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US Ambassador, Alexander Laskaris, Gives Speech about Guinea’s Political Problems: “No Act of Brutality from the Security Forces Can Contribute to Social Well-Being”

February 21, 2013

guineakidcopsGUINEA, October 2010:  Election police, like all the other state security services, were in full force in the streets in the days before the second round of the election.  Youth were targeted relentlessly, beaten brutally, illegally arrested and hauled off to jail.   More than two years later, nothing has changed.

Speech of Alexander Laskaris, U.S. ambassador to Guinea given at meeting with the National Democratic Institutes in Conakry: “No act of brutality from the security forces can contribute to social well-being”

Published on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 8:23 p.m.,Google translation

Written by Barrie K

Speech of Alexander Laskaris, U.S. ambassador to Guinea to meet with the NDI

” I want to thank NDI who invited me to this event, and most importantly, I would like to thank the Government and people of Guinea that allowed the international community to play a role in the electoral process.

Let’s be clear on one important point … we want fair and transparent elections, led by the Guinean institutions which enjoy the confidence of the people, political parties and civil society. Our ultimate goal is to go to a credible and responsible governance for the benefit of all Guineans, and we believe that the democratic process offers the best hope.

As an American and guests in Guinea, we are honored that you accept as reliable partners in your transition to democracy.

In my culture, the first duty of a guest is to compliment his host.

I respect Guineans … I respect the effort they make to support their families and I respect their energy, initiative and ambition to improve their own lives, those of their families and lives of their countries. I respect the fact that Guineans are united, I also respect the richness of their cultural diversities and traditions.

During these days, we have seen government supporters and opposition generally demonstrate peacefully. Although some negative elements have tried to incite violence, the behavior of the demonstrators and security forces have shown that Guineans meet:

  • The right to protest in support of political parties or other causes;
  • The duty of the security services to protect everyone involved;
  • The obligation to protect private and public property;
  • The possibility of a political debate without hate speech or chauvinists.

I support the call of the Grand Imam of Conakry and the Archbishop of Guinea and the other peace-loving Guineans for this country. The message is given to the Friday prayer or Sunday Mass, it must always be in favor of peace and reconciliation.

With peace comes the need for dialogue and the possibility of progress. The reason we have political rivalries often it is because we do not agree on issues of governance. The purpose of dialogue is to either resolve differences or, more often, manage … to move forward despite our differences.

As American citizen in your country, we do not favor one party or a leader in your … political rivalries, we do not favor neither the government nor the opposition. We foster an open and transparent process.

Elections represent the beginning and not the end of democracy. The elections provide an opportunity for people to ask simple questions to those of you who aspire to lead.

  • Who will give us electricity and water?
  • Which will ensure that the public service to serve the public?
  • Who will build the roads?
  • Who will educate children and will provide jobs for graduates?
  • Who will take care of the sick and elderly?

It be neither mine nor a stranger among politicians to predict the most likely to meet these challenges. This is the work of Guineans who act through a democratic process.

However, there is one thing I can predict. If Guineans train leave the path of violence and chauvinism, none of these requirements will be satisfied.

No Molotov cocktail, no machete and no firearm can not run a school or a hospital. No young man throwing a stone can not meet the needs of his family. No act of brutality from the security forces can contribute to social welfare.

Peace and democracy are not magic solutions … Even when there approach, the economic and social progress is not guaranteed. All I can suggest the Guinean people is to tell them it would be easier to achieve these goals in personal and national peace and democracy in the violence and repression.

Through the support of the American people and the project RECOPPEL NDI, we would remain friends and business partners for the peaceful development of Guinea.

Thank you”

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Mohammed Hadir permalink
    February 22, 2013 12:58 AM

    Please my brothers, build your country the right way. You don’t need anyone from the outside preaching democracy to you when they don’t even have it in there own country. They are there to serve themselves and the special interest groups at home. They have no concerns that they listed. They want your natural resources, gold, diamonds, bauxite and iron. Water, lights, education, roads. You the people can do this yourself. Put your tribal differences aside and deal with job ahead and that is Nation building.

    • February 22, 2013 10:08 AM

      Thanks for your comment. The international community is putting on a full-court press after the opposition march to impose a false calm, trying desperately to keep a lid on an explosion that is inevitable. The EU rep. to Guinea, Philippe Van Dame, trying to cover previous tracks he laid when he announced months ago that the Waymark contract was in order and that the opposition did not have a right to suggest fraud might be taking place, emerged this week saying the EU did not interfere in internal politics! Also, a UN rep. spoke this week in Conakry saying that the country needs to get back to organizing the elections. As you say, the international community only has one goal in mind: shove legislative elections down the throats of Guineans so that international investors will not get the beejeebers scared out of them and leave the country. Of course, holding an election, while Conde remains in office will be like a lighted match on a powder keg and then, both diplomats and investors will run for the hills. Guineans will deal with their own problems — and, getting rid of Conde will be at the top of the list. If Guineans follow the “international prescriptions,” Conde will be in office for another 15 years.

      • Mohammed Hadir permalink
        February 22, 2013 11:38 AM

        You are so correct. They want Conde there for 15 years. Please don’t be deceived the international community loves Conde and want him there for life. He is in bed with Tony Blair and they want the bauxite. All of Europe and the United States are afraid of China in Africa and the development program and maga contracts they are signing with Africa and Guinea. This is the international communities concern. Guinea is so undeveloped and raw in minerals that they would like to keep Guinea in an undeveloped mode with a dictator giving away Guinea natural resources for little or nothing.

  2. February 22, 2013 2:08 PM

    The political crisis in Guinea was never settled by the election in the first place. It was just swept under the carpet by the big powers notably France. Give the people justice and watch as peace grows.

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