The Christian Reformed Church’s Crisis Management Team has placed a hold on all travel by CRC personnel to the West African country of Guinea, due to the current political instability there.
Bill Thornburg, leader of the CRC’s Guinea Event Response Team, said there are no plans at this time to pull out World Missions personnel already in the country.
“We have one family in Conakry, and the others are in rural areas, which have not been affected so much,” Thornburg said. They are being allowed to remain there at this time, but the response team is monitoring the situation closely.
Tensions in the coastal capital city Conakry escalated following a rally opposing the military rule of Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara. CNN reported that demonstrators at the rally were attacked by government security forces, killing nearly 160 people and injuring more than 1,200.
Both the U.S. State Department and the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs have urged their citizens to leave the predominantly Muslim country and have advised against all travel there. The U.S. Embassy in Conakry has been closed. The Canadian Embassy serving Guinea is located in neighboring Senegal and remains open.
The potential for violence remains high in the run up to elections scheduled for early 2010.
“Pray for a just and peaceful resolution to the political situation, protection over our staff and partners, and wisdom for the event response team,” Thornburg said.