Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dear all,

In view of the current situation in Guinea and in solidarity with our fellow MILEAD sister , Aminata Fall, the victims, hurting families ( of rape, kidnaps, torture, brutal death etc)and the poeple of Guinea, we the first set of MILEAD fellows have come out with a statement of solidarity and a petition which we would like you to sign/ endorse and circulate in your networks and please remember to let have it back.

"Take action with us- forward your NAME and COUNTRY to be included as a signatory to this urgent petition" or something in this light. (Or join us today to demand action- to sign the petition, forward your name and country to: and

Below is the solidarity statement and the petition.

Solidarity statement
Following the 28th September violence in Conakry, we the first generation of Fellows of the Moremi Initiative for Leadership Empowerment and Development (MILEAD), joining hands with several organizations and millions of people around the world, raise our voices to condemn the deterioration of the political situation to the detriment of the people of Guinea.We raise our voices first and foremost to express solidarity with our fellow MILEAD sister Aminata Fall and with the families of the victims.We condemn fervently the deaths of several innocent Guineans and the physical and sexual violence committed against the women of Guinea. These atrocities should not, indeed will not go unnoticed. These events must be brought to the forefront because once the people of a country face the butts of the army’s guns we must respond and act with the urgency that such a situation demands.The military regimes that have held power in Guinea since 1984 have continually perpetrated acts of violence against the Guinean population and have violated human rights and the rule of law. Indeed the massacre of 28th September was an inevitable deterioration of an already deplorable situation following the forcible military takeover led by Moussa Dadis Camara on 23rd December 2008. Less than a year later Camara rescinded his promise of a smooth transition from military rule to a democratically government chosen through free and transparent elections.We the young women of MILEAD, our partner organizations and other concerned individuals raise our voices in solidarity with the people of Guinea whose right to free political expression was mercilessly trampled upon by unscrupulous forces of the same Dadis Camara who now confesses to have lost control of the army that helped bring him to power. We not only condemn this obvious weakness of political structures and lack of institutions, we also demand that action be taken and encourage our partners to join us in working with the people of Guinea to restore hope, healing and political change.We raise our voices particularly against the violent physical and sexual abuse of women and girls on this terrible day in Guinea’s history. We decry the use of rape as a tool of conflict, of intimidation or of punishment and we above all decry the use of the female body as an arena for violently hashing out political differences. Brutal gang rape will not go unpunished and we will seek redress at the appropriate national, regional and international institutions. As young women desirous of making a tangible contribution to the advancement of democracy and the rule of law in our respective countries, we use this statement of solidarity as a platform and a symbol of our socio-political engagement. We pledge to take a stand on issues, to vocalize our concerns and above all to take action whenever necessary since passive leadership is in fact no leadership at all.We call on the Guinean authorities to work towards a speedy return to peace and a respect for the rights of the people. We are aware that Guinea today is working towards finding her place on the African continent and on the international scene however this cannot be achieved by alienating the people and civil society.Our thoughts, our hearts, our sympathies go to the people of Guinea, to the victims, to those hurting and to their families.Ghana, 5th October 2009

The President of Guinea

The Presidents of: Cameroun; Democratic Republic of Congo; The Gambia; Ghana; Kenya; Lesotho; Liberia; Malawi; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Somalia; South Africa; Tanzania; Uganda; Zambia and Zimbabwe

The President: ECOWAS Commission

We, Fellows of the Moremi Initiative for Leadership, Empowerment and Development (MILEAD), representing 21 African countries and communities in the Diaspora, in collaboration with our partners, raise our voices to demand an independent and internationally monitored investigation into the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 157 Guineans on the 28th of September 2009. We call for the immediate cessation of all tactics of repression, including acts of sexual violence against the women of Guinea and we demand swift legal action against all perpetrators of such barbaric acts. We also call for dialogue between the armed forces, the CNDD and the government in order to uphold the promise and duty of free and transparent elections in Guinea.

As young African women leaders committed to building a strong and democratic future for ourselves and future generations we can no longer tolerate any acts of barbarism and intolerance that violate the human rights, dignity or safety of far too many our fellow African sisters and brothers.

We remain convinced that barbaric violence must be replaced by social and political dialogue at the national and regional levels, for without this nation-building is an impossibility. We also believe that leaders at the community, national and international level have a central role to play in condemning the actions of the guilty and in expressing openly their solidarity for the victims.

1. We ask that the Presidents of our respective African countries (Cameroun, Democratic Republic of Congo, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe), make a formal condemnation of the use of any repressive tactics in Guinea and demand an internationally monitored investigation into recent events.
1. Express support for free and transparent elections founded upon the right to freedom of speech.

2. Demand that legal action be taken to against those parties guilty of murder, rape and physical brutality on this day.

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Violence against women is a worldwide yet still hidden problem. Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most of us have a hard time imagining because violence is such a deep part of our cultures and lives.