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GUINEA: Timeline

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Guinea junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara
DAKAR, 23 December 2009 (IRIN) - One year after Cpt Moussa Dadis Camara came to power in a coup, to applause from many Guineans hungry for change after the 24-year reign of Lansana Conté, a UN commission says Camara bears responsibility for the September killing and rape of Guinean civilians.

The UN commission of inquiry on 17 December handed the Secretary-General its report on the events of 28 September when soldiers killed and raped civilians at an anti-junta demonstration. Questions surround the fate of Camara, who as of 23 December reportedly remained in a Morocco hospital where he received treatment after being shot by his aide-de-camp. 

Here is a timeline of some events since independence from France in 1958. 

23 December 2009 - Guineans observe a national holiday, designated by the government, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the arrival in power of the military government self-named the Council for Democracy and Development; streets quiet in the capital Conakry as public administration is closed and a handful of private businesses operating

19 December 2009 -
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon transmits report of the International Commission of Inquiry on the 28 September events to the Government of Guinea, the Security Council, the Commission of the African Union, and the Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)

17 December 2009 - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon receives UN inquiry commission's report on the events of 28 September; the report says junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara and other military officials responsible for the killing and rape of Guinean civilians

13 December 2009 - A junta official rejects calls for an international security force to protect civilians, saying such a deployment would be an attack on Guinea's sovereignty

13 December 2009 - The Economic Community of West African States and the International Contact Group on Guinea reiterate calls for an international observation and security force to protect civilians and facilitate humanitarian assistance. The calls came at meetings in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou, attended by representatives of Guinean political parties and civil society as well as the military junta, which finally sent a delegation after having said it would suspend participation

9 December 2009 - Defence Minister Sékouba Konaté, interim leader in absence of junta head Moussa Dadis Camara, calls on army to exercise cohesion and discipline

8 December 2009 - Military junta announces it is suspending participation in talks mediated by Blaise Compaoré until injured leader Moussa Dadis Camara resumes work

4 December 2009 - Junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara leaves Guinea for Morocco for medical care after being shot by his aide-de-camp

4 December 2009 - Guineans timidly take to their normal activities as uncertainty lingers over the shooting of the junta leader. Many gas stations remain closed and people say they fear a return to violence

3 December 2009 - Military aide-de-camp Aboubacar Diakité reportedly shoots junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara at the Koundara presidential guard base in the capital Conakry. The military government issues a communiqué stating Camara was not seriously hurt; the junta says the situation is under control and calls on the population to "remain vigilant and calm"

20 November 2009 – Civil society and political leaders coalition rejects a transition plan proposed by Guinea mediator Blaise Compaoré, saying the fundamental concerns of the Guinean people have not been taken into account; the coalition says the plan ignores resolutions by the African Union, the International Contact Group on Guinea, the European Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the UN Security Council – particularly regarding the candidature of junta leaders

19 November 2009 - Guinea mediator Blaise Compaoré submits to the military government and civil society and political coalition a proposed plan for moving past the crisis; proposal calls for junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara to lead a transitional council that would be charged with organizing presidential elections within 10 months from December. Members of the military government would not be barred from running in elections

19 November 2009 – Guinean Interior and Political Affairs Ministry in a communiqué read on state media warns against political demonstrations, after word that some groups were planning a march against the military junta for 22 November

3 November 2009 - Representatives of Guinean political parties and civil society reiterate their call for the departure of the junta at a meeting in the Burkina Faso capital Ouagadougou with Blaise Compaoré, Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS)-designated mediator

2 November 2009 - Junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara on state media calls on Guineans to reconcile and work together "to heal wounds" following the 28 September killings; Camara says no one can claim the right to dictate to the Guinean people

1 November 2009 - Communications minister for the presidency, Tibou Kamara, becomes fourth minister to resign following the 28 September crackdown

Guinea in turmoil
 Bracing for tomorrow, but what about today?
 September violence only underscores reign of impunity
 Shoring up children’s health amid turmoil
 Caravans and kola nuts - keeping a lid on communal tensions
19 October 2009 - UN Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs Haile Menkerios leaves Guinea for Burkina Faso to talk with mediator Blaise Compaore, after 18 October meetings with junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara and other members of the Guinean government as well as representatives of civil society

17 October 2009 - Junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara fails to meet an African Union deadline to announce formally he would not run in presidential elections; Camara says he would ask mediator, Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaore, to examine the issue of Guinea's political future

17 October 2009 - West African leaders at an emergency meeting of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) impose an arms embargo on Guinea

16 October 2009 - UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announces he will set up an international inquiry into the 28 September military crackdown on demonstrators

15 October 2009 - Information Minister Justin Morel Jr becomes the third minister to resign from the Guinea government, after Agriculture Minister Abdourahmane Sano and Labour Minister Alpha Diallo

14 October 2009 - International Criminal Court prosecutor, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, confirms that the situation in Guinea is under preliminary examination by his office

12-13 October 2009 - Guineans throughout the country heed call by unions for a two-day national strike to protest the 28 September deadly military crackdown on demonstrators; banks, shops and most government offices are closed in the capital Conakry with minimum services at hospitals; the junta endorsed the strike, saying people should stay in their homes and that any demonstrations would not be tolerated 

12 October 2009 - International contact group on Guinea calls on the UN Secretary-General, in collaboration with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union, to facilitate the establishment of an international commission of inquiry into the "gross human rights violations" of 28 September "including the massacre of unarmed civilians and rapes"; ICG-G also calls on the junta to release all people detained since the crackdown and to return victims' bodies to their families; representatives of Guinea civil society coalition attend ICG-G's meeting in the Nigerian capital Abuja, the group's eighth session

12 October 2009 - Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) leader Mohamed Ibn Chambas at an ECOWAS meeting in Nigerian capital Abuja says Guinea's junta is repressing the people with "arbitrary and irresponsible" use of state power; Nigerian president Umaru Yar'adua, current chair of ECOWAS, calls for a special regional summit 17 October to discuss Guinea as well as Niger

12 October 2009 - Coalition of political parties and civil society organizations attending meeting in Abuja calls for clarification of ECOWAS-designated mediator Blaise Compaoré's mission, reiterates its total rejection of political negotiation with the junta

8 October 2009
- Coalition of political parties and civil society organizations rejects junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara's creation of an independent national commission to investigate the events of 28 September, calling instead for an international commission

7 October 2009 - Junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara announces creation of a national independent commission to investigate the events of 28 September

6 October 2009 - Guinean political and civil society leaders say they will not participate in a meeting about the current crisis (proposed by mediator Blaise Compaoré) unless junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara steps down

5 October 2009 - 
France states its support for initiatives by mediator Blaise Compaoré, mediator in the Guinea crisis; encourages the Economic Community of West African States, the African Union and the UN Commission on Human Rights to set up an international commission of inquiry into the 28 September violence

5 October 2009 - Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré, designated by the Economic Community of West African States as mediator in Guinea, visits the capital Conakry, calls for a meeting between the junta and political leaders

2 October 2009 - The Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS, names Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré mediator in the Guinea conflict

2 October 2009 - Junta holds a ceremony to bury the bodies of the 57 people it says died in 28 September violence, but scuffles break out as hundreds of Guineans search in vain for family members thought to be detained or killed

Photo: Nancy Palus/IRIN
Children in the Guinea capital Conakry (file photo)
2 October 2009 - Junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara says presidential elections in Guinea will go forward as planned in January 2010

1 October 2009 - National political parties and civil society forum issue a statement calling for a number of items including an international peace force and the immediate release of people detained during the 28 September unrest; the forum rejects junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara's call for a government of national unity, declaring that internal dialogue is now impossible

30 September 2009 - Junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara calls for a government of national unity

30 September 2009 - UN Security Council expresses concern about the violence in Guinea

29 September 2009 - Junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara blames 28 September violence on "opposition" demonstrators and "uncontrolled elements" in the military

28 September 2009 - Guineans assemble in a national stadium to protest the candidacy of junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara, defying a ban by authorities on a planned rally. Soldiers violently crack down on demonstrators, according to witnesses shooting and stabbing people and raping women and girls; human rights organizations say at least 150 killed and more than 1,000 injured

22 September 2009 - International contact group on Guinea welcomes a decision by the African Union expressing concern about whether junta members keeping to a commitment not to run in presidential elections; contact group expresses "grave concerns" about delays in the electoral process and the deterioration of the political, human rights and security situation in Guinea

22 September 2009 - Supporters of Moussa Dadis Camara demonstrate in the capital Conakry

19 September 2009 - Leaders of political parties and civil society call for a 28 September rally to protest Camara's candidacy

17 September 2009 - Peace and Security Council of the African Union threatens sanctions against junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara "and all other individuals, both civilian and military" whose activities run counter to a commitment that no members of the ruling National Council for Development and Democracy would be a presidential candidate. AU expresses "deep concern over the deteriorating situation in Guinea" and "strongly condems the repudiation" of this commitment by Camara

23 August 2009 - Coalition of civil society organizations, unions, political parties, religious groups call on Guineans not to allow junta “to confiscate power”

19 August 2009 - Junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara tells journalists whether he runs for president "is up to God”

17 August 2009 - Ruling National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD) accepts recommendation by civil society organizations, political parties, unions and religious groups to hold presidential election in January 2010, legislative election in March 2010

13 August 2009 - Junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara announces the formation of a national transitional council, called for by national and international groups in March

June 2009 - Following debate over the feasibility of holding elections in 2009, civil society organizations, political parties, religious groups and unions form a committee to evaluate election timetable

March 2009 - International community calls on CNDD to work with political parties, civil society organizations, unions to form a transitional council

March 2009 - Ruling CNDD says it will hold presidential election by end of 2009

February 2009 - Junta arrests son of deceased president Lansana Conté, Ousmane Conté, as part of a crackdown on suspected drug traffickers

January 2009 - The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) rejects a military-led transition in Guinea and bars junta members from attending meetings of any decision-making bodies

January 2009 - An international contact group on Guinea is formed, including representatives of ECOWAS, the African Union Commission, the European Union, the Mano River Union, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the UN Security Council

25 December 2008 - Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souaré and other government officials turn themselves in at Alpha Yaya Diallo army barracks, CNDD headquarters

25 December 2008 - Moussa Dadis Camara announces presidential elections would be held after a two-year transition and he would not be a candidate

24 December 2008 - Moussa Dadis Camara proclaims himself president and head of the new National Council for Democracy and Development

Photo: Maseco Conde/IRIN
Protesters in Guinea during a nationwide strike in 2006, carrying a sign calling for change (file photo)
23 December 2008 - In the early morning hours government officials announce that President Lansana Conté died the previous evening; confusion reigns as soldiers announce on state media they have dissolved government and taken over, while Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souaré insists the government is intact

June 2008 - Police launch protests over salary arrears, provoking deadly clashes with military

May 2008 - Soldiers mutiny over pay, with several soldiers and civilians killed or injured in the unrest; Lansana Conté eventually dismisses defence minister

May 2008 - Lansana Conté sacks Prime Minister Lansana Kouyaté and names political ally Ahmed Tidiane Souaré , in a move Human Rights Watch said dealt “a serious blow to hopes that mass protest and ‘people power’ could bring reform”

May 2007 - Soldiers stage protests over salary arrears and living conditions

February 2007 - Following strike and unrest Lansana Conté names Lansana Kouyaté as “consensus” prime minister

January 2007 - In January Guineans massively heed another union call for a national strike; hundreds are killed in crackdown by military

2006 - Union-led national strikes paralyse country; several students are killed by security forces in protests over cancelled exams

2005 - Presidential motorcade of Lansana Conté fired upon in the capital Conakry

2003 - Lansana Conté re-elected in an opposition-boycotted poll

2001 - A referendum changes the constitution to allow president to run for a third term and increase the term from five to seven years; opposition rejects the vote as rigged, calls for boycott

2000-01 - Guinean army fights off incursions by rebels at borders with Liberia and Sierra Leone

1998 - Lansana Conté wins presidential election, which opposition denounces as rigged

1996 - Army mutiny. Loyalist troops eventually repulse attacks on the presidential palace

1993 - Lansana Conté wins Guinea’s first multi-party election, which is boycotted by opposition groups and marred by demonstrations

1990 - Guineans vote for new constitution, with a call to end one-party military rule

1989 - Conflict in neighbouring Liberia forces thousands to flee into Guinea; between 1989 and 2002 Guinea would receive some 750,000 refugees from the wars in Liberia and Sierra Leone, thousands more from Côte d’Ivoire after that country’s 2002 rebellion

1984 - President Ahmed Sékou Touré dies in March; Lansana Conté takes power in a coup in April

1970 - Dissidents attack Guinea in an unsuccessful attempt to bring down President Ahmed Sékou Touré; the incident is seen as intensifying Touré’s repression of opponents

1965 - President Ahmed Sékou Touré cuts relations with colonial power France, until 1975

1958 - Independence, with Ahmed Sékou Touré as president

[Timeline originally posted 24 August 2009, last updated 23 December 2009]


Theme(s): (PLUSNEWS) Conflict, (PLUSNEWS) Governance


[This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]
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