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As Elections Approach, Guineans Unite in their Quest for Peace

June 2, 2010

CONAKRY, June 2, 2010 — Guineans will go to the polls on June 27 to elect their president.  Twenty-four candidates have been cleared to participate in this historic contest, the first open, democratic election in the country’s history.

Since the start of the electoral campaign on May 17, Conakry and other regions have been in election mode. The number of political rallies is being stepped up by various campaigns in a bid to garner as many votes as possible. Arrangements have been made for registered candidates and their parties to each have four minutes of radio and television air time, synchronized with rural and community radios.

So the date of June 27 seems immutable.  After a year of unrest marked by the stadium massacres on September 28, 2009 and the attempted assassination of military junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, Guineans have resolutely turned their attention to elections.  However, the issue of security is weighing on the minds of the transitional authorities and many Guineans.  Concerns over several possible pockets of tension during the election have prompted a number of youth associations, artists, and NGOs to band together in a bid to ensure peaceful elections.

Under the slogan “Guinea First - Guinea United in its Quest for Peace,” three NGOs, namely, Cercle de Réflexion et d’Action de la Nation (CRAN), Forum des Jeunes de Guinée (FOJEG), and Amis de la République have joined forces.  With donor support, they have mobilized more than 30 artists from all regions and ethnicities of Guinea to produce a series of pro-peace messages entitled “I love my country,” a timely message during this potentially volatile election period.

In addition to composing a peace song, members of this group have secured a television spot with the participation of various political leaders and transitional authorities, in which they appeal to their fellow citizens to cast their votes in a climate of peace, harmony, and brotherhood.

After successfully participating in a 72-hour study session, the group plans to organize an awareness-building motorcade to travel across the different neighborhoods and areas of Conakry where pockets of tension may exist, and to hold a massive Peace Concert on June 25, two days prior to the election.  Everyone is therefore working to achieve peace, a prerequisite for development.

The peace campaign officially launched on June 1, 2010.