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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
08CONAKRY80 2008-04-08 12:49:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Conakry
Cable title:  

CONSUMER ORGANIZATION PLANS PROTEST FOR APRIL 10

Tags:   PGOV ECON ASEC GV 
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VZCZCXRO6472
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DE RUEHRY #0080 0991249
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 081249Z APR 08
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2375
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
					  UNCLAS CONAKRY 000080 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV ECON ASEC GV
SUBJECT: CONSUMER ORGANIZATION PLANS PROTEST FOR APRIL 10




1. (SBU) SUMMARY. A local NGO for consumer protection is
planning a large protest against high prices on April 10,
anticipating participation at about 3,000 people. Plans were
announced on BBC and the organization has reportedly
distributed flyers. However, the umbrella civil society
council plans to encourage the organization to cancel the
protest for a variety of political reasons. If they decided
to cancel, they will need to aggressively communicate that
message to the public in order to avoid having people gather
anyway. END SUMMARY.



2. (SBU) The Organization for Consumer Protection (OPC), a
non-governmental organization established in 2001, is
planning to stage a large demonstration in Conakry on April


10. In an official notification letter sent to the Minister
of Interior on April 4, with copies to the Governor of
Conakry and the Mayor of Kaloum, OPC announces its intent to
hold a peaceful march between the People's Palace and the
Prime Minister's Office. The organization estimates that
3,000 people will participate.



3. (SBU) The BBC aired a radio report on April 4 describing
the planned event. Flyers have also been reportedly
distributed throughout the city, although the Embassy has not
actually seen a copy. Local staff report that people are
talking about the demonstration in many public venues,
including local coffee shops and markets. Some have said
that the women who run the many different stalls in the open
air markets are planning to participate.



4. (SBU) Although the OPC has existed for several years, it
is not a well-known organization. The Honorary President, El
Hadj Naby Yaya Camara (aged 75 years), is employed by the
Economic and Social Council, a government body and one of
Guinea's three republican institutions. The OPC's executive
bureau includes nine members, but does not have any figures
as to its total membership. Pol LES spoke to Camara on April
7 after hearing the BBC radio report. Camara said that he
had decided to cancel the demonstration. He pointed out that
as a government official, he is prohibited from organizing
"anti-government" activity. However, Pol LES spoke with the
actual president of the organization, El Hadj Seni Bangoura,
on April 8 who indicated that the OPC wanted to proceed with
the demonstration, but said that they may have to cancel the
event because the government has not answered to the OPC's
written notification.



5. (SBU) Pol LES also spoke with Naby Diakite who is the
official spokesperson for the National Council of Civil
Society Organizations (CNOSG). Diakite reportedly said that
the CNOSG plans to meet with the OPC at 16:00 on April 8 in
order to discuss the planned demonstration. According to
Diakite, the CNOSG will encourage the OPC to issue a formal
communique postponing the event indefinitely. Diakite told
Pol LES that civil society leaders do not want to see the
demonstration push through because it will be too difficult
to control the parameters, which could result in violence.



--------------------------


COMMENT


--------------------------





6. (SBU) Guinean law requires that an organization give
three days notice to the government of any planned public
demonstrations or protests. The OPC met this requirement,
but does not expect to get the government's permission to
proceed. Civil society contacts are nervous about going
forward with a demonstration if the government has not
officially acknowledged the request. If the CNOSG gets what
they want this afternoon, the OPC should back down and issue
a communique to that effect tomorrow. However, since the
event seems to be widely publicized and people generally
agree with the theme (protest against high prices), the CNOSG
and OPC will need to be aggressive in getting any message of
cancellation out to the public. END COMMENT.
CARTER