariah. The tragedy happened days after a bridge collapse near Guéckédou cost 65 lives.

-A press freedom watchdog organization complained of the brutal assault of a Guinean private journalist by security forces. Abdallah Baldé, a reporter with the private Conakry newspaper "Guinée-News" (apparently not to be confused with the website Guineenews.org), was apparently taking photographs of the first couple when he was attacked and beaten by Gen. Lansana Conté's private presidential guard and the head of state's supporters. Baldé said when it was clear that [he] was from the private press, the presidential guard attacked him and seized the camera.

-Allafrica.com ran a piece authored by the vice-president of the International Crisis Group. The piece, entitled Blood Aluminum, explores revenues from Guinea's exportation of bauxite (used to make aluminum) is used by the regime to buy loyalty from its security forces in repressing its population. Disappointingly, the part on bauxite exports only constitutes one paragraph of an article whose primary content is background information on the situation in Guinea. But it's still worth a read.

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