Canada Condemns Political Violence in Guinea

(No. 281 - September 29, 2009 - 4:30 p.m. EDT) The Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement on the situation in Guinea:

“Canada condemns the Guinean security forces’ brutal suppression of political demonstrations in Conakry, and deeply deplores the resulting deaths and injuries. The use of violence, including sexual violence, to suppress political demonstrations is wholly unacceptable.

“Canada has repeatedly called for a return to constitutional order in Guinea since the December 2008 coup d’état, as well as for free and transparent elections. We have become increasingly concerned about statements by the ruling junta that clearly contradict its commitments for a transition to civilian rule, and are particularly concerned by the declarations of junta leader Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara regarding his potential candidacy in an election.

“The recent unprovoked violence confirms the gravity of the crisis.

“Canada welcomes the African Union’s active engagement in the situation and supports the forceful position it has expressed in recent press releases.

“The Canadian Embassy in Senegal, which is accredited to Guinea, is monitoring the situation closely. The Government of Canada recommends against all travel to the country at this time.”

Canadians in the region who require emergency consular assistance should contact the Honourary Consulate in Conakry at 224 60 236022 or the Canadian Embassy in Dakar at 221 33 889 4700. Alternatively, they may call Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada’s Emergency Operations Centre collect at 613-996-8885. They may also send an email to sos@international.gc.ca.

Friends and relatives in Canada seeking information on Canadian citizens believed to be in the affected area should contact the Emergency Operations Centre at 1-800-387-3124; those in Ottawa should dial 613-943-1055. They may also send an email to the address above.

For more information, please visit Travel Report - Guinea.

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Natalie Sarafian
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs
613-995-1851

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-995-1874