Friday, January 26, 2007

where will things go from here?

January 26th 2007

Soon there will be another post up here about African Funk Music and also another mix that will blow your minds, I promise. But for now, there are still other things on our minds.

Some sources estimate the death toll of monday's massacre to be in the neighbourhood of 60 or 70. All in all, probably 120 to 170 people have lost their life within the past 2 weeks.

There are talks now:
The president (how can someone still remain president after having foreign mercenaries kill his own people?) has supposedly agreed to the nomination of a new Prime Minister. Now some people say that the new Prime Minister will have the power to build a new government. Is this a way out for president Conté that allows him to leave office without loosing face? Are the union leaders beaten, tortured and desperate enought so they themselves are willing to accept an easy way out?

New candidates for Prime Minister are being announced almost daily. The decision on who will end up in this position seems to be the most crucial point regarding a serious resolve of the situation.

It seems impossible to predict anything.
Fact is that already basic nutritions like rice and oil have become scarce to find and if they can be found now cost double or more. How much resistance can be expected from people that are about to starve? What has been won with Mondays' bloodbath? If the people give in now and accept a solution that isn't one, will any future strike be of any serious threat to any future government?

Noone wants to starve, noone wants to die or see their children get killed on the streets. Guinean people are peaceful. A friend from Sierra Leone once said "Guineans have a filthy mouth but they can't stand the sight of blood". It seems though, that without the price of blood, there will be no change.

Guinea is as mentioned before, very rich in resources.
It is also amongst the world's 10 poorest countries.
Guinea has large reserves of uranium, iron and copper ore, gold and diamonds.
That's not all: This small country (half the size of Germany) sits on one third of the entire world's reserve of Bauxite. Bauxite is the crude material that is processed to Aluminium. Aluminum itself does not exist in nature an can only be produced with Bauxite. Now I guess it doesn't have to be established how important Aluminum is for the world economy. Guinea has no capabilities to do anything with it's Baxite but to sell it. The process of Aluminum production is complicated and needs a lot of electical power. To build processing plants and to produce enough electrical power to run them. Guinea would need a Government that is competent instead of corrupt and officials who unlike president Conté have spent more than 5 years at school.
This would be very good for the Guinean people. This would also be very bad for international cooporations which enjoy few things more than buying valuable resources at discount prices from illiterate third world officials who don't give a shit about their own people.

Forgive me for letting myself getting carried away. I know, things like these happen all around the world and unless the death toll isn't well into the three figures, the western media can't even seem to be bothered. Hell, if it's Africa, the body count needs to be well into the four figures before anyone even thinks about taking any form of international action. I guess their peacefulness and ability to suffer won't do the Guinean people much good. It's cynic but it appears to be true.

Here are some pictures I've pulled from
There is no freedom of press in this country, no foreign news reporters are in Guinea and the local reporters and civilians who took these pictures deserve our fullest respect.


Anonymous said...

Your feelings are quite understandable. Looking at Guinea's situation from the outside, however, I see that good changes are taking place. Corruption as a way of life is on the way out.

Banking separate from the Government, transparent international negotiations for minerals such as with Hyperdynamics quest for oil, and now a Prime Minister that will be held accountable to the people. All great steps towards eliminating corruption.

Frank said...

Thank you for your comment.

According to Transparency International, Guinea is still the most corrupt country in Africa...

I guess that the Prime Minister will be a key figure for the future of Guinea. Let's wait and see who will be nominated.

The strke is on hold (not canceled) for now. Let's hope that the made promises will be kept.

Jo-Hanna said...

Seid ihr noch in Conakry? nach dem, was wir hier hören, ist es kein guter Platz mehr, für niemanden. Das Wort peace hat nochmal ein ganz anderes Gewicht bekommen. Ich wünsche euch und allen anderen in Guinea, dass ihr in Sicherheit seid.

Frank said...

Danke der Nachfrage! Ja, wir sind immer noch in Guinea. Hier ist die Situation seit Samstag explodiert, nachdem Präsident Conté Einen altgedienten Hardliner aus seiner Clique, Eugene Camara zum Premier Minister ernannt hat. Camara war maßgeblich an Wahlfälschungen und Einschüchterungen der Opposition während der letzten Präsidentschaftswahlen verantwortlich. Diese Ernennung war somit eine Beleidigung des gesamten Volkes sowie ein Bruch der Vereinbarungen, welche zur Aufhebung des Generalstreiks geführt haben. Am Samstag sind Hunderttausende von entrüsteten Bürgern auf die Straße, es wurden viel Villen von Korrupten Regierungsangehörigen geplündert und komplett verwüstet. Zahlreiche Polizeistationen wurde angegriffen, geplündert und angezündet. Überall wurde anhaltend massiv geschossen, es war alles recht gruselig. Bis gestern sollen allein im Hauptkrankenhaus Donja 150 erschossene Zivilisten eingeliefert worden sein. Seit zwei Tagen herrscht nun der Ausnahmezustand und eine Ausgangssperre für nachts sowie die erste Tageshälfte. Wir wollen erstmal noch abwarten. Sollte die Situation für uns als Ausländer gefährlich werden, so würden wir durch das französische Militär evakuiert, welches bereits ein Kriegsschiff mit 10 Hubschraubern an Bord in der Nähe bereitgestellt hat. Tagsüber sporadisch und Nachts verstärkt wird immer noch geschossen. Unser Nachbar fand heute früh zwei Gewehrkugeln vor der Haustür... Anscheinend hat die Internationale Gemeinschaft begonnen, Druck auf die Machthabenden auszuüben. Hoffentlich nützt das was...



Anonymous said...

Danke für die Antwort - hier herrscht grosse Sorge unter den Leuten, die mit Guinea zu tun haben, wie es den Menschen dort geht und wie sich das Ganze entwickelt. Die Familie meines Partners lebt zum grossen Teil in Guinea, in Conakry und meine Angst war schon lange, dass Guinea explodiert. Ich hatte den Eindruck, unsere Freunde und Familie dort kommen mit wenig klar, aber direkt, nachdem ich da war (2005), sind die Preise ja so exorbitant gestiegen, dass es sich abzeichnete, dass bald nichts mehr geht. Deine Berichte vom Suchen und Finden und das Hören der Musik waren immer sehr schön - Afrika mit dem, was es hat und nicht mit dem, was fehlt. Das ist ganz schwer, jetzt nicht kitschig oder pathetisch zu werden, aber ich wünsche so sehr, dass du schreiben könntest, hier ist wieder Ruhe eingekehrt, ich habe die und die Platte gefunden...