Alpha Conde: Rebels, Rice and Reform
The following post is based on information contained in article on the website of Guinee 58.
Rebels, rice and reform of the Guinean military. What might they have in common? Quite a bit, it appears, as Alpha Conde is pulling the intertwined strings on all three.
After the first round of the 2010 presidential election, Alpha Conde, concerned about his ability to beat Cellou Dalein Diallo in the second round, put together a rebel force, trained by Burkinabes, and housed within camps in Sierra Leone, close to the Guinean border. If Conde had lost the election, he intended to activate the rebel force to take back the country and to seize the presidency.
A few months ago, you may remember a “magnanimous gesture” on the part of Alpha Conde when he “donated” 2,000 tons of rice to the government of Sierra Leone. Guineans were flabbergasted that a huge quantity of their primary staple was handed over to another country when many Guineans do not have enough to eat. The people of Guinea were right to be suspicious. The rice was being sent to Sierra Leone to feed Conde’s rebel force.
Within the last week, the President of Sierra Leone , Ernest Bai Koroma, told Alpha Conde to remove the rebel force from his country. Leaders in West Africa know that people, like Charles Taylor, are in the International Criminal Court for many reasons including the creation and harboring of such armed groups.
Yesterday, Alpha Conde confirmed that he was taking his first steps to reform the Guinean military by overseeing the retirement of 4,000 officers and soldiers. What a convenient opportunity to integrate his rebel force into the Guinean military.
We can only hope that the international community takes note that its “democratically-elected” president in Guinea was plotting an ethnic war and a coup d’etat if he had lost the 2010 election. Well, he did lose the election, but “won” through massive fraud on the part of a Conde party operative, Lounceny Camara, who is the president of the current electoral commission. The international community should be very careful about forcing yet another fraudulent election on the people of Guinea. No justice, no peace.