Direct Action: OP GRANGE – Sitrep

Tactical Air Control by IMKThis is a continuation of OP NOMOS. On completion of the mission related previously, the SRD are recalled to Niamey, the capital of Niger. They haven’t had a chance to sleep, and food gets shovelled in while they are briefed by LCol Nick Adams, the OP NOMOS liaison officer embedded in US Joint Special Operations Command. The SRD are being sent to Conakry, the capital of the Republic of Guinea. While Canada’s JTF-2 are en route, they will not be arriving for at least 24 hours. The SRD have the skill sets to undertake OP GRANGE.

BRIEFING SRD110513-A01
111324Z May 13

REPUBLIC OF GUINEA
CONAKRY

A Canadian diplomat is missing in Conakry, the capital of the Republic of Guinea, presently the site of both an army mutiny and violent civil protests.

On 3 May 13, the army transferred several units from the Kindia military region to the Alpha Yaya Army Base in Conakry for election security, including three companies of BATA, the parachute regiment (Bataillon autonome des troupes aéroportées). SIGINT indicates the presidency did not request this redeployment and President Alpha Condé expressed concern to an unidentified male regarding the arrival of BATA in the capital.

On 5 May 13, President Condé announced a further delay in legislative elections originally set for 8 Jul 12. Canada’s Ambassador to Guinea, Matthew la Pointe (Dakar), arrived in Conakry on 7 May 13 as part of a UN-sponsored diplomatic intervention in order to accelerate the election process, known as the Assistance Committee for Guinean Elections.

Violent street demonstrations erupted on 10 May 13, protesting the latest election delay. Canada’s participation in the Assistance Committee ended and Ottawa directed Ambassador la Pointe to return to the embassy in Dakar, Senegal. As the ambassador was unable to acquire a seat on a commercial airline, Canada requested assistance from allies, and Germany agreed to fly the ambassador out on a military flight that would be removing all non-essential personnel from the German embassy.

The detonation of an improvised explosive device near the presidential palace on 11 May 13 led the presidency to declare martial law, and the ordered army units – including BATA – to enforce a 1900L curfew.

BATA mutinied at 111330L (1030Z) May 13, capturing parts of the airport. Lacking air traffic control, and with BATA engaging in gun battles with regular army forces at the airport, the German military aircraft on which Ambassador la Pointe was to leave was unable to land. Contact with German authorities indicates the ambassador did not arrive at the airport. There has been no further contact with him.

Canada has agreed to assist in an ad hoc international force to secure the airport and allow non-combatant evacuation operations. The German Bundeswehr has command of this force, and participating countries include Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

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