The United Nations has worked with regional and international partners to encourage a peaceful return to constitutional order in Guinea following the military’s seizure of power in December 2008. Failure to place Guinea on a stable, democratic trajectory could undermine international efforts to stabilize the sub-region, particularly in the neighbouring countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Côte d’Ivoire and Guinea Bissau where UN peacekeeping and peacebuilding operations are ongoing.
Diplomatic efforts are led on the ground by the UN Office for West Africa (UNOWA) and the Special Representative of the Secretary-General, Mohammed Ibn Chambas. The United Nations has been an active member of the International Contact Group on Guinea (ICG-G), established in January 2009, and comprising Permanent Members and the African Members of the UN Security Council, the European Union, la Francophonie and the Mano River Union. The UN has also supported the efforts of ECOWAS to mediate in the crisis.
Following a 28 September 2009 massacre of protesters who had gathered in a stadium to challenge the coup leader’s possible candidature in elections, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed a Commission of Inquiry which delivered its report in December 2009. The Commission found that crimes against humanity had been committed and that there were reasonable grounds to allege individual criminal responsibility of key members of the ruling military junta. Among its recommendations, the Commission called for the International Criminal Court to be seized of the cases where crimes against humanity were committed and for the establishment in Guinea of an office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Current efforts to encourage a democratic transition are focused on implementation of the Ouagadougou Joint Declaration of 15 January 2010, which provided for the establishment of a Government of National Unity and a 6-month transitional programme that would lead to the holding of presidential elections. The United Nations is currently providing support in key areas, including electoral assistance, as well as for security sector reforms and socio-economic recovery programmes.