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The first official "Founding Supporter" is the Mipcom Organization, providing the Peace Cup project a FREE stand to present its concept to professionals from the television industry from all over the world. For 5 days MIPCOM brings the TV and New Media converging industries together to deliver the best business opportunities and shape the future of Television. This International Film and Programme Market for TV, Video, Cable and Satellite is held from 2-6 October 2000 - Palais des Festivals - Cannes - France.
Also read the latest news about west African war zones.
Refugees rounded up in Guinea -BBC World Service
12 September 2000
Security forces in the West African state of Guinea have begun rounding up refugees from neighbouring Liberia and Sierra Leone, on the orders of President Lansana Conte.
In a nationwide broadcast, he accused them of being involved in recent armed attacks along Guinea's borders. A BBC correspondent says the speech was the trigger for concerted
action against foreigners living in the capital, Conakry, both by the security forces and by Guinean civilians. Thousands sought refuge at the Sierra Leonean embassy, amid scenes of chaos. President Lansana Conte called for a general mobilisation and accused the
opposition leader, Alpha Conde, who's on trial for treason, of instigating the attacks. Nearly eighty people have been killed in cross-border raids since the start of this month. Guinea is home to about half a million refugees who've fled the conflicts in
Liberia and Sierra Leone.
- From the newsroom of the BBC World Service
Date: Mon, 11 Sep 2000 10:31:04 +0100
From: Jay & Jan
To: "Marcel Stappers"
Subject: Orphanage Update
Marcel and Tejan -
The attached is a newsletter from our friend Jim Hall, who is helping organize adoptions of Sierra Leonean orphans here in the states. Included in the newsletter is information on humanitarian efforts in Guinea to help orphaned and disfigured children from Sierra Leone amidst all the turmoil. At the end of it are a couple of news items - things are heating up again, and this time are involving Guinea, and possibly heading towards a 3-way war.
Please forward this to everyone in the forum. They are requesting help with contacts in Senegal and we are hopeful someone in the forum will have some information or ideas on how to help them. This has got to come to a head.
Jay & Jen
Friends of L'Eglise de Vigne de Conakry
Email Newsletter Update
For some of you this may be your first email from us, for others it simply has been a long time. This email has been sent to you because at some time you have expressed an interest in Pastor Oliver Chigboa's work at L'Eglise de Vigne et Maison des Enfants de Conakry (The Church of the Vine and Children's Home of Conakry, Guinea). This is a Church and Orphanage in Conakry, The Republic of Guinea, West Africa. Some of you are long time friends, some are adoptive parents of children from the orphanage, and some of you we
simply haven't met yet. To all of you: Greetings and God bless you.
We try to send these Updates out monthly to keep everyone informed about our work with the Church in Guinea and the orphans from the war in Sierra Leone. We also send these out when there is an emergency that needs prayer and support. This update unfortunately falls in the latter category.
Things at the orphanage have been going well recently. There have been 13 children placed in loving homes here in the US. There currently 10 children in process that are ready to come home any day now pending the arrival of their paperwork. The government of Sierra Leone has come to us requesting our care and placement of over 30 more desperately needy orphans currently on the streets of Freetown. Some of these children have been seriously
maimed by the Rebels. It is our intent to move these children to the safety of the
orphanage as soon as possible and find them loving homes.
On another front, we have two 1 year old twin baby girls that some of you may remember were abducted by the Rebels as the children were on their way to meet their new adoptive parents waiting in Dakar, Senegal. These heartbroken parents had to return home to Upstate New York without their baby girls, not knowing if they are yet alive. We were able to track down the twins and have been able to get them care. Although they remain trapped in Rebel held territory we have been able to monitor their well being. An
opportunity arose several weeks ago to have them smuggled out to safety. Please pray
for these little girls they were to be moved either last weekend or this weekend,
whichever was safest. We have yet to hear of their progress. The plan was originally to have them moved to the safety of the orphanage. Due to yesterday's developments that is longer an option.
Yesterday, I received an unsettling phone call from Pastor Oliver in Conakry. He stated that yesterday the President of Guinea, Lansana Conte went over the airwaves with a national address to all armed forces as well as civilians. He instructed them to arrest and detain all Sierra Leoneans as well as Liberians and gather them into the prison camps. As you can guess this created quite a stir. Oliver said that the Army is going from house to house searching, arresting, and beating foreign nationals of Liberia and Sierra Leone.
Please remember, Pastor Oliver's wife, Wreema, is Liberian. All the children and
caregivers are Sierra Leonean. At this time, it seems that the best option is to attempt to evacuate everyone from Guinea and abandon the compound. They cannot go to the airport because they would surely be detained and we cannot draw attention by moving as one large group. We now pray to be able to move all the children in small groups of 3 and 4 with one caregiver each in rented vehicles. Our plan is to go to Dakar, Senegal. Pastor Oliver believes that this would be a good safe place to relocate. The only setback is that none of the children have the necessary travel documents to legally enter Senegal. The Sierra Leone Embassy in Conakry has been mobbed by panicked nationals. Please pray that either
peace may reign and/or the children somehow are allowed safe passage.
We are also trying to find temporary accommodations for the 17 children and 6 adults in Dakar until we can secure a place of our own. If anyone has any contacts there that you believe would be of help please contact us. We are also opening a separate Humanitarian Fund to try to absorb the cost of this unexpected tragedy.
If you haven't been following the news; the brutal civil war in Sierra Leone is slowly spilling over into Liberia and Guinea. The rebels in Sierra Leone are bankrolled by the President/ Murderer/ Dictator of Liberia, Charles Taylor. He also has an interest in seeing Guinea's elected government fall as well. Tensions are high and some fear an all out 3 way war between the countries. Please pray for these people. I have attached the
following news reports detailing the situation. I will now try to get another Update
like this out once per week until this current emergency is settled. We appreciate
all the love, care, support and prayer that has been showered on us by you all. We are blessed by our friends and the Body of Christ for their faithfulness. Please know that we pray for you as well. Pastor Oliver considers his family to be on both sides of the
Ocean. The children pray daily for those that love them and whom they have never seen.
God bless you all.
James V. Hall
Fears for Guinea refugees
Aid agencies in the West African state of Guinea have expressed concern about thousands of refugees fleeing the country. The exodus began after a speech by President Lansana Conte, in which he accused refugees of being involved in attacks on the country's borders. Entire families are reported to have been rounded up by security forces and gangs of youths. A spokeswoman for the UN refugee agency the BBC that it and local
authorities were working together in Guinea to make sure the refugee situation
did not get out of control. They should go home. We know that there are rebels among the
refugees- President Lansana Conte
Between 600 and 700 Sierra Leoneans have sought refuge in their embassy in the Guinea capital Conakry. Nearly 80 people have been killed in border attacks since the beginning of the month, but BBC West Africa correspondent Mark Doyle says it is not clear who was responsible. According to the United Nations Guinea is host to an estimated 125,000
Liberians and 330,000 Sierra Leoneans who have fled civil wars in their own countries. It is the largest number of refugees in any one country in Africa.
Mr Conte said in a nationwide broadcast: "I am giving orders that we bring together all foreigners... so that we know what they are doing... and that we search and arrest suspects. "They should go home. We know that there are rebels among the refugees." President Conte also accused the opposition leader Alpha Conde, who is on trial for sedition, of recruiting mercenaries to topple his government. But a Liberian Government statement said the incident would not sour the cordial ties between the two countries.
Correspondents say the war in the region has led to the creation of a volatile triangle along the borders of Guinea, Liberian and Sierra Leone.
- From the newsroom of the BBC World Service