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Cablegate: Demarche On the Crisis in Guinea

VZCZCXRO0673
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMA RUEHMR RUEHPA RUEHRN
DE RUEHC #9838/01 0472001
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O R 161955Z FEB 07
FM SECSTATE WASHDC
TO ECOWAS COLLECTIVE IMMEDIATE
RUEHAR/AMEMBASSY ACCRA IMMEDIATE 8197
RUEHBP/AMEMBASSY BAMAKO IMMEDIATE 7021
RUEHLC/AMEMBASSY LIBREVILLE IMMEDIATE 2582
RUEHNK/AMEMBASSY NOUAKCHOTT IMMEDIATE 9235
RUEHRB/AMEMBASSY RABAT IMMEDIATE 1446
INFO AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 4674
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 8798
RUCNDT/USMISSION USUN NEW YORK 6036
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 STATE 019838

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS
PARIS FOR GREG D'ELIA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: GH GV ML MO MR PGOV PREL SL
SUBJECT: DEMARCHE ON THE CRISIS IN GUINEA

REF: A. A) CONAKRY 179
B. B) CONAKRY 18
C. C) CONAKRY 181 AND PREVIOUS SITREPS

1. SUMMARY: The Department requests action embassies to
encourage host country leadership at the highest
appropriate level to press the Government of Guinea (GOG)
to seek a resolution of the crisis, bring an end to the
violence, promote dialogue, and seek a civilian-led
constitutional transition plan.

Objectives
------------------
2. In addition to the objectives and background, the
Department encourages embassies to draw upon the tone and
points delivered by Embassy Conakry in reftel A.
Objectives are as follows:

--If the government has not already done so, encourage
host country government to issue a public statement
expressing its concerns about the reports of human rights
violations and denouncing the GOG's military curfew.

--Encourage the host country government to advocate that
the highest levels of the GOG end the current military
curfew immediately, so that all parties may return to
dialogue.

--Persuade host country government that the only durable
resolution to the Guinea crisis is a civilian-led
constitutional transition.

--Convey to host country government that the USG believes
that civil society has legitimate concerns that they are
raising about Guinea's long poor governance and
mismanagement of the country's vast natural wealth.

Background
-----------------

3. The political crisis in Guinea continues to escalate.
After nationwide protests turned violent, the GOG on
February 12 declared a "State of Siege", and imposed a
draconian curfew. As noted in reftels, there have been
numerous deaths and significant economic damage. Popular
discontent and frustration may be growing beyond the
control of the government, military, unions, civil
society and opposition parties.

4. The USG's position is to support a peaceful civilian-
led transition. We have sent clear and unambiguous
messages to all political and military leaders in Guinea
to end the violence against civilians, that a military
takeover is unacceptable, and could negatively affect
U.S. foreign assistance and our longstanding, friendly
cooperation with Guinea.

5. Contrary to the GOG's assertions that the unions and
outside influences have instigated the current crisis, we
strongly believe that the unions are expressing
widespread and long-held popular frustrations with
Guinea's poor governance and the mismanagement of its
vast natural wealth. The leadership vacuum created by
President Conte's advanced age, ill health, and self-
interested political advisers has left the Guinea's
institutions of government profoundly dysfunctional.
Contrary to the interpretation of some, U.S. support for
change within Guinea's constitution is not/not an
endorsement of individuals or particular parties. Article
34 of Guinea's constitution allows for the vacation of
power from the president and calls for the National
Assembly President, as interim head of state, to oversee
democratic presidential elections.

6. The regrettable military curfew imposed under the
"state of siege" hinders dialogue and violates Guinea's
international obligations to ensure the free movement of

STATE 00019838 002 OF 002


diplomats. The growing restrictions on civil liberties
and weakening of democratic institutions have already
increased under the state of partial military rule.

7. While the military curfew may provide a temporary
respite to the violence, the situation is not tenable.
Only broad-based dialogue, entered in good faith and
leading to a civilian-led political transition, can end
the current crisis and improve democratic governance.
Simply put, the people of Guinea are fed up.

8. The USG will continue to engage ECOWAS to take a more
proactive role. We are looking to the AU and certain
regional governments that have entr,e with the Government
of Guinea for assistance in pressing Conte to step aside.
In particular Ghanaian President Kufour, Malian President
Toure, Colonel Vall of Mauritania, President Kabbah and
King Mohammed VI of Morocco have particularly strong,
personal relationships with President Conte, so we are
encouraging them to step into the gap personally.

Point of Contact
-------------------

9. Please contact AF/W Deji Okediji at (202) 647-3469 or
via email for any necessary further background
information. Embassy is requested to report the results
by cable to AF/W at earliest opportunity.
RICE

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