Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guinea, a country next door to Liberia declares state of emergency after post-poll riots

Source: Associated Press

CONAKRY, Guinea
CONAKRY, Guinea – Guinea's military on Wednesday declared a state of emergency following violence after a tense presidential election.


Armed forces chief Nouhou Thiam read the decree Wednesday on state television. The decree prohibits civilians from circulating on the streets, he said, but did not give further details. Only military and security forces will have unrestricted movement, he said.


Mohamed Kaffe, spokesman for Gen. Sekouba Konate who has served as Guinea's interim president, said a state of emergency prohibits any gatherings of people, such as rallies. He said Guineans are allowed to go to work and to the market, but must travel alone and not move in groups.

Kaffe said under the state of emergency, the army is deployed across the country to enforce the decree.

The decree will hold until the Supreme Court declares final results from the Nov. 7 poll. They have eight days to do so after results were announced late Monday, allowing a decision by next week.

Presidential candidate Alpha Conde, a Malinke, was declared winner in the runoff, prompting Peul supporters of his opponent Cellou Dalein Diallo to riot. They burned tires, barricaded roads and destroyed the homes and businesses of Malinke neighbors.

On Wednesday, some members of Guinea's Malinke ethnic group said they armed themselves for possible clashes with their Peul neighbors. Groups of men lining the road from the capital Conakry to the downtrodden suburbs shouted to cars passing by, shaking sticks, guns and machetes.

"We are here to protect ourselves. We have knives ... and sticks," said Mohamed Camara, who is Malinke.

The mostly Malinke security force in Guinea has taken over troubled neighborhoods which now look like ghost towns. Bullet casings and the smoldering, burned tires litter the road. Few residents venture outside. Reports of police brutality against Peul citizens are multiplying and at least four people have been killed and 62 injured since results were announced Monday night.

Gunshots continued Wednesday and hospitals reported more wounded people were arriving.

Observers fear that if the violence in Guinea gets out of hand, it could spill over and destabilize its fragile neighbors.

The ethnic tension has already sparked clashes in neighboring Sierra Leone, where police said Wednesday that Peul and Malinke members had clashed a day earlier. Assistant Inspector General of Police Sorie Kargbo said 20 people were arrested in Sierra Leone's town of Kenema for rioting. He said the dispute was between Peul and Malinke.

Guinea borders Sierra Leone and Liberia, nations recovering from wars fueled by ethnic divisions. For decades Guinea was a counterpoint to these two nations, with Peul and Malinke not only living side-by-side but also frequently intermarrying.

Associated Press writer Clarence Roy-Macaulay contributed to this report from Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid. – A Einstein

Drawing the line in Liberia

Crimes sponsored, committed, or masterminded by handful of individuals cannot be blamed upon an entire nationality. In this case, Liberians! The need for post-war justice is a step toward lasting peace, stability and prosperity for Liberia. Liberia needs a war crimes tribunal or some credible legal forum that is capable of dealing with atrocities perpetrated against defenseless men, women and children during the country's brutal war. Without justice, peace shall remain elusive and investment in Liberia will not produce the intended results. - Bernard Gbayee Goah



Men with unhealthy characters should not champion any noble cause

They pretend to advocate the cause of the people when their deeds in the dark mirror nothing else but EVIL!!
When evil and corrupt men try to champion a cause that is so noble … such cause, how noble it may be, becomes meaningless in the eyes of the people - Bernard Gbayee Goah.

If Liberia must move forward ...

If Liberia must move forward in order to claim its place as a civilized nation amongst world community of nations, come 2017 elections, Liberians must critically review the events of the past with honesty and objectivity. They must make a new commitment to seek lasting solutions. The track records of those who are presenting themselves as candidates for the position of "President of the Republic of Liberia" must be well examined. Liberians must be fair to themselves because results from the 2011 elections will determine the future of Liberia’s unborn generations to come - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's greatest problem!

While it is true that an individual may be held responsible for corruption and mismanagement of funds in government, the lack of proper system to work with may as well impede the process of ethical, managerial, and financial accountability - Bernard Gbayee Goah

What do I think should be done?

The situation in Liberia is Compound Complex and cannot be fixed unless the entire system of government is reinvented.
Liberia needs a workable but uncompromising system that will make the country an asylum free from abuse, and other forms of corruption.
Any attempt to institute the system mentioned above in the absence of rule of law is meaningless, and more detrimental to Liberia as a whole - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia's Natural Resources
Besides land water and few other resources, most of Liberia’s dependable natural resources are not infinite, they are finite and therefore can be depleted.
Liberia’s gold, diamond, and other natural resources will not always be an available source of revenue generation for its people and its government. The need to invent a system in government that focuses on an alternative income generation method cannot be over emphasized at this point - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Liberia needs a proper system
If Liberians refuse to erect a proper system in place that promotes the minimization of corruption and mismanagement of public funds by government institutions, and individuals, there will come a time when the value of the entire country will be seen as a large valueless land suited on the west coast of Africa with some polluted bodies of waters and nothing else. To have no system in place in any country is to have no respect for rule of law. To have no respect for rule of law is to believe in lawlessness. And where there is lawlessness, there is always corruption - Bernard Gbayee Goah

Solving problems in the absence of war talks

As political instability continues to increase in Africa, it has become abundantly clear that military intervention as a primary remedy to peace is not a durable solution. Such intervention only increases insecurity and massive economic hardship. An existing example which could be a valuable lesson for Liberia is Great Britain, and the US war on terror for the purpose of global security. The use of arms whether in peace keeping, occupation, or invasion as a primary means of solving problem has yield only little results. Military intervention by any country as the only solution to problem solving will result into massive military spending, economic hardship, more fear, and animosity as well as increase insecurity. The alternative is learning how to solve problems in the absence of war talks. The objective of such alternative must be to provide real sustainable human security which cannot be achieved through military arm intervention, or aggression. In order to achieve results that will make the peaceful coexistence of all mankind possible, there must be a common ground for the stories of all sides to be heard. I believe there are always three sides to every story: Their side of the story, Our side of the story, and The truthBernard Gbayee Goah

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