The Presidents of Guinea
The Presidents of: Cameroun; Democratic Republic of Congo; The Gambia; Ghana; Kenya; Lesotho; Liberia; Malawi; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Somalia; South Africa; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia and Zimbabwe
The President: ECOWAS Commission
On 28th September 2009, over 150 civilians were killed when the military opened fire on a peaceful pro-democracy rally in the West African country of Guinea. Hundreds of women and girls were subjected to brutal, barbaric acts of sexual violence and people were bayoneted on the streets as they tried to escape -- a terrifying message to a nation crying out to elect a democratic, civilian government for the first time.
The civilians decided to demonstrate in the streets because the Captain Camara, who gained power in 2008 through a military coup did not keep his promise that his period of transition would end with free and fair elections.
These events are all the more reprehensible because the opposition had chosen 28th September, a symbolic day in Guinea%u2019s history towards independance.
We, Fellows of the Moremi Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment and Development (MILEAD), representing 21 African countries and communities in the Diaspora, in collaboration with our partners, raise our voices to demand an independent and internationally monitored investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 157 Guineans We call for the immediate cessation of all tactics of repression, including acts of sexual violence against the women of Guinea and we demand swift legal action against all perpetrators of such barbaric acts. We also call for dialogue between the armed forces, the CNDD and the government in order to uphold the promise and duty of free and transparent elections in Guinea.
As young African women leaders committed to building a strong and democratic future for ourselves and future generations we can no longer tolerate any acts of barbarism and intolerance that violate the human rights, dignity or safety of far too many our fellow African sisters and brothers.
We remain convinced that barbaric violence must be replaced by social and political dialogue at the national and regional levels, for without this nation-building is an impossibility. We also believe that leaders at the community, national and international level have a central role to play in condemning the actions of the guilty and in expressing openly their solidarity for the victims. To this end, we ask That the Presidents of our respective African countries (Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe)
1. Make a formal condemnation of the use of any repressive tactics in Guinea and demand an internationally monitored investigation into recent events.
2. Express support for free and transparent elections founded upon the right to freedom of speech.
3. Demand that legal action be taken to against those parties guilty of murder, rape and physical brutality on this day.