Monday, September 28, 2009

87 (120+?) massacred after Guinean insecurity thugs attack anti-dictator demonstrators

Reprinted with permission from Friends of Guinea blog

Initial optimism about the new regime has faded dramatically ever since junta leader Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara reneged on a promise to not participate in presidential elections scheduled for January 31.

A new political party, the Rally for the Defense of the Republic, was formed to back the military leader's candidacy. After Dadis, who unilaterally declared himself president following the death of Gen. Lansana Conté, broke his pledge not to run for the chief executive, the African Union imposed sanctions on Guinea.

Anti-Dadis has been rising ever since the coup leader's electoral ambitions became clear. He was met by huge protests when he visited Labé, the country's second largest city. And when the opposition tried to organize a rally against the regime, the junta banned it.

When the demonstration proceeded anyway, the "security" forces fired live ammunition at the crowd, reportedly killing dozens of demonstrators.

"It's butchery! There are dozens of dead," a Conakry doctor told the French news agency AFP.

Some media outlets reporting the death total as high as 87.

Another Conakry doctor told the IRIN news agency that there were 'hundreds' of injuries from bullets and beatings.

The massacre occurred on the 51st anniversary of the referendum in which Guineans voted for independence from France.

Update: Al-Jazeera reports that opposition leader and former prime minister Cellou Dalien Diallo and several other politicians were thrown in jail. A source indicated to me that Diallo was also shot during the protests. New reports suggest the death toll now exceeds 120.

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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Get blog updates on Twitter

You can get updates to my general blog Musings of a (Fairly) Young Contrarian and my Africa blog Black Star Journal on the microblogging service Twitter.

Just follow the username: mofycbsj

Or go to the link:

Any time I post to either blog, I post a title on Twitter and link to the piece.

One advantage of Twitter is that I can easily repost ("Re-Tweet" or RT) articles and essays from a wide variety of other sources. I do so for pieces that I find interesting but do not necessarily have the time to compose an essay of my own commenting on it; in other cases, they are so well-written or compelling that they speak for themselves.

Some recent RTs I've shared:

"How British invented 'development' during WWII as propaganda to defend colonialism & cover up racism," from Bill Easterly, a professor and development expert with whom I've sparred on the pages of Foreign Policy;

"African famines examined," from Public Radio International's The World;

"Could we improve care by changing the way we pay doctors?" from The Christian Science Monitor online;

"Internet access and telecommuting in the Adirondacks," from North Country Public Radio and featuring an interview with Adirondack Almanack founder and contributor John Warren.

Check it out.