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IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
09CONAKRY263 2009-05-13 11:04:00 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Conakry
Cable title:  

MILITARY ROB MARKET BUSINESSES, PROTEST ENSUES

Tags:   PGOV PHUM PREL ASEC GV 
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VZCZCXRO9662
RR RUEHMA RUEHPA
DE RUEHRY #0263 1331104
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131104Z MAY 09
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 3663
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
					  UNCLAS CONAKRY 000263 
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CORRECT COPY (adding PARA Mrakings)

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SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PHUM PREL ASEC GV
SUBJECT: MILITARY ROB MARKET BUSINESSES, PROTEST ENSUES



1. (SBU) SUMMARY. Two stores in Conakry's Medina Market were
reportedly robbed of safes and merchandise by men in uniform
early Saturday morning. The following morning vendors
refused to open the market. Protests ensued targeting the
local gendarmerie and guard force who failed to protect the
businesses. CNDD President Dadis appears to be on the
defensive as reports of criminal activity by the army against
civilians continue. END SUMMARY.




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MARKET BUSINESSES ROBBED


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





2. (SBU) At 0200 Saturday 9 May, two stores in the Medina Market in
downtown Conakry --the largest daily market area in Guinea--
were robbed by men dressed in military uniforms who
reportedly stole two safes and an undetermined amount of
merchandise. According to the president of Guinea's
Association of Businessmen, the ensuing protest in the market
targeted local gendarmes for their failure to protect
Medina's businesses. The gendarmerie station was reportedly
attacked by rioters seeking to burn it down. At noon
Saturday, and again on Sunday, Minister of Presidential
Security Claude Pivi Coplan visited the market, and sent
reinforcements to secure the situation and to protect the
gendarmes.



3. (SBU) The market was closed over the weekend due to the unrest
and remains closed as of Monday morning. The local hospital
confirmed one death; however, local sources report that the
death was a bystander who suffered a heart attack. No other
injuries or deaths were confirmed, although contacts suggest
that several people were hurt.



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


VICTIMS PROTEST TO CNDD


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





4. (SBU) On Saturday, the Fulani(Peuhl) store owners went to
military Camp Alpha Yaya to protest the robbery to the
Secretary of State for Special Services, Anti-Narcotics, and
Organized Banditry and Crime, Captain Moussa Tiegboro Camara,
who was unavailable. Store owners reportedly met with his
deputy. The merchants are checking their inventories for
stolen items and money and will present a list to the GoG
later today.



5. (SBU) According to the President of the businessmen's
association, the protest is now also targeting the local
guard force for the market, whom the merchants suspect of
complicity in the robberies. There is also an undercurrent of
ethnic tension as some Fulani merchants apparently believe
their businesses are being targeted by thieves while the
Soussou merchants are being left alone. The local guard
force is primarily Soussou.


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


COMMENT


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




6. (SBU) The recent report by Human Rights Watch of documented
cases of robbery, rape and extortion by soldiers received
significant coverage in the press and appears to have put the
President of the CNDD Moussa Dadis Camara and the army on the
defensive. At the same time, the market incident suggests
that Guineans are becoming impatient over the GoG's lack of
law enforcement and the continued impunity of its security
forces. In a four-hour televised appearance on Sunday, Dadis
reportedly commented on the need to reform the army, but
chastised the international community for not providing the
funds to help. END COMMENT.


RASPOLIC