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An Anniversary and Community Dialogue

New York, NY – One year ago, Alliance Guinea was created in response to the massacre of pro-democracy demonstrators that occurred at the stadium in Conakry on September 28, 2009.  Alliance Guinea brings together Guineans and friends of Guinea throughout the world to promote democracy, justice and the promotion of human rights.

To commemorate the lives lost on September 28, 2009 in the fight for democracy as well as the historic day when Guineans united to vote for independence and self-determination in 1958, Alliance Guinea held a dialogue the evening of September 28, 2010 bringing together representatives from all spectrums of Guinean society in New York, including representatives of both political alliances running in the presidential elections, representatives of civil society, women’s groups, witnesses to the massacre, Guinean citizens of all ethnic backgrounds and friends of Guinea.  Held at the Institute for African Studies at Columbia University in New York City, the goal was to create a space for reflection of the significance of September 28th but also to provide a forum for participants to voice their aspirations for Guinea and to come up with concrete actions that the Guinean community in New York can take to promote a peaceful transition to democracy and the respect of human rights.

The meeting was marked by an open and frank discussion that remained civil, respectful, and above all emphasized the sentiment shared by all sides that we are all Guineans and that the common fate of the country and the subregion is more important than the differences that may seem to divide us now.

“We were united in 1958 when we achieved independence, and we were united last year when we came together – and there was no ethnicity that was not present – to fight for democracy. We need to be united once again to achieve this transition.”

Said one young woman participant who was present at the September 28 stadium one year ago.

Below is the declaration that came out of this meeting approved by the participants, which ends with a pledge to continue to meet across the divides in the days and weeks to come to take concrete action to overcome differences and promote democracy and justice together.

September 28, 1958 – September 28, 2010: A Community Dialogue
Columbia University

Declaration of the Participants

Guineans and friends of Guinea residing in the United States met in room # 208, at the Institute
of African Studies, University of Columbia this Tuesday, September 28, 2010, from 18 H to 20 H.
The purpose of the Conference is both to celebrate and commemorate the important date of
September 28th and also to make proposals and actions to safeguard unity and social cohesion
in order to promote a democratic and peaceful transition.

Regarding the aspirations and recommendations, participants committed themselves to work
resolutely for the entrenchment of democracy and for the promotion of unity, social cohesion,
understanding and acceptance despite our differences.

To do this, speakers intend to:
• Hold public awareness and sensitization meetings with the support of religious leaders,
politicians and the hosts of community radio shows;
• Establish a plan of action and recommendations to be submitted to the future President
elect and his Government to combat impunity and to restore a system of truth and
justice;
• To undertake a public awareness campaign of civic and political education for the
community;
• To find qualified professional journalists to conduct a sensitization program on the
radios;
• To do everything possible to ensure unity and understanding in these 2010 elections so
that there can be democratic, transparent, free, credible and peaceful elections. It is
our belief that it was the unity of the Guinean people that made independence possible
in September 1958, and it is also a united people that requested in September 2009 a
return to constitutional order;
• And finally, to ensure the monitoring and evaluation of the recommendations of the
Conference through the establishment of a special commission.

New York, September 28, 2010

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