AU lifts sanctions against Guinea
ETHIOPIA: The African Union (AU) lifted sanctions imposed on
Guinea after a coup d’etat two years ago, hailing on Thursday its
election of a new civilian President. Veteran Opposition Leader Alpha
Conde was finally confirmed as President-elect of the world’s top
exporter of the aluminium ore bauxite last week after disputed elections
that triggered bouts of ethnic violence.
“We have duly acknowledged that there was a return to constitutional
order in Guinea,” AU Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra
told reporters. “Therefore sanctions are lifted.” The continental
grouping imposed measures such as visa bans and foreign asset freezes on
military leaders who seized power after the December 2008 death of
former ruler Lansana Conte. The past two years have brought Guinea close
to civil war and have included the Sept. 28, 2009 massacre of around 150
pro-democracy marchers in a stadium in the capital Conakry by security
forces who also committed mass rapes of women present.
Moussa Dadis Camara, the junta leader at the time, was wounded in an
assassination attempt by a former aide weeks afterwards and his
successor, Sekouba Konate, won international praise for pledging
elections to restore civilian rule.
Conde has said he plans to set up a truth and reconciliation
commission to address the violence during the elections, as well as past
human rights abuses. He also faces an uphill struggle to put the
country’s devastated economy back on track.
ADDIS ABABA, Friday, Reuters