- Plans moved ahead today for an international commission of inquiry into last month’s violent crackdown on unarmed demonstrators in Guinea, in which at least 150 people were killed and many others raped, as a senior UN political official continued his talks in the region.
Reports have also revealed that the Assistant Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Haile Menkerios, left the Guinean capital, Conakry, for Ouagadougou in nearby Burkina Faso for talks with President Blaise Compaoré in his capacity as the mediator mandated by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to look into the issue.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced last week that he would set up the commission to investigate the crackdown by security forces on 28 September in Conakry “with a view to determining the accountability of those involved,” sending Mr Menkerios to prepare the ground.
Mr Ban said he “remains deeply concerned by the tense situation in Guinea” and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has called the crackdown a “blood bath.”
In Conakry yesterday, Mr Menkerios met with Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, the head of the National Council for Democracy and Development (NCDD), and also with the Prime Minister and the entire cabinet. He consulted with representatives of political parties, civil society organizations and trade unions as well.
There was broad support for the commission among Guinean stakeholders, and Captain Camara, who seized power in a coup d’état in December after the death of then president Lansana Conté, invited it to begin work as soon as possible to help establish the truth about what took place on 28 September, a UN spokesperson said in New York.
Before that, Mr Menkerios was in Abuja, Nigeria, where he met with a range of regional leaders, including ECOWAS Commission President Mohamed ibn Chambas, African Union (AU) Peace and Security Commissioner Ramtane Lamamra, and AU Chairman Jean Ping. The AU and ECOWAS Summit have welcomed Mr Ban’s decision to set up the commission and pledged their full support.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.