Viewing cable 09CONAKRY619
Title: A CALM WEEKEND IN CONAKRY, SMALL-SCALE PROTESTS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09CONAKRY6192009-10-05 11:21:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Conakry
VZCZCXYZ0457
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHRY #0619/01 2781121
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 051121Z OCT 09
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4116
INFO RUEHZO/AFRICAN UNION COLLECTIVE
RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
UNCLAS CONAKRY 000619 
 
SIPDIS 
SENSITIVE 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ASEC ECON SOCI GV
SUBJECT: A CALM WEEKEND IN CONAKRY, SMALL-SCALE PROTESTS 
POSSIBLE TODAY 
 
¶1. (U) Guinea was calm over the weekend, with no reports of 
disturbances in Conakry or the interior. Many people in 
Conakry took advantage of the relative calm to restock on 
food items and other necessary goods, though economic and 
social activity was more subdued than usual. 
 
 
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GAS SHORTAGES 
------------- 
 
 
¶2. (U) Gas shortages continue to affect the country's 
transportation and business infrastructure. Hundreds of cars 
queued at Conakry's gas stations this weekend, in 
anticipation of fuel deliveries that never came. The security 
contractor for a mining interest noted that Total and Shell, 
the two gas companies in Guinea, contract to Guinean trucking 
companies owned by Peuhl (Fulani) businessmen. Many of these 
operators have chosen to withhold gas deliveries as a form of 
protest. 
 
 
¶3. (U) Bechtel, an American engineering and construction 
firm, decided to temporarily evacuate some staff at the 
Guinea Alumina mine due to the country's gas situation. 
Bechtel officials said on Saturday that they plan on keeping 
their leadership at the construction site, but will be 
sending most of their technical staff out of the country 
today. Many of the country's mining companies have 
temporarily seized operations since September 28, and are 
reportedly struggling to maintain sufficient fuel levels for 
operation. 
 
 
¶4. (U) Internal transportation is becoming increasingly 
difficult for average Guineans, making commodity prices spike 
and fresh produce difficult to obtain in Conakry. The city's 
large markets remained shuttered this weekend. Several 
business people reported that their suppliers in the interior 
are unable to deliver products to the city due to both the 
fuel shortages and their fear of increasing make-shift check 
points run by the military. Excess stocks in the interior are 
reportedly laying to waste -- awaiting delivery to Conakry 
and surrounding populations. 
 
 
                                             -------------- 
MISSING BODIES 
-------------- 
 
 
¶5. (U) Embassy received reports over the weekend that some 14 
dead bodies washed up onto Guinea's shores near its border 
with Sierra Leone. Although these reports have not yet been 
verified, the stories are adding to Guinean anger over 
missing victims of the September 28 attacks. Several contacts 
have expressed their grave concern over these reports and 
noted that such stories are aggravating the already tense 
situation. 
 
 
----------------- 
ECOWAS NEGOTIATOR 
----------------- 
 
 
¶6. (SBU) On Saturday, ECOWAS chose Burkinabe President Blaise 
Campaore to act as mediator between the CNDD and the Force 
Vives. Several members of the Forces Vives noted that they 
are not interested in further discussions with the CNDD. They 
also believe that the nomination of Campaore, who himself 
took power in a military coup, may send the wrong message to 
Dadis. They agreed to hold a private meeting with Campaore 
today at 3pm to discuss their demands and decide whether they 
will accept his nomination. Sources within the Forces Vives 
say that they expect that Campaore will be rejected by the 
group. DAS William Fitzgerald and Charge Kent Brokenshire are 
scheduled to meet with the Forces Vives at 1200 today. They 
will also join the local contact group in a meeting with 
Campaore at 1430. 
 
 
----------------- 
POSSIBLE PROTESTS 
----------------- 
 
¶7. (SBU) Embassy received reports that several youth groups 
plan to stage a series of protests today starting around 9am. 
Apparently the youth groups from the Matoto neighborhood are 
disappointed that they did not organize a formidable protest 
at the end of last week. As such, they plan to use today to 
show their solidarity with the youth groups in other 
neighborhoods. 
 
¶8. (SBU) Family members of victims of the September 28 
attacks are planning to march on Camp Alpha Yaya to demand 
the return of missing bodies. They will reportedly be joined 
by several women's groups protesting the violation of women 
at the stadium last Monday. (COMMENT: The Embassy received 
several reports of such marches last week, many of which were 
easily dispersed by police well before getting to the camp. 
END COMMENT) Though there are still rumors of a general 
strike, no organized order from the unions has been issued. 
 
¶9. (SBU) COMMENT: Though Conakry remains tense, no 
large-scale protests are yet planned for the week. The 
outcome of the Force Vives' meeting with Campaore will most 
likely set the tone for any possible demonstrations later 
this week. Even if there is no organized movement, the gas 
shortage could cause a de facto strike throughout the country. 
BROKENSHIRE