Guinea. According to
COUNTRYAAH, Alpha Condé, leader of the opposition party RPG
(Rassemblement Populaire Guiné), was sentenced in August to
five months in prison for incitement. The case has attracted
strong criticism both within G. and internationally. Condé,
who had returned to G. after several years in exile, was
arrested when he was about to leave the country after the
1999 presidential election. for trying to overthrow the
government. International observers criticized the trial,
which they claimed was wrong.
In the fall, armed groups from Sierra Leone and Liberia
made raids into G. According to Guinean authorities, at
least 600 people were killed from September to mid-November.
Guinea accused Liberia, Burkina Faso and the Sierra Leonean RUF
guerrillas, together with Guinean dissidents, behind the
attacks. Liberia, for its part, accused Guinea of harboring
Liberian rebels who had attacked government forces in
northern Liberia in July. The violence aggravated the
situation of the hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leonean and
Liberian refugees in Guinea. The regime accused refugees in the
border area of supporting the attackers. In September,
President Lansana Conté threatened to send all refugees back
to their home countries or put them in special camps. The
statement led to violent attacks on refugees, and thousands
were forced to leave Guinea.
At the beginning of November, President Conté postponed
security elections scheduled for November 26 for security
reasons. Several opposition parties had previously
threatened to boycott the election because the election
could not be conducted under safe conditions in the northern
part of the country. Some of the opposition parties also
demanded that an independent electoral commission be
appointed and Condé be released.