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Security Council hails progress towards resolving political crisis in Guinea

16 February 2010 – The Security Council today welcomed “recent positive developments” in Guinea, which has been gripped by unrest since Government forces opened fire on unarmed protesters last year, killing at least 150 people, and urged the transitional authorities in the West African country to prevent any further violence pending elections.

In a presidential statement read out by Ambassador Gérard Araud of France, which holds the Council’s rotating presidency for February, the 15-member body hailed moves taken by the interim president, General Sekouba Konaté, including the formation of a national unity government led by a civilian prime minister, Jean-Marie Doré, named by the opposition, and the holding of elections within six months.

“It looks forward to the timely restoration of the normal constitutional order in a peaceful manner through a civilian-led transition,” the statement said. “It calls upon the international community to bring its support to the Guinean authorities led by interim President Sekouba Konaté and Prime Minister Jean-Marie Doré, including with regard to comprehensive security and justice sector reforms, upon request from the Guinean authorities…

“It urges the national authorities to prevent any further violence, and uphold the rule of law, including promotion, protections and respect for human rights and due process and stressed their obligations towards the victims and witnesses.”

On 29 September, Guinea’s armed forces shot and killed or raped and attacked hundreds of civilian demonstrators attending a rally in the capital, Conakry, sparking international outrage and prompting Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to set up the International Commission of Inquiry to investigate the events.

Captain Dadis Camara – who seized power in a coup in 2008 following the death of long-time president Lansana Conté – survived an assassination attempt in the interim and is currently in exile.

The Council welcomed the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union (AU) and President Blaise Compaoré of nearby Burkina Faso in helping to resolve the crisis.

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