Declaration on the situation in Guinea for the attention of the meeting of ministers of foreign affairs of ECOWAS holding in Abuja, Federal Republic of Nigeria, 12th October 2009.
The Pan African Lawyers Union, a transcontinental professional organisation bringing together lawyers and jurists of the African Continent and the Diaspora, headquartered in Addis Ababa Ethiopia, Member of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union, our Assembly;
Having reviewed the situation in Guinea and the ongoing efforts aimed at promoting lasting peace, security, reconciliation, introduction of a constitutional and democratic process in that country; and in the light of reports of the events of September 28, 2009, revealing the firing of live bullets by the armed forces at their own compatriots, taking part in a peaceful demonstration organized by the “Forum des Forces Vives de la Nation”, wounding several hundreds and killing over a hundred people;
States that the impunity with which the military behaved in Conakry exposes the urgent need for the putting in place, the strengthening and the widening of the jurisdiction of the African Court as contemplated by the Constitutive Act of the African Union;
Emphasizes the fact that the situation in Guinea does present a very serious threat to peace and security in that country and the region as a whole , and could easily escalate into a situation which will certainly destroy the will of a people who are resolute in their determination to reinstate democratic and constitutional rule in their country;
Welcomes the attitude ECOWAS so far and that of the International Group on Guinea (ICG-G) which met in New York and expressed concern at the delay of the electoral process and the deterioration of the political, security and Human Rights situation in Guinea;
Reiterates the conviction expressed by many countries and international organisations that the chances for the people of Guinea to meet the present challenges and foster a climate conducive to the restoration of a reconciliation process, would be immensely enhanced by a solemn declaration from President Moussa Dadis Camara that he would not be a candidate in any electoral process;
Denounces the great difficulty members of the Bar of Guinea have to exercise their profession and Stresses the need for ECOWAS to take the lead to decisively address this issue and to urgently take necessary all steps required to this end;
The PAN AFRICAN LAWYERS UNION Hereby:
1. FULLY ENDORSES all the steps taken so far by ECOWAS and the African Union;
2. CALLS UPON ECOWAS to demand that all parties in Guinea reject violence, uphold the principles of Human Rights and those enshrined in the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance;
3. CALLS UPON ECOWAS to firmly request the resignation of the present military leadership and put in place a government of national unity that would work towards genuine national reconciliation;
4. URGE the African Union, all Member States, especially the countries of the region, and the larger international community to stand by the people of Guinea and provide adequate and concrete support in order to enhance their capacity and protect them from those who seek to prevent or block a peaceful political process;
5. URGENTLY CALLS upon ECOWAS to institute an International Commission of Inquiry to establish what exactly happened in Conakry on September 28, and make recommendations;
6. PLEDGES its expertise in support of such a commission or to any other phases of the reconciliation process already initiated or to be initiated in Guinea that might require its expertise.
The Pan African Lawyers Union
The Secretary General
Akere T. Muna (of Lincoln’s Inn London)
Akin Akinbote Esq.
12th. Day of October 2009