News

International Mediators Fear Guinea Could Destabilize Region

Economic Community of West African States Secretary General says Guinea is a potentially 'explosive' situation that could undermine regional efforts to consolidate peace in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, and Ivory Coast

Guinea's military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara (Oct 2009 file photo)
Guinea's military ruler Captain Moussa Dadis Camara (Oct 2009 file photo)

International mediators say insecurity in Guinea could destabilize still unsteady neighbors, including Liberia and Sierra Leone.  That is one the reasons they want an outside security force for Guinea. 
 
Diplomats in the International Contact Group on Guinea are pushing for an "order and security" force to contain the political crisis before it spills outside Guinea's borders.

Economic Community of West African States Secretary-General Mohamed Ibn Chambas says Guinea is a potentially "explosive" situation that could undermine regional efforts to consolidate peace in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea-Bissau, and Ivory Coast.

Liberia and Sierra Leone are still recovering from long civil wars.  Guinea-Bissau this year elected a new leader to replace a president who was killed by mutinous troops hours after his chief political rival died in a bomb blast.  Ivory Coast is still divided by its brief civil war and new elections there have been postponed for years.  

Facing the prospect of spreading violence, regional humanitarian officials are preparing a contingency plan to feed as many as 500,000 civilians in Guinea and six of its neighbors if the political crisis deteriorates.

Thomas Yanga directs World Food Program operations in West Africa.

"The security situation remains very unstable.  A deterioration of the situation leading to population displacement could potentially affect the sub-region," Yanga said.

During their wars, various Sierra Leonean and Liberian rebels were based in Guinea.  The head of Guinea's national observer mission for human rights, Aliou Barry, says the free flow of arms in the region means instability spreads faster.

Barry says Guinea has all of the ingredients to deteriorate into a Somali-like situation of total insecurity.  As the president of Sierra Leone has said, if Guinea is unstable, Sierra Leone will be drawn into the conflict.  If nothing is done in Guinea, Barry says, the country will fall down and take the region with it.

That is one of the reasons why the International Contact Group is calling for outside intervention in Guinea.  There is recent precedent in Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Ivory Coast.  But in all those cases, there were rival military factions to separate.

Guinea's instability exists within its armed forces and in how those forces respond to political protest. 

Local human-rights groups say security forces killed at least 157 protesters and raped dozens of women in breaking up an opposition demonstration September 28.  Military leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara was shot by members of the presidential guard 12 days ago.

Acting-leader Defense Minister Sekouba Konate has moved quickly to improve military discipline and respect for civilians.

But the military government says its rejection of an outside intervention force is non-negotiable.  Ruling council spokesman Colonel Moussa Keita says dispatching any foreign force to Guinea would be considered an attack on state authority and the nation's territorial integrity.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs