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A Tragi-Comedy: The Guinea Opposition and Government Resume Dialog Talks on Monday

June 1, 2013
Referee and boxers face to face
Said Djinnit, the international facilitator of the Government dialog, which the opposition occasionally feels obliged to attend, has drawn up rules of engagement for the next meeting scheduled for Monday, June3, which sound more like the instructions a referee might give boxers before a 15-round bout.  What a tragi-comedy.  The government representatives will try not to mix up the lies they told at the last dialog meeting with the ones they will tell on Monday.  The opposition will tell the government to quit being lawless jerks, to postpone the election long enough for a coup against Conde, to send Waymak back to Jacob Zuma, to release all opposition supporters and stop trying out new torture techniques on them,  and to issue the security forces nothing more than toothpicks, and not the pointy kind, as weapons. Okay, okay, this is Guinea Oye’s list.   As for Said Djinnit, he will try to keep a straight face every time the government reps. open their mouths and to feign optimism every time the opposition does the same.
 
Yet, Djinnit might also try to even up the praise he laid on Conde and the opposition in the opening paragraph of his rules of engagement statement.  Here is what he said:
 
“I am glad that calm has returned to Conakry after public protests that led to serious violence and, unfortunately, the loss of many human lives. I also welcome the statements along the lines of appeasement made ​​by various political actors these days. In particular, I welcome the statement by the President of the Republic of 29 May 2013 in which he called on all citizens to dedicate the day of Friday, May 31, 2013 in prayer and meditation for peace, cohesion social and national unity. I applaud his decision to keep his door always open to discuss the future of the country and respect the spirit of true dialogue. I am also pleased with the decision by the opposition leaders to suspend public events to enable pupils and students to prepare and participate in examinations in conditions of peace and serenity. I welcome the provision asserted by the parties to discuss.” 
 
What??  Calm will not return to Guinea until Alpha Conde leaves.  Djinnit praises Conde for saying conciliatory-sounding things which seems useless because Conde is a pathological liar.  But, what Djinnit said about the opposition is odd.  He praises the opposition for getting off the streets so kids can study in conditions of peace and serenity.  Isn’t there an inference here that the presence of the opposition in the streets provokes cops to do evil things like extra-judicial executions?  And, it is precisely the extra-judical killings of kids by state-sponsored forces, which scares the beejeebers out of diplomats and investors alike.
Djinnit’s assessment that calm has returned to Conakry is not warranted.  The country is sitting on a powder keg.  The more Djinnit tries to paint a rosy picture, the more resentment builds within the opposition and especially among the youth.  The young people know the situation is dire and do not want a diplomat to suggest it isn’t.  They understand that the international community is trying to shove another fraudulent election down their throats and, after exams, the international community will come to understand that the election is a non-issue, because the war has already started.
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