- A United Nations-backed group has voiced support for the efforts shown by all sides in Guinea to reach a compromise to the political crisis that has engulfed the West African nation since government forces opened fire on unarmed protesters at a rally last year and killed at least 150 people.
A high-level delegation from the International Contact Group on Guinea met over the weekend in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso, with a mediator and senior Guinean figures to discuss the recently signed Joint Declaration aimed at resolving the crisis, according to the UN spokesperson’s office.
The Declaration, signed on Friday, calls for the establishment of a transitional commission and the holding of fresh presidential elections within the next six months.
Guinea has been gripped by unrest since the armed forces shot and killed or raped and attacked hundreds of civilian demonstrators attending a rally in the capital, Conakry, on 29 September.
The deadly crackdown sparked international outrage and prompted Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to set up the International Commission of Inquiry to investigate the events of the day. Mr. Ban has since handed the report of the three-member panel and their recommendations to the Security Council, the Guinean Government, the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
Captain Dadis Camara – who seized power in a coup in 2008 following the death of long-time president Lansana Conté – has also survived an assassination attempt in the interim and is currently in exile.
Today the UN spokesperson’s office said that the delegation from the contact group, which includes Said Djinnit, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, met over the weekend with Capt. Camara and with General Sekouba Konaté, the President and Vice-President of the National Council for Democracy and Development (known as the CNDD).
The delegation, which includes representatives from the AU and ECOWAS, also held discussions with Blaise Compaoré, the President of Burkina Faso and the mediator of talks to end the political crisis in Guinea.
“The delegation commended the efforts of the mediator and expressed satisfaction with the spirit of compromise and sacrifice exhibited by all parties and their willingness to place the interest of the nation above all other considerations and urged them to continue along that path,” the UN spokesperson’s office noted.
“The delegation encouraged the interim head of State, Gen Sekouba Konaté and the Prime Minister to be appointed to ensure full implementation of the accord in line with the expectations of the people of Guinea.”
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