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Angola’s Reasons for Ending Military Reform Aid to Guinea-Bissau Apply Equally Well to Its Training of Ethnic Militias from Guinea

April 9, 2012
 Alpha Conde has been sending ethnic militias, on a regular basis, to Angola for training.  With a 40,00 + regular army, one might wonder why.  Not only did Conde use ethnic-baiting rhetoric during the campaign, but, as president, he has made the promotion of ethnic hatred against the Peul ethnic group, a central part of Guinean government policy.

A week ago, Guinea Oye! posted an open letter from a Guinean organization to Angolan president Dos Santos, requesting he not accept any more Guinean ethnic militias for training because of the serious threat they pose to Peuls, specifically and to the country, in general.
Simultaneously, Conde purges the regular military of Peuls and builds militias of his own ethnic group, Malinkes.  There is no mistake about the intent –Conde is preparing for the ethnic cleansing of Peuls.
Angola has just decided to withdraw its military reform aid from Guinea Bissau (see article further below).  The reasons given appear to be equally applicable to Angola’s training of Guinean ethnic militias. 

Angolan foreign minister, Georges Chicoty, speaking about these reasons, said:

“Guinea Bissau asked for help from Angola and we gave a good-hearted response, but if this help is doing damage to some people then it is not matching (its goals).”
Based on this statement, perhaps a few letters to Mr. Chicoty are in order.
Angola to end military reform aid in Guinea Bissau
Mon Apr 9, 2012 9:06pm GMT

* Mission was to help reform security sector

* Guinea Bissau has suffered series of military coups

LUANDA, April 9 (Reuters) – Angola is ending its military mission to help modernise the army in Guinea Bissau as a result of requests from unnamed “sectors” in the country, Portuguese news agency Lusa quoted Angola’s foreign minister as saying on Monday.

The mission, agreed in 2010, was designed to help end the military coups that have plagued the tiny west African state since both countries won independence from colonial power Portugal in the mid-1970s.

“Guinea Bissau asked for help from Angola and we gave a good-hearted response, but if this help is doing damage to some people then it is not matching (its goals),” Lusa quoted Angolan Foreign Minister Georges Chicoty as saying in Bissau.

Lusa added Chicoty, speaking at the end of a half-day trip to Bissau during which he met interim President Raimundo Pereira, said the decision to end the mission had followed requests from “some sectors in Guinea Bissau”.

“The cooperation programme had various aspects and in our view was satisfactory until now … naturally, if it does not all satisfy then naturally Angola cannot impose itself,” he added.

The mission, officially launched in March last year, included the deployment of around 200 Angolan military and police personnel and aid of $30 million to be spent on infrastructure, equipment and training projects.

Lusa earlier on Monday quoted a spokesman for Guinea-Bissau’s army as saying the armed forces command had not asked for the mission to be terminated.

Guinea Bissau is currently in the middle of two rounds of voting to elect a new president to replace Malam Bacai Sanha, who died in a Paris hospital in January after a long illness.

Former Prime Minister Carlos Gomes Junior, who fell just short of an outright majority in the first round, is meant to face Kumba Yala in the run-off on April 22, but Yala and four other candidates have said they will boycott the vote in protest over alleged first-round rigging.

Angola’s $500 million plan to build a bauxite mine and deepwater port in Guinea Bissau has stalled due to an uncertain political and security environment in the country, an adviser to the Guinea Bissau government said last month. (Reporting by Shrikesh Laxmidas; Editing by Alison Williams)

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