Haitians often say that when they die they want to be returned home to Guinea (or Ginen) referring to the Gulf of Guinea on Africa’s West Coast where many Africans were taken as slaves and Haitians are thought to be among their descendants. Yet, even in death, a Haitians’ return to West Africa may be fraught with the same violence and imperial repression as they experience in Haiti.
The following video was shot in Conakry, Guinea, on January 22, 2007, and shows a massacre of peaceful demonstrators by the Guinean army and mercenaries hired from neighboring Guinea-Bissau by the Guinean government. The unions led a national strike for jobs, food, shelter, running water, functioning electricity and the resignation of its ruler of 23 years, Lansana Conte. The people of Guinea got none of the things they demonstrated for and estimates suggest that close to 1,000 people were killed. Unfortunately, this is a scenario that will be most familiar to the people of Haiti.
On September 28, 2009, another terrible state-sponsored massacre took place in Guinea against protesters who were demonstrating in opposition to the ruling military junta dictatorship.
The demonstration culminated in the sports stadium in the capital of Conakry where an opposition rally was to be held. The enthusiasm of the protesters soon turned into terror as a bloodbath ensued. Guinea’s armed forces, along with hired mercenaries, opened fire on peacful, unarmed citizens. At least 200 people were killed. The actual number of dead is higher given that authorities, in an attempted cover-up, threw many bodies into the sea from helicopters and, for obvious reasons, the official count does not include them. In addition, in one of the most heinous displays of violence ever seen in Guinea, over 100 women were stripped publicly and raped by soldiers using the barrel of their guns and knives.
Most of the people murdered and women raped are of one particular ethnic group, the Fulahs. Most recently, Dadis Camara has given instructions to South African and Israeli mercenaries he hired and brought to Guinea to recruit and train young men of his own ethnic group to prepare for ethnic warfare.
Below is video in which a witness chronicles the horrible events that unfolded. Along the end of the video, you will see various opposition leaders in the stands of the stadium expressing their joy at the huge turnout and the possibility for change in Guinea. Little did they know that, only minutes later, the junta’s presidential guard would attack them, nearly beating three of them to death.: