Thursday, February 15, 2007

Guinea: Arising after two decades of civic slumber

From ICG's new report: "Guinea has been dominated for nearly 23 years by the unique figure of General Conté, corrupt and desperate to hold onto his privileges. The opposition to the Conté regime, begun during the general strike at the beginning of the year, has taken a bloody turn and has mutated into an unprecedented popular uprising.

Guinea now faces two possible scenarios. There is still a chance, though a diminishing one, for a negotiated solution involving key Guinean, regional and wider international actors. Alternatively, if the Conté regime continues to rely on military repression, it could rapidly bring Guinea to a dramatic spiral of violence: full popular insurgency, with increasing chaos that is likely to stimulate a military take-over in a blood-bath, leading in turn to a possible civil war comparable to those that have torn apart its neighbours in the past decade and with uncontrollable consequences.

Western governments as well as multinational firms that benefit from the country’s natural resources value political quiet but they would be making a serious mistake if this led them to support, even by passivity, an effort to retain the Conté system (with or without its creator)."

Read more from the new Crisis Group Report on recent events, called "Guinea: Change or Chaos"

BBC is doing some good reporting as well here.

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