The Repressive Gov’t. of Alpha Conde Update: October 28, 2011
-Etienne Soropogui, the only opposition party leader to be arrested in connection with the march on September 27, is still in jail as legal proceedings against him continue. Three other leaders of opposition political parties received summons from the Court in Dixinn to appear as witnesses to provide testimony about the events of September 27. They are Mouctar Diallo, Fode Oussou Fofana, and Faya Millimono and are to appear in court on Wednesday, November 2. Stay tuned . .
-On October 26, the US Ambassador, Patricia Moeller, paid Alpha Conde a visit to discuss President Obama’s recent reinstatement of preferred trade status with Guinea (AGOA). After the meeting, the Guinean government issued a press release. Below is an excerpt that shows Conde’s government is getting better and better at lying with a straight face. And, if you have to tell people how good you are, doesn’t it mean it is not readily apparent?
“It is worth mentioning that the criteria for eligibility for AGOA (African Growth and Opportunity Act) are, among others, the practice of a market economy, respect for law and political pluralism, good governance, respect for human rights and those of workers, the fairness of the judiciary, the removal of barriers to trade and investment and the U.S. efforts against corruption. Guinea, Professor Alpha Condé meets all these criteria, proof if any were needed, that our country and is now firmly anchored in the path of democracy and the rule of law.
-Part of Guinea’s transition to a civilian government is reform of the military which includes reducing the overall number of soldiers. Conde’s government announced that he was going to retire some 4200 soldiers. Yet, numerous reports in the Guinean media reveal that Conde has recruited several thousand young men, who have been described as punks or criminals, and sent them to Burkina Faso and Angola for military training. It is not clear whether it is Conde’s intention to integrate the young men into the Guinean military, form a paramilitary group or some sort of “Donzo” battalion. Sources claim that during the September 27 protest, some of these “recruits,” infiltrated the march disguised as Donzos, and assaulted unarmed demonstrators.
-In the central market of Labe this past Tuesday, Guinean soldiers fired teargas before systematically looting the merchants stands taking many valuables and large amounts of money. Rogue soldiers or state-sponsored harassment?
-Amid rumors that Alpha Conde might tour the Fouta region of Guinea, he sent PM Said Fofana and an entourage to Labe on October 28 to repair a “slap” Conde gave to “wise men” of the area when they visited him in Conakry October 9 at Sekoutoureya Palace. The purpose of the October 9 meeting was to seek advice from the “sages” on the issue of national reconciliation. During the October 9 meeting, Conde was not as politic and gracious as he could have been and told the sages it was time to “get over it” concerning the abuses of the past as he resisted calls by the sages to factor in justice for the aggrieved as a fundamental part of the reconciliation process. Both area and city officials were not informed of the visit ahead of time and had to learn about it “in the street.”
-Over the past several weeks, Guinea’s electoral commission, the CENI, under the watchful eye of Lounceny Camara, has undergone some changes. Camara fired a central member of the CENI, Pathe Dieng, under a trumped up accusation. Two members have resigned in protest. As the World of CENI turns. Stay tuned …