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”
GUINEA, 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.