did the peace corps overreact?
The Peace Corps has pulled its volunteers out of Guinea:
Peace Corps has suspended its volunteer program in Guinea due to ongoing safety and security concerns related to recent political instability. All 94 Peace Corps/Guinea volunteers are safe and accounted for and are currently participating in a conference in Mali.Peace Corps never risks much when it comes to protecting the safety of its volunteers, so this is not a terribly surprising decision. There's also the political consideration; pulling out Peace Corps Volunteers sends a strong signal to non-cooperative governments. But while I don't want to read too much into it, the Peace Corps' decision could be yet another sign that the situation in Guinea may get worse before it gets better.
...Both Peace Corps and the U.S. Embassy in Conakry will continue to monitor and assess the safety and security situation in Guinea in preparation for a return of Peace Corps Volunteers as soon as possible.
The UN and the ICC have both announced that they will begin investigations into the September 28 killings of civilian protesters by military forces. The United Nations investigation is already underway, and diplomats are heavily pressuring Captain Camara to step aside. Camara, however, ignored Saturday's African Union-imposed deadline to declare his intentions regarding next year's elections.
What are we to make of all this? For one thing, it's increasingly clear that whatever happened on September 28 - and whatever is happening right now - involves regional security and economic dynamics as well as a domestic power struggle. Evidence that Liberians with ties to the old LURD movement were involved in the massacre is mounting. And there's no telling what the drug lords who use Guinea's unmonitored coast as a handy transit point between Latin American producers and the European market are up to in the midst of this mess.
On the other hand, it's refreshing to see a (relatively) quick international response to an incident that occurred just a few weeks ago. That the United Nations and the ICC have both managed to plan investigations in such a short time frame is a positive development in and of itself. It suggests that there's a stronger global commitment to preventing instability in West Africa in an area that's seen more than its fair share of conflict over the past few decades. It suggests that the ideas behind the Responsibility to Protect doctrine, neo-colonial though they may be, are being taken quite seriously in some quarters. One can only hope that the efforts of those who want to stabilize Guinea will not be in vain.
What do you think? Did the Peace Corps overreact by pulling its volunteers out of Guinea so quickly? Is the situation in Guinea likely to get better or worse in the weeks and months to come?