Update Report

Posted 17 November 2010
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Update Report No. 2: Guinea

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Expected Council Action
In the coming days, possibly on 18 November, the Council is expected to be briefed during informal consultations by the Department of Political Affairs on the situation in Guinea. The briefing comes in the wake of the 15 November announcement of the provisional results of the second round of presidential elections held in the country on 7 November and the 17 November declaration of a state of emergency by the government. A statement following the consultations is likely.

Key Recent Developments
On 27 June thefirst round of presidential elections was held in Guinea. It produced no outright winner. Former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, candidate of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea, led the first round with 43.69 percent, and veteran opposition figure Alpha Conde, candidate of the Rally of the Guinean People, came second with 18.25 percent of the votes. Conde later complained of election fraud.

Run-off elections between Diallo and Condewere originally expected to be held two weeks after the first round. However,the second round of the presidential elections was postponed four times due to organisational challenges confronting the electoral commission, the differences between the two presidential candidates and violent clashes between supporters of the key political opponents.

On 17 SeptemberCouncil members were briefed on the situation in Guinea by Tayé-Brook Zerihoun, the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs. The Council subsequently issued a press statement expressing concern about the violent political clashes that occurred in early September and regret about the postponement of the second round of presidential elections. It urged the Guinean government to ensure a calm and peaceful electoral environment.

On 7 November the second round of presidential elections was held amid strong political tension. On 15 November the electoral commission announced that its provisional results indicated that Conde won the run-off with 52.5 percent of the votes. Despite a ban on political demonstrations, ethnically charged protests and riots by supporters of the candidates were reported in the country in the lead up to and after the announcement of the results of the polls.

Diallo denounced the outcome of the elections, alleging fraud and launched a legal appeal. On 17 November the Guinean authorities declared a state of emergency in the light of continued violence following the disputed presidential elections. (Reports indicated that at least seven people were killed in the capital Conakry after the clashes between security forces and opposition supporters). A government spokesperson indicated that the emergency would remain in force until the election results were confirmed by the Supreme Court. The court has eight days to confirm the results from when they were announced on 15 November.

Key Issues
The key issue for the Council is how best it can help ensure that the security situation does not deteriorate in the country, in light of its latent explosive. propensity (The ethnic dimension of the tensions between supporters of Diallo and Conde predominantly drawn from the two most populous ethnic groups, the Peul and Malinke, respectively, has been particularly troubling.)

A related issue is the need to sustain international pressure to prevent a repeat of the mass atrocities committed in September 2009 against pro-democracy protesters by the military.

Another key issue for the Council is the potential regional destabilising effect that the fragile security situation in Guinea could have on peace and security in the Mano River region.

Council Dynamics
Council members seemed agreed on the need for vigilance to ensure sustainable closure to the current political and security tensions in the country. At press time Council members appeared amenable to the idea of issuing a press statement after the meeting, highlighting any pertinent issue raised by the Secretariat or emanating on the ground, as well as reiterating the need for the key political actors and the military to ensure that the electoral process runs its course in a free and fair environment and that any related differences should be resolved through legal means.

France is the lead country on this issue in the Council.

UN Documents

Selected Presidential Statements

  • S/PRST/2010/3 (16 February 2009) was on the situation in Guinea.
  • S/PRST/2009/27 (28 October 2009) was on the situation in Guinea.
  • S/PRST/2009/11 (5 May 2009) was on the resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government in some African countries.
  • S/PRST/2009/2 (3 March 2009) condemned the assassinations of Guinea-Bissau’s former President João Bernardo Vieira and Army Chief Tagme Na Waie.
  • S/PRST/2008/30 (19 August 2008) condemned the coup in Mauritania.
  • S/PRST/2007/42 (6 November 2007) was on the role of regional and subregional organisations in the maintenance of international peace and security (stressing, among other things, “the need to develop effective partnership between the Council and regional and subregional organisations in order to enable early response to disputes and emerging crises”).

Selected Letters

  • S/2009/693 (18 December 2009) was from the Secretary-General to the president of the Council conveying the report of the COI on Guinea.
  • S/2009/556 (28 October 2009) was from the Secretary-General informing the Council about his decision to create the COI on Guinea.
  • S/2009/541 (19 October 2009) was from the Secretariat transmitting a press statement issued on 15 October by the AU PSC on the situation in Guinea.

Other

  • SC/10035 (17 September 2010) was a Council press statement expressing concern about the postponement of the second round of presidential elections and urging the Guinean government to ensure a calm and peaceful electoral environment.