UNCLAS CONAKRY 000045
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PMIL ASEC GV
SUBJECT: VOLUNTEER SOLDIERS HELD PREFECT HOSTAGE FOR 3 HOURS
Â¶1. (U) Poloff spoke over the telephone with the prefect of
Forecariah, Mme Marie Guilavogui, on March 26 in order to
confirm a March 21 internet report (Aminata.com) regarding a
short-lived military mutiny in her prefecture. The prefect
said that a group of armed volunteer soldiers held her
hostage for about three hours on March 21, but that she was
not physically hurt during the ordeal. (NOTE. Forecariah is
located about 90 minutes from Conakry, on the border with
Sierra Leone. END NOTE.)
Â¶2. (SBU) According to Guilavogui, 100 of the 900 plus
pending military recruitments were reserved for the
prefecture of Forecariah. She said that Forecariah is home
to a number of &volunteer soldiers,8 men who volunteered to
join the military in 2000 when conflict in neighboring Sierra
Leone spilled over into Guinea. These soldiers were
reportedly promised that they would be officially recruited
into the military at the next opportunity. However,
Guilavogui said that most of them were not recruited for the
100 spots because they did not qualify according to basic
recruitment requirements such as physical fitness and a clean
bill of health.
Â¶3. (SBU) The prefect told Poloff that when the lists were
released, a group of volunteer soldiers were angry that they
were being passed over, and reacted by creating four
different road blocks. Upon hearing of the unrest,
Guilavogui went to the scene in order to try and &calm the
situation.8 When she got there, she said that the soldiers
were in the process of breaking open the weapons armory.
They reportedly stole the weapons and then took her hostage.
Â¶4. (SBU) Guilavogui said that after a few fours, the
Ministry of Defense and a military base in nearby Kindia sent
two trucks each of soldiers who were able to subdue the
mutineers and get the situation back under control. The
prefect said that 27 of the volunteer soldiers were arrested
and taken to Kindia. In addition, she said that she has
successfully &recovered many of the stolen weapons,8 but
that some still remain unaccounted for.
Â¶5. (SBU) The military is considered one of the best
employers in Guinea and jobs as soldiers highly desirable.
The Ministry of Defense has been making promises to the
&volunteer soldiers8 for years and now that they are in the
process of recruiting, it is becoming increasingly clear to
the volunteers that those promises will not be honored.
Defense currently does not officially recognize volunteer
soldiers as legitimate servicemembers. END COMMENT.