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Violence breaks out in Guinea - Djembefola - Djembe Forum

For chatting and discussions.
User avatar
By dleufer
#7053
Yeah it really is terrible. I'm not sure that I can really trust the January election to run smoothly or fairly if this kind of violence breaks out over a protest. It's frightening to imagine what will happen if Camara actually runs in the election and wins (or loses).
User avatar
By bops
#7054
For a leader who grabs power by way of a military coup, "winning an election" is a walk in the park. African ballot boxes almost always come pre-stuffed. A ruler who terrorizes the population is a coward - afraid of ideas, words, and debate... afraid of his own people. Slave to his own power. The reason most ousted African leaders go into exile is because they would be killed otherwise.

When Moussa Dadis Camara came to power, he promised to rid the government of corruption, to hold free elections within two years, and that he would not run in the elections. He has gone back on every one of those promises.

I personally would not want to be there during election time. Tumult is almost guaranteed. If at all possible, head to the village and stay there.
User avatar
By michi
#7063
bubudi wrote:yes, consider bamako instead. you could always make conakry on a future trip.
I second that. Bamako is peaceful and safe--I ended up going out late at night by myself quite a bit and believe I was about as safe as I would be here in Australia.

After hearing the horror stories about Mohamed's camp two years ago when violence broke out, I would strongly reconsider going to Guinea, especially if there is an election going on--that's almost a guarantee for violence. I don't know exactly where Mamady's camp is in Conakry and how close that might be to likely flash points. But, regardless, if the security situation gets out of hand, you may well find yourself trapped in the compound without being able to go anywhere, which would be rather boring (apart from being scary...)

If you do consider Bamako, check out Jeremy Chevrier's Djembe Hotel. Jeremy and Tewa (his wife) are good hosts, Tewa is an excellent cook who feeds her guests well, and Jeremy can put you in touch with very good teachers.

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By michi
#7065
More news from Amnesty International:

http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-upda ... s-20091001

And from Voice of America:

http://www.voanews.com/english/2009-09-30-voa1.cfm

The last paragraph is interesting:
A spokesman for the group said Guinea, one of Africa's richest countries in terms of mineral wealth, must not be allowed to join the ranks of failed states.
I wonder whether that is a hint at American or international intervention in Guinea, which has the world's largest bauxite reserves and produces nearly half the world's supply...

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By dleufer
#7073
Yeah I am seriously reconsidering whether it's worth going to Guinea. 5 of us are booked in for Famoudou's course but we can pull out before November 1st and get our deposit refunded. We might try and get in touch with Ibrahima Sarr in Bamako or Zoumana Dembele in Bobo Dioulasso instead. It would probably work out the same price or even cheaper and would certainly be a lot safer.
User avatar
By e2c
#7074
Michael Markus (of Wula Drum) sent this out a bit earlier today -
PEACE TO THE PEOPLE OF GUINEA

As many of you probably already know, there have been unfortunate events taking place in Guinea over the past several days. The people are protesting against the possibility of the Junta running in the next election and the military has incited violent attacks against the protesters. Unfortunately, over 150 people have been killed so far. For a current update, please click here. [Link URL is to updated news on the BBC main site.]

We have contacted many of our friends and staff there, including co-owner of Wula Drum Tom Kondas, as well as members of our teachers' families. While everyone is ok, people there are truly suffering. Conakry is essentially shut down - the airport is closed, no one can work, and people are being advised to stay off the streets...
Tom - and all - if you see this, please know that we are thinking of you (and praying for you) here in the US.
By Paul
#7075
I agree Michi.. But the states are all over Africa since 9/11. Its the new scramble for Africa with US and China as the major players... Everything boils down to money..

I recommend Bobo as a alternative.. I had a great time... But there were big riots last year and the military were pretty trigger happy
User avatar
By dleufer
#7077
Big riots in Bobo too? Jesus, I guess it's going to be pretty hardcore wherever we go.

When Mamady came to Ireland during the summer he gave a really inspiring talk. One of the things he said which I found really interesting was that in his opinion it is possible to send a positive energy out when you play if everyone playing has a specific intention such as generating healing for someone. Maybe people could send some positive vibrations to the Guinean people next time they play. Couldn't hurt anyways.
User avatar
By michi
#7079
Paul wrote:I agree Michi.. But the states are all over Africa since 9/11. Its the new scramble for Africa with US and China as the major players... Everything boils down to money..
I'm sure that, if there is some kind of foreign intervention, we will hear a lot about the need to defend human rights and democracy. I'm also sure that we will not hear a lot about the bauxite, gold, diamonds, and iron ore.

Call me a cynic, if you like... :(

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By michi
#7080
dleufer wrote:Yeah I am seriously reconsidering whether it's worth going to Guinea. 5 of us are booked in for Famoudou's course but we can pull out before November 1st and get our deposit refunded.
Well, only you can decide what you want to do and where the trade-off point is between perceived risk and reward for you personally.

One suggestion: talk to Famoudou or his camp organizers, and maybe also get in touch with some other people who are running tours, such as Bangourake and Mamady. Ask them openly what they think. I'm pretty sure that the organizers won't be interested in having a drum camp in the middle of a war zone so, if things really are bad, they will probably tell you. I realize that there is a conflict of interest there for the organizers, but you might get some useful information to help you make a decision that way.

I really feel sorry for all the people who put so much energy into organizing these camps in Guinea. What a downer :(

Cheers,

Michi.
User avatar
By dleufer
#7081
Yeah it really is amazing that in spite of all the troubles people are still willing to put on courses in Guinea. There really seems to be a lot of pride and optimism about the country and I really feel that I would love to go. Helen Bond who organizes the course seems like a very cool woman. She's been very informative and upfront aobut the whole situation. She was talking to Famoudou himself yesterday and he said that he feels it will have calmed down/improved by January. She has been very realistic too though and has said that we should all keep up to date on the situation and make up our own minds about it.
By bubudi
#7082
calmed down by january with an election due then? sorry, but i don't buy it. if you wait longer it will be too late to get your deposit back. i know that there were people stuck in famoudou's compound during the last riots which is not a great situation. airports were closed and it was hard to get to the airport in the first place.

in bamako you will have no shortage of great drum teachers, and there has been no recent political instability there. michi's suggestion for the djembe hotel is a good one. people have had concerns that it would be more expensive there, but when you compare the rates that abdoul charges for food/accommodation, you'll see that the djembe hotel is quite reasonable. it's comfortable dorm-style accommodation in jeremy's compound with his wife's cooking, plenty of djembe playing going on there in between lessons and sometimes a djembefola will drop in and join the action. jeremy will put you in touch with many great teachers for group or private lessons - sega cisse, matche traore, etc. you mentioned ibrahima sarr who is a very generous teacher, great for advanced players because he will give you a lot of advanced material. he should be in bamako around that time.
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