Guinea: A chronology of recent events

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Guinea’s military leader, Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara has been banned from traveling outside Guinea, his personal accounts have been frozen, and military supplies to the Guinean military have been suspended. The sanctions are the latest punitive measures taken against the junta by the United States, the European Union, the African Union and West African alliance Ecowas.

The EU has called for Capt. Camara to be tried for crimes against humanity, while the African Union is insisting that he stands down. The erratic Capt. Camara has however described himself as a hostage – both to the Guinean people and to his unstructured army.

Capt. Camara, who took power in December 2008 following the death of long-time leader Lansana Conte, pledged not to contest in the national elections planned for January 2020, and was initially tolerated by the African Union and the international community.

The junta has since made a series of contradictory statements about their intentions. In September, a protest was initiated by Guineans over reports that Capt. Camara was planning to contest in the presidential elections next year.

The junta allegedly ordered a deadly crackdown, premeditated and pre-planned at the highest level, on the protesters, reported Human Rights Watch. Soldiers deployed at the sports stadium where protesters had gathered blocked the exits before systematically killing and raping protesters, the group revealed.

The Human rights groups say soldiers raped and sexually abused women during the crackdown in the capital, Conakry, and about 157 people were killed. On Wednesday, the UN created a tribunal to probe the killing.

On October 12, Ecowas spokesperson, Mohamed Ibn Chambas said the junta was repressing the people with arbitrary and irresponsible use of state power. “The signs are there now that if the military junta has its way it will impose yet another dictatorship on them,” Mr. Chambas was quoted as saying.

On October 16, France urged it’s over 2,000 nationals to leave the mineral-rich country. The French foreign ministry said the security situation in Guinea had worsened since the 28 September protests. “Banditry, in particular armed robberies have increased and there is no short-term prospect that the situation will improve,” a statement on the ministry’s website read.

On October 18, the junta defied an African Union request to declare that he would not run for president in the forthcoming January 2010 national elections. Capt. Camara is yet to declare his withdrawal from the polls and has called on the president of Burkina Faso, to decide what is best for Guinea.

The punitive measures taken against Capt. Camara also includes 41 members of his junta.

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