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Interview of Bah Oury, UFDG VP: “When the Stakes are Fundamental . . . Freedom, Security, Equality of Citizens in the Republic and the Future of the Whole Society, Negotiations Can Not Find an Acceptable Solution”

June 25, 2013
Interview Translated into English via Google.  For French version, click “Articles en Francais -2013” above.
Note: The Conde government accused Bah Oury of being the “mastermind” behind an “attack” on Alpha Conde’s home on July 19, 2011 – a preposterous lie.  Bah Oury was forced to run for his life as military soldiers had been ordered to apprehend and kill him.  He escaped the country and went into exile in France.  He remains there today, but with a keen eye on political developments in his country.
Bah Oury to Guineenews: Calling all Guineans not to fall into the “ethnic” trap


Guineenews posted this June 24, 2013 an interview with Mr. Bah Oury, First Vice-President of the UFDG. In the light of what is happening right now in Guinea, the interview should be widely disseminated.

As initiated by the international community inter-Guinean dialogue do you remember?

Bah Oury:  Let me be clear. Our country is in a deep multidimensional crisis since the late 90s. Inter-Guinean political dialogues have been made ​​repeatedly without resulted in a sustainable way out of crisis. Worse, each agreement will only delay a larger explosion of the crisis. The democratic opposition boycotted the elections from 2000 to 2005 ie the 2001 referendum, the 2002 general election (except the UPR Siradiou Diallo and Jean Marie Dore UPG) and the 2003 presidential elections. It took the mediation of the international community, including Canada, more or less strong to have credible and transparent local elections and the desire to give a chance to Guinea guaranteed to bring all the democratic opposition to participate in elections municipal and community in December 2005. I recall to memory the time Mr. Diallo was the Prime Minister and Mr. Bangoura Kiridi officiated as Minister of Territorial Administration. The result was a vast electoral farce. We were so duped. The result has been an explosion of social protest with the general strikes of 2006 and 2007 and the massacre of hundreds of demonstrators on 22 January 2007. You know the rest which turned chaotic and even more tragic.

 The current dialogue is a reissue of the above. Mr. Alpha Condé was able to bend some opposition leaders. He had to waymark. He got it. He used the war of attrition against his opponents. He did not hesitate to kill more than fifty peaceful protesters. He did burn hundreds of stores. He imprisoned from 2 to 3000 people who are released dropper as hostages are released at the whim of politicians haggling. He violated the Constitution repeatedly and trampled the laws and regulations of the Republic to achieve its goal.

Finally, we attended a negotiated surrender of some opposition leaders. The strategy they have adopted since the inauguration of Alpha Condé, was bad. They focused their efforts on peripheral aspects of the electoral process by the spotlight on technical issues and dropped what should be the basis of their struggle is the respect of the constitution, the electoral code and communities across the country . They endorsed the regulatory law on joint reorganization of INEC regardless of its content. The important thing was for them to get rid of Loucény Camara while the latter was the instrument of the Alpha policy, as is more effectively Bakary Fofana.

These agreements deal with the cause of democracy in Guinea and also dedicate the victory to impunity at the expense of respect for the rule of law and the values ​​of human rights and civil rights.

Today the situation is clear, many observers believe that the opposition parties have a little concession from the president’s party. Do you share this opinion?

I agree. This is an outright capitulation to government diktat.

What was your approach? What would you required to go to the dialogue?

When the stakes are fundamental that is to say they are on freedom, security, equality of citizens in the Republic and the future of the whole society, negotiations can not find an acceptable solution. On these issues, there is no compromise. But with the autocratic governance of Alpha Condé, we are facing the future of our country. Accompany Alpha Condé in his dictatorial drift is eventually see national cohesion burst, minerals sold off to satisfy an insatiable profiteering and Guinea to settle permanently under the yoke of a blind and bloody dictatorship.

Very soon, I challenged our compatriots on the dangers of this type of governance. This is me being in exile and his life was saved by the baraka. I reported at the time, the semblance of “dialogue Sékoutouréya” emphasizing the fact that the establishment of a balanced ratio of forces is essential to engage in any negotiations with the government in Conakry. Alas! I have not been followed by my colleagues of the democratic opposition. My predictions were substantiated. That is why, more than ever I continue my way to reach to Guinea, a strong democracy with strong and credible institutions. I am sure that this is the path of responsibility and it is the expression of a strong commitment to Guinea, the vital national reconciliation and long-term stability of our beloved country.

Agreements from the political dialogue provided, inter alia, maintaining Waymark as technical operator input and revision of the electoral list. That inspires you on?

This is a disaster and it is a betrayal of the memory of the victims. Waymark was disqualified by the United Nations have been based on elections is falling into deadly conflict countries such as Kenya. Admit Guinea, it is in fact, prepare another larger and more destructive than the September 28, 2009 tragedy.

We recently learned that Mr. Diallo had renewed contact with you. Can we interpret this as the end of the ego conflict between the two leaders UFDG?

In reality the contact was never broken. Our political differences are well known. Acceptance agreements that endorse maintaining Waymark and willingness to participate in legislation that will allow Alpha Conde to hold all the levers of power to establish its dictatorship over time is a major additional fundamental divergence.

Tell us specifically, were you consulted in the decision-making phases?

From near and far, I have not been involved in this decision.

What is the nature of your current relationship with El Hadj Cellou? 

You know, if the functioning of the party and hierarchies within it as defined by the statutes were met, then we could resolve conflicts and incompatibilities of any kind fairly smoothly. But if those are abandoned while the differences are other reliefs. I am in favor of a transparent and open to make UFDG policy, strong and sustainable institution participatory democratic governance,. For that membership of top management is essential. On this side in terms of duration, I found a difference of substance. My approach differs from that of Mr. Cellou Dalein.

Subsequently, I found that we did not have the same analysis of the nature of the regime and Alpha Condé means and strategies to implement. I emphasized the need to create a report of sufficient forces to bring Alpha Condé to listen to reason. Again, the path has not spared activists (more than 50 people killed) and has not brought substantial political results.

Human relations between us are private. We speak both dice. I do not have a dispute “personal” with Mr. Cellou Dalein. Some want to see us “united”, but this requires sharing a common vision of the future of UFDG and Guinea. Acceptance of Waymark proves he has other goals that I know.

Mediation is possible?

I always showed my availability for Responsible mediation and uncompromising to define a “political agreement” allowing UFDG through this period of turmoil in the unit and the complementarity of all its components. This helping hand has long been ignored, despised and slandered. Meanwhile, the national situation has deteriorated in all areas and requires that we take our responsibility to protect the interests of the UFDG and to safeguard the future of our country.

What is your reading of recent events where El Hadj Cellou Dalein was subjected to tear gas attack at his home?

This is a reprehensible and regrettable incident. This also illustrates what I have on the reliability of agreements with the current governance. The totalitarian vision M.Alpha Condé leads to a desire to frustration and humiliation of his opponents. Do not be deceived by its policy of charm. So relentless, favoring the use of violence he continued implementation of building an unchallenged power in Guinea. The tear gas grenades that police threw him into the concession M.Cellou Dalein are a message of hatred and exclusion and also a response to the “possibility of a national unity government” with the Head of State, President Alpha Conde.

Listening to you, it seems that you do not would attend the forthcoming elections with UFDG. Will you or not elections with UFDG party that you created and you make the function of the first vice president?

As I had to say repeatedly, the Guinean crisis can not be reduced to only a crisis in the electoral process. The 2010 presidential elections were supposed to allow a crisis, lasting or even permanent for Guinea. For many reasons, our hopes were betrayed. Our country after this election race has emerged more divided than in the past. Governance Conde instead of trying to reseal the social fabric and reinforce fragile republican institutions, has instead fueled ethnic conflicts, political and social. The rule of law in which hundreds of people were killed literally violated. Corruption and profiteering triumph at the expense of democratic governance. The human rights are systematically violated. The recent Amnesty International and ACAT report illustrate recurring violations of Guinean citizens with the use of torture and extrajudicial executions. When all the levers of state management will be concentrated in the hands of Alpha Condé, Guinea will sink irretrievably in a violent, predatory and ethnocentric dictatorship. So accompany the Guinean legislative power in these already trapped elections is involved in installing the dictatorship by giving a semblance of legitimacy to the electoral process.

I therefore calls to block the installation of the dictatorship in Guinea refraining from participating in a vast masquerade with serious consequences for the future of Guinea. I’m sure in the present circumstances, my view is in large majority members UFDG and even beyond.

What political future can we draw Mr Bah Oury? 

Only the future will tell us what political future for Oury Bah. I convinced him to go in the direction of the interests of my country. I fight for a very long time for the advent of a truly democratic governance, respectful of the rights of man and citizen and able to provide the institutional and economic transformation of Guinea. We can do it. There is no inevitability of failure and submission dictatorships. You have to believe and fight accordingly, so that tomorrow we could say “Thank God, we managed to restore hope and confidence to a whole people.” We’ll get there. This is what destiny I forge, albeit in pain and many difficulties.

When do you return to Guinea? 

I have chosen not choose exile. I had the baraka July 19, 2011 not to fall into the clutches of henchmen Alpha Conde, who certainly would not have saved my life. Therefore, my commitment and my political opposition to the installation of a new dictatorship in my beloved country compel me to fight outside the country. In addition to current communication technologies, Bah Oury is “very active” in Guinea. On my return, does not depend on me, but I give myself the means to make it as soon as possible.

What is your reading of the prosecution’s case against you in on the attack against the private residence of the head of state?

This is an indictment worthy of Goebbels, the propaganda minister of Nazi Germany. This to me is the judgment of the Guinean people and not justice and manipulated orders. I worry about those who are detained and are likely to lose their lives in this dungeon of the home central Conakry. We press to raise national and international awareness of their situation. Unfortunately so far they have not benefited from an extensive show of solidarity, as if their fate affects only some as Justice Movement Oury Bah. The defense lawyers do a great job, despite the paltry means at their disposal. The nation will remember and reward their efforts and selflessness.

Your last word?

I call on all Guineans not to fall into the “ethnic” trap in which some want to push Guinea to kill any hope of democratic renewal. Youth must transcend their differences and their apparent opposition. They are doomed to go in the same direction that Guinea could free themselves from the autocratic rule of Alpha Condé. Salvation is in this direction. As for activists UFDG, hope is not dead but we need to do ours, the rejection of the culture of submission and the inevitability of failure.

Interview by Eric Korka, Paris.


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