Guinea Country Report 2012
April 26, 2012 - Conakry, Guinea
Guinea Country Report
Elections (and finalization of the transition)
Since the end of presidential elections in Guinea in December 2010, Guineans are still waiting for legislative elections which should end the transition in the Country. The political dialogue started on December 2011 ended on February 20, 2012 without consensus on crucial issues – mainly the restructuring of the Independent National Electoral Commission (CENI) and the revision of the voter register. This increases the risk of political instability and violence in the country especially since the National Independent Electoral Commission has announced that the elections will hold on July 8, 2012. The Collective (opposition coalition for the finalization of the transition) and the Alliance of Democratic Parties (ADP) opposition announced their determination to prevent non-consensual elections. The Government, through the Minister of Interior, continues to maintain that “with or without the opposition, elections will be held … and that the latter is not able to prevent the organization of the legislative elections.”
Various initiatives are underway in order to address consequences of past human rights violations experienced by Guineans under various regimes in the country from 1958 to 2010. One of these initiatives deals with issues relating to transitional justice and national reconciliation. The provisional committee set by the President, and co-chaired by the Catholic Archbishop and the Chief Imam of Conakry, are still working on reflections on ways for the implementation of the national reconciliation process in Guinea.
In another development, the decision by investigative judges in Guinea to file charges against Moussa Tiegboro Camara, on February 8, 2012 for the September 28, 2009 massacre in Conakry is a positive move. Human rights organizations welcomed this new development and expressed hope that all those cited in the UN report will be indicted. During her visit early April in Conakry, Mrs. F. Bensouda from the ICC, insisted on the fact that, if Guinean institutions and the country’s authorities do not follow through with this issue, the ICC will do it.
In mid-November 2011, an IMF delegation visited Guinea and noted that progress had been made under the IMF staff-monitored program in 2011. As a result of that, the IMF approved US$200 million for Guinea’s extended credit facility. In addition, Guinea is hoping to attain the HIPIC completion point this year and benefit from debt cancellation of around US$ 2 billion.
On January 10, 2012, the Minister of Mines announced the Government’s intention to review all mining contracts and conventions that had been concluded under previous regimes. According to him, the Government will concentrate on contracts and conventions that may have been sighed under opaque conditions and were of no benefit to Guinea. In the mean time, the government is opening discussion with new companies on concessions acquisitions in the country’s mining areas.
The newly adopted mining code is undergoing further revision in the areas of fiscal and customs duties before tackling the above-mentioned review of existing mining contracts and mineral concession. Rio Tinto has announced its intent to invest US$1.3bn in its concession and Chinese companies have announced the investment of above US$6bn in bauxite and alumina sectors and in Dam building while. At the same time, BHB Bilition announced the closure of its iron ore exploration Guinea. It is not confirmed whether this is related to the revision of the mining code.
The Labor Union issued a communiqué asking for 200 % salary increment. Negotiations have started with the authorities on this issue. The other main labor union – the CNTG – is still trying to resolve its election issues. The matter is pending at the court of appeal.
Around 4000 military were retired as part of the security sector reform. Each one was paid four month’s salary as inducement. The trial of the military and civilians personnel arrested in connection with the attack on the President’s private residence is still pending. No specific date has been announced so far.