Guinea: Ban calls on authorities to avoid excessive force after deadly protests

29 September 2011

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called on authorities in Guinea to ensure that security forces avoid an excessive use of force and stressed the importance of allowing peaceful protests after demonstrations this week in Conakry, the capital, resulted in loss of life.

In a statement issued by his spokesperson, he urged all Guinean stakeholders to refrain from using violence and to engage in dialogue with a view to holding credible, transparent and peaceful legislative elections.

“The Secretary-General underlines the urgent need for Guinea to put the process of genuine national reconciliation back on track in order to strengthen opportunities for sustainable peacebuilding and economic revitalization,” the statement added.

In a meeting last week with Guinean President Alpha Condé on the margins of the General Assembly’s annual General Debate, Mr. Ban called for the peaceful resolution of all major political disputes to ensure that the elections scheduled for later this year are free and fair.

Last December Mr. Ban’s Special Representative for West Africa Said Djinnit cited the elections that put the West African country on the path to democracy as an example that other regional States facing political instability could emulate.

That poll was the final step under an initiative from the interim Government to restore democracy after Captain Moussa Dadis Camara seized power in a coup in 2008 following the death of long-time president Lansana Conté.

Two years ago, at least 150 people were killed and many others raped after armed forces opened fire on unarmed demonstrators at an opposition rally in Conakry.

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Guinea: Ban presses for reconciliation and dialogue ahead of legislative polls

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has urged Guinea to peacefully resolve all major political disputes to ensure that parliamentary elections scheduled for later this year in the West African country are free and fair.