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Conflict Risk Alert: Guinea
International Crisis Group
18 November 2010

 
Guinea’s political and military leaders and the international community must take urgent measures to halt widespread attacks against defenceless civilians and to prevent political tensions from degenerating into large-scale ethnic violence and regional instability.
 
Following the announcement of presidential election results on 15 November, handing Alpha Condé victory over his rival, Cellou Dalein Diallo, the country has descended into violence, with two days of clashes in the streets of the capital, Conakry, and elsewhere (…)
 
(…) The election campaign had witnessed sporadic violence, but the situation has now deteriorated further. The active participation of the military -- beating, molesting and shooting defenceless civilians and destroying their property -- has changed the dynamics of the violence (…)
 
(…) If Guinea’s security and defence forces do not enforce greater discipline in their ranks, the country could quickly descend into further chaos. The possibility that the violence could feed into broader ethnic tensions within the army cannot be ruled out (…)
 
(…) The following steps are needed urgently:
 
The Interim President and the Prime Minister should ensure discipline among the armed forces. General Konaté should immediately order them to stop attacking civilians; military commanders should be held accountable if they fail to restrain their troops.
 
The United Nations Security Council should send a clear message that the current military leadership will be investigated for any crimes committed against civilians while executing orders.
 
The International Criminal Court should issue a statement reminding Guinean authorities of their obligations to protect civilians and avoid gross human rights abuses in the country.
 
The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in Conakry should support the establishment of monitoring mechanisms on the ground to assess the level of violence and human rights abuses.
 
Both Alpha Condé and Cellou Dalein Diallo should continue to work towards diffusing tensions and address the ethnic polarisation seen during the second round of polls.
 
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