Tuesday, March 16, 2010

[Guinean news] Junta hires ex-war crimes prosecutor for PR campaign

Africa Confidential is a subscription-only news service but a free preview to a recent article began:

Blamed for the massacre of over 100 civilians last September, the junta in Conakry is trying to improve its image via a United States-based public relations company run by two former Department of Defense (DOD) officials. David Crane, who was the first Chief Prosecutor at the Special Court for Sierra Leone before his departure in 2005, has made a surprise return to West Africa as a consultant to Guinea’s embattled military junta, the Conseil National pour la Démocratie et le Développement (CNDD).

Foreign Policy also has a piece (the full of which is available for free) on the controversial work of the CW Group, which includes former Sierra Leone war crimes tribunal prosecutor David Crane.

Monday, March 08, 2010

[Guinean news] Presidential election set for June 27

Yesterday, acting head of state Gen. Sékouba Konaté signed a decree setting June 27 as the date for the first round of the presidential election. The decree fixed July 18 as the run off date, if no candidate gets a majority of the vote in the first round. It is not clear when legislative elections will be held.

[Guinea news] US State Dept. statement

The US State Department issued the following the statement regarding the transitional government in Guinea:

The United States welcomes Prime Minister Jean-Marie Dore’s appointment of a transition government in Guinea. The 34-member cabinet includes 24 civilians, and represents an important step towards restoring civilian control of the Guinean Government and the country’s transition process. With the January 15 signing of the Ouagadougou Accords, the subsequent appointment of a civilian prime minister, and now a civilian transition government, interim President General Sekouba Konate and the Guinean Government continue to demonstrate their commitment to a peaceful transition to a democratically elected civilian government. Under the Accords, the government is slated to hold elections within six months.
With the transition government in place, the United States looks forward to working with Guinea -- in collaboration with our international partners -- to help facilitate the establishment of a democratically-elected government, restore economic and political development programs and assist the Guinean Armed Forces in their goal of security sector reform.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

[Advocacy news] Alliance Guinea to meet with State Dept. officials

I received the following message from our colleagues at the advocacy group Alliance Guinea:

We have been invited by the State Department, to a special briefing for representatives of Nongovernmental Organizations, on the Current Situation in Guinea. The Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of African Affairs, William Fitzgerald, will discuss ways that the United States can help facilitate the establishment of a democratically-elected government, restore economic and political development programs in Guinea this Friday, March 5, 2010 2:00 – 3:00 p.m.at the State Department.

Alliance Guinea will be represented and we would like to make sure that we are representing your voices, so we are reaching out to all Alliance Guinea members to gather your message for the State Department.

What would you like to see the State Department doing to support the transition to democracy, and help bring justice for the victims of crimes against humanity committed during last year dreadful events, in Guinea? Any questions or concerns that you would like the State Department to address?

Please take a moment to write few lines addressing the questions above and send us your reply no later than Thursday March, 4th.

We look forward to hearing from you,
Thank you,
Alliance Guinea