Anniversary of the death of Diallo Telli. Letter Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta to the President of the African Union (EN-FR)

Anniversary of the death of Diallo Telli. Letter Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta to the President of the African Union

March 1st, 2015

To His Excellency Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma,
Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Excellency,
On March 1st, 1977, the first General Secretary of the Organization of African Unity, Mr. Boubacar Diallo Telli, was assassinated by starvation by the regime of Sékou Touré. To date, his remains have not been located. After the arrest of Mr. Diallo on conspiracy fabrications, the Guinean regime of the time triggered a campaign against Mr. Telli’s Fulani ethnic group of Guinea. Civil war and pogroms were avoided, due to the restraint and wisdom the Guinean populations displayed. During those dark years of Guinea’s history, neither the Organization of African Unity nor any African leader made a public statement condemning the regime of Sékou Touré or at least appealing to the Guinean leader for restraint, in his campaign against one of the ethnic components of Guinean nation.
Mr. Diallo Telli was a fervent militant of the liberation of the continent; as a Permanent Representative of Guinea’s Mission at the United Nations to his position as head of the OAU. At the OAU, he was an advocate of the unity of Africa. He cemented the foundation of the organization by vigorous diplomacy that enabled the merger of the two blocks of independent Africa: the block of Monrovia and the block of Casablanca. Mr. Diallo Telli has marked the history of modern Africa through his work for total independence of the continent and the fight against apartheid, namely with the Liberation Committee based in Dar-Es- Salaam, which reported directly to the OAU and to his authority.
The disappearance of Mr. Telli Diallo in tragic and ignominious circumstances is an open wound of Guinea’s history. The silence surrounding his fate, thirty-eight years after his death, is a spot that tarnishes the image of the whole continent. The Republic of South Africa has certainly honored Mr. Diallo Telli posthumously for his contribution to the struggle against apartheid. In addition, Guinea has named one of the main boulevards in Conakry after him. The purpose of our letter is to ask you to pursue, across the continent, the recognition due to the great African that Mr. Diallo Telli will always be. Your promotion as the head of the African Union, symbolizes the promise of emancipation of Africa through its women. Added to your background as militant of the ANC, nobody has higher moral ground to pursue the rehabilitation of Mr. Diallo Telli. We propose that the African Union marks every 1st of March with a minute of silence in memory of the first Secretary General of the OAU. We urge you to take measures, through an ad-hoc committee of Africans, to locate the remains of Mr. Diallo Telli and hold proper funeral for him. Such action would be an act of historical significant importance. It would be an acknowledgement from the African Union to present and future generations that Africa is no longer willing to carry the image of a continent of violations of human rights with an entrenched culture of impunity that have ruined the chances of economic and social development on the continent.
Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon is a non-profit organization from Guinea, dedicated to regional development and self-reliance, with as foundation, justice for all. Mr. Diallo is a citizen of our region in Guinea. It is our first and foremost duty to preserve his memory as the embodiment of the noblest African values. However, it is the people of Guinea as a whole that bitterly resents the silence that has surrounded the tragedy that has led to the killing of Mr. Diallo and of so many of distinguished citizens of our country. This silence, under the guise of national sovereignty, continues to maintain an unhealthy climate of impunity in our country.
We are convinced that any actions on your part would be an opportunity for renewal of government practices in Africa. As such, Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta Djallon has appealed to many human rights organizations, to all citizens of Guinea and Africa dedicated to justice, to join in the call we are making to you.
Excellence, we remain available for any further information that would help clarify the object of our demand. Please accept here the expression of our highest consideration and our best wishes for your success in the service of Africa.
COMMISSION CENTRAL POTTAL-FII-BHANTAL Fouta-Djallon
Copies:
Mr. Désiré Ouedraogo Kadré, President of the ECOWAS Commission
President John Dramani Mahama, President of the ECOWAS
Security Council and the African Union Peace
President of Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Alhassane Ouattara
President of Senegal, Mr. Macky Sall
Commission of the UN Human Rights
UN Commission against Violence on Women
Mr. Léon Tanoh, ECOWAS, the UN representative
Representative of the European Union in Guinea
US Department of State – Global Justice System
Law Commission of the National Assembly of Guinea
Minister of Justice of Guinea

Anniversaire de la mort de Diallo Telli. Lettre de Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djalon à la présidente de l’Union Africaine.
                           
Le 1er Mars 2015
À son Excellence Dr. Nkosazana Clarice Dlamini Zuma,
Présidente de la commission de l’Union Africaine, Addis-Abeba, Éthiopie.
 
Excellence,
 
 
Le 1er Mars 1977, le premier secrétaire général de l’Organisation de l’Unité Africaine, Mr. Boubacar Telli Diallo, fut assassiné par inanition par le régime de Sékou Touré. À ce jour, sa dépouille mortelle n’a pas été localisée. Après l’arrestation de Mr. Diallo sur des fabulations de complot, le  régime guinéen de l’époque déclencha une campagne contre l’ethnie peule de Guinée dont Mr. Telli est issu. La guerre civile et les pogroms furent évités de justesse, grâce à la retenue dont les populations guinéennes firent preuve.  Durant ces années noires de l’histoire de la Guinée, ni l’Organisation de l’Unité Africaine ni aucun leader africain ne fit une déclaration publique condamnant  le régime de Sékou Touré ou tout au moins en appeler  au leader guinéen à la retenue dans sa campagne contre l’une des composantes ethnique de la nation guinéenne.
Mr. Diallo Telli fut un fervent militant de la libération du continent ; depuis sa mission de représentant permanent de la Guinée aux Nations-Unies, jusque dans ses fonctions à la tête de l’OUA. À l’OUA, il fut l’avocat de la cause de l’union dans l’Afrique indépendante. Il cimenta les fondations de l’organisation par une diplomatie vigoureuse  qui permit notamment, la fusion des deux Blocs de l’Afrique indépendante: le bloc  de Monrovia et celui de Casablanca.  Mr. Diallo Telli aura marqué  l’histoire de l’Afrique moderne par son œuvre dans la lutte  contre l’Apartheid, à travers le Comité de libération installé à Dar-es-Salam qui  relevait directement de l’OUA et de son autorité. 
La disparition de M. Diallo dans des circonstances tragiques et ignominieuses est une plaie béante de l’histoire de la Guinée. Le silence qui entoure son sort, 38 années après sa mort, est une tâche qui ternit l’image de tout le continent. La République d’Afrique du Sud a certainement honoré M. Diallo Telli à titre posthume pour sa contribution à la lutte contre l’apartheid. En outre, la Guinée a donné son nom à  l’un des principaux boulevards de Conakry. Le but de notre lettre est de vous demander de poursuivre, à l’échelle du continent, la reconnaissance due au grand Africain  que M. Diallo Telli fut et  restera. Votre promotion à la tête de l’Union africaine symbolise la promesse d’émancipation de l’Afrique à travers ses femmes. Ajouté à votre passé de militante de l’ANC, personne n’a une position morale supérieure que vous pour poursuivre la réhabilitation de M. Diallo Telli. Nous proposons que l’Union africaine marque chaque 1er Mars avec une minute de silence à la mémoire du premier Secrétaire général de l’OUA. Nous vous invitons à prendre des mesures, à travers  un comité ad hoc d’africains, pour localiser les restes de M. Diallo Telli et lui organiser des funérailles convenables. Une telle action serait un acte d’une importance historique. Ce serait un message de l’Union africaine aux générations présentes et du futures que l’Afrique n’est plus prêt à porter l’image d’un continent des violations des droits de l’homme avec une culture bien ancrée de l’impunité qui ont ruiné les chances de développement économique et social sur la continent.
Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon est une organisation guinéenne à but non lucratif qui travaille en faveur du développement régional et autocentré avec comme fondation, la justice pour tous. Mr. Diallo est ressortissant de notre région en Guinée. Il nous incombe certes, au premier chef, de préserver sa mémoire en tant qu’incarnation des plus nobles valeurs africaines.  Mais, c’est le peuple guinéen dans son ensemble qui ressent avec amertume, le silence qui aura entouré la tragédie qui a permis l’assassinat de Mr. Diallo ainsi que tant de ses distingués fils. Ce silence, sous le couvert de la souveraineté nationale, continue  à maintenir un climat malsain d’impunité dans notre pays.
Nous sommes convaincus que toute action de votre part représenterait une chance de renouveau des pratiques gouvernementales en Afrique. À ce titre, Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon en a appelé à maintes organisations des droits de l’homme, à tous les citoyens guinéens et africains épris de justice, à se joindre à  l’appel  que nous vous lançons.
Excellence, en restant à votre disposition pour toute information complémentaire qui contribuerait à éclairer l’objet de notre démarche, veuillez trouver ici l’expression de notre haute considération et nos vœux les meilleurs pour votre succès au service de l’Afrique.
 
La Commission Centrale de Pottal-Fii-Bhantal Fouta-Djallon
3396 Third Avenue 1st Floor BRONX, NY 11456-Tel: 301-310-1566
 
Ampliations:
·          Mr. Kadré Désiré OUEDRAOGO,  Président de la Commission de la  CEDEAO
·          Président John Dramani Mahama, président en exercice de la CEDEAO
·          Conseil de Sécurité et de la Paix de l’Union Africaine
·          Président de la Côte d’Ivoire, Mr. Alhassane Ouattara
·          Président du Sénégal, Mr. Macky Sall
·          Commissionner des Droits de l’homme de l’ONU
·          Commission de l’ONU contre la violence sur les femmes
·          Mr. Léon Tanoh, représentant de la CEDEAO à l’ONU
·          Représentant de l’Union Européenne en Guinée
·          Département d’état Américain – Global Justice System
·          Commission des lois de l’Assemblée Nationale de la Guinée
·          Ministre de la justice de la Guinée
·          Ministre des droits de l’homme de la Guinée
·          Ambassades de la Guinée à l’ONU et aux États-Unis
·          FIDH
·          OGDH
·          Associations Guinéenne des victimes : AVIPA, AFADIS, AGORA, Camp Boiro
·          Human Right Watch
·          Human Right First
 
 

 

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GUINEA DIALOGUE: Opposition Chooses Its Mediator – Salifou Sylla, Still Waiting for Gov’t. Choice and Selection of Mediator from the International Community

Today, the opposition submitted to Prime Minister Fofana’s office, the name of Salifou Sylla as its choice for mediator. The government is supposed to announce the name of its mediator shortly. And, then the most interesting step is choosing a mediator from the international community. The opposition expressed a distinct preference to a have a mediator from either ECOWAS or the African Union. Guineenews.org is reporting that a likely candidate for the position of international mediator is General Lamine Cisse, a Senegalese national. He was Special Representative of the UN Secretary General and Head of the UN Office for Peacebuilding in the Central African Republic (BONUCA) from 2007 to 2011.

Background on Salifou Sylla can be found in the following article from aminata.com [translated via Google with editing by Guinea Oye]

The opposition’s choice for mediator in the crisis is Salifou Sylla

Posted on March 21, 2013

Opponents gathered within the collective, ADP and CDR brought their choice on a former Minister of Justice under Lansana Conté’s administration to conduct the negotiations. Their choice is Salifou Sylla, who currently serves as amember of the National Council ofTtransition (CNT) which functions as Guinea’s parliament.

Reached by telephone by Aminata.com Aboubacar Sylla, spokesman for the opposition this Salifou Sylla like a man who has proven experience. “He was a minister of justice, he was Ambassador of Guinea to Paris. He participated in the drafting of some of our constitutions. He always had a measured position in the electoral process. So we trust him,” said the leader of the Union of Forces for Change.

For Aboubacar Sylla, the former minister has no affiliation with party of the opposition. “We looked for a facilitator who is not necessarily of our political parties, who is able to inspire our confidence as well a others,” he adds. The former Minister of Communication indicated that the opposition had called some people to serve as mediator. “There are some that were also proposed, but they said they were not available. We thought the ambassador Rafiou Barry, who was a member of the mediation of Archbishop Gomez, who resigned because he saw the drift over time of the committee. There are also Hadja Aicha Bah. It has emerged a group of names, finally, our choice fell on Mr. Salifou Sylla, “he says.

Alpha Oumar Diallo, Aminata.com
alphaayatoullah@yahoo.fr
+224 66 62 25 24

ECOWAS-African Union-UN Delegation in Conakry Today?

Guinean news sites are reporting that a joint ECOWAS-African Union-United Nations delegation will be in Conakry today to talk about the current political situation with Conde and PM Fofana, CNT president Rabiatou Sera Diallo and opposition leaders. The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Desiré Kadré Ouadraégo, from Burkina Faso, is leading the delegation. While the specific agenda for the meetings has not been made public, it appears that the first order of business will be to catalogue the concerns of Guinea’s political class in a summary document.

While a few opposition leaders have called for ECOWAS, AU, and UN intervention in the the political and institutional crisis in Guinea, the arrival of the delegation seems sudden. In particular, two of the primary opposition leaders, Cellou Diallo and Sidya Toure, are in the US attending the Democratic National Convention. One has to wonder if the Conde administration, realizing the best offense might be a good defense, orchestrated the delegation’s immediate presence in Conakry today to quell future calls by the opposition for international intervention in Guinea.

Stay tuned . . .

African Union Taps Konate for Leader of Standby Force: The West’s Quid Pro Quo

It’s interesting that the AU would appoint someone to such a demanding position who is reported to be very ill, suffering complications from alcoholism.  All signs suggest, and Wikileak cables confirm, that the West’s biggest concern about Guinea is the potential for its 50,000 soldier army to destabilize the country.  Given these concerns, it appears Konate’s appointment is in keeping with the West’s idea to syphon off Guinean soldiers into international peacekeeping efforts as one way to recduce the size of the military.

Konate’s new appointment  is likely to keep the International Criminal Court at bay, ending once and for all  any hope that he might be investigated for his role, as Defense Minister, in the massacre of September 28, 2009, and for his administration’s policy to use the Guinean military to ethnically-target Peuls, including murder and rape, for political gain in the 2010 election campaign. 

Through Wikileaks cables we learn that the West thought Konate was the only person who could simultaneously  transition Guinea to a democracy and keep the military cool at the same time.  Of course, Guinea did not get a democratic transition, it got a state-sponsored candidate who had to commit massive fraud to even appear competitive in the race.  Conde, the loser, was selected as the winner.  And, as for keeping the military cool, Peul communities throughout the country would disagree.  Yet, for sticking in there all these months, the West owed Konate one thing — a stay out of jail card — and it appears this recent appointment does just that. 

A.U. Reportedly Taps Guinea’s Transitional Leader for Standby Force

Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa Program at the CSIS says African countries may be ready to completely assume peacekeeping roles

James Butty | Washington, D.C.08 December 2010

The African Union has reportedly named Guinea’s interim president, General Sekouba Konate, to lead the efforts for creation of the African Standby military Force.

Reports quoting A.U. Commission Chairman Jean Ping said General Konate’s title will be “High Representative of the African Union for the Operationalization of the African Standby Force.”

Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies told VOA if the news of General Konate’s appointment is true, it could mean that creation of the standby force could be nearer.

“I think it’s an evolution for the African Standby Forces. These were originally envisioned back in 2003 for each African region to provide a brigade that could be deploy quickly into areas of disaster assistance or into peacekeeping operations. And, I think the various regional command brigades may be evolving to a point where the African Union feels they warrant an overarching leader at this point,” she said.

Cooke said lack of political will on the part of African countries might have partly contributed to the delay in bringing about creation of the African Standby force.

“The contributing countries obviously have many priorities of their own. I think part of it is a question of political will and attention. But, it’s also difficult to coordinate across countries, in certain instances, to do joint training, for example, and communication and so forth. And, that’s really, I think, the challenge that the African standby forces are intended to overcome,” Cooke said.

She said the new development in the establishment of African Standby Force could also mean that African countries are ready to completely assume peacekeeping roles on the continent.

“I think more and more the international community is looking at the African Union to provide troops to places like Somalia, to Sudan and Darfur, to the operation in Burundi, for example. So, I think it’s two-pronged. Yes, the international community is looking to the African Union to do more and I think African states are looking to take on more of those challenges on their own,” Cooke said.

Cooke said the African Union is probably rewarding General Konate for the role he played in guiding a troubled country through a successful election.

“I tend to think he (General Konate) had a fairly good reputation with the African Union. They did help negotiate the immediate crisis backed by the United States. So, he’s in good standing with the African Union and with the United States and I think the broader international community. They see him as having played a fairly neutral and effective role in overcoming Guinea’s electoral crisis,” Cooke said.

She also thinks the African Union might have also been trying to remove General Konate from the Guinea political environment.

“I don’t think they see him as going back to intervene militarily in Guinea in any way, but, maybe, just a nice out (way) for him to distance himself now from the political situation in Guinea,” she said.

Cooke said a unit like the African Standby Force could be sent to Ivory Coast, especially if that country disintegrates further.

“If Cote d’Ivoire disintegrates further, there may actually be a greater role for peacekeepers, and I think the African Union will be called upon to do that. My hope is the African Union civilian leadership, together with ECOWAS (Economic Community of West African States), can prevent disintegration into violence and do away with the need, ultimately, for greater peacekeeping and military intervention,” Cooke said.

Guinean, Mr. Kaba, Comes to Washington Bearing Half-Truths, No Truths, and Innuendo

No one can deny that Dr. Kaba, originally from Guinea, is a charming man and has had a successful career as a university professor here in the US.  He came to Washington today to participate in a US Institute of Peace program on democracy in Guinea.  With the election just five days away, a panel discussion featuring Dr. Kaba and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State in the Bureau of Africa Affairs, William Fitzgerald, was timely.

After learning that Dr. Kaba has been living outside of Guinea for decades, it seemed odd that the Institute did not invite someone more intimately familiar with the current political situation.  Before long it became apparent  that Dr. Kaba was not there to discuss current Guinean politics, he was there to insultingly downplay ethnic conflict in Guinea and give the upcoming election a “kumbayah” sheen that does not exist. 

As evidence of ethnic harmony, Dr. Kaba told us that both campaigns have multi-ethnic support, but avoided altogether the heinous ethnic attack by Malinkes against Foulahs over the last week.  Yet, he found it necessary to raise the issue, in a characteristically vague fashion, of  “some problem about people getting poisoned.”  Of course, he is referring to the fake poisioning scheme hatched by Conde’s operatives to suggest that Diallo’s party had been responsible for poisoning food consumed by Conde supporters at a rally. While supporters did fall ill, doctors said the symptoms were not serious and that  the culprit was spoiled food, not poison.  Unfortunately, the lie was repeated and amplified throughout the country by Conde’s campaign in order to influence young Malinkes into taking revenge against Foulahs.  Before it was over at least three were killed, businesses were burned, homes were ransacked and money and other valuables were stolen.  This has led to a mass exodus of Foulahs from their towns and was done so by design.  The Conde campaign used ethnic violence to cause Foulah to flee their homes making it next to impossible for them to cast a ballot in their home voting district on election day.  Conde is so far down in the polls and with a first round showing of 18% compared to Diallo’s 44% is utterly desperate to “create” support even if peole are killed in the process. No ethnic violence, Dr. Kaba?

To further prove that there was no ethnic conflict in Guinea, Dr. Kaba stunned many Guineans in the audience when he said that there was no ethnic conflict back in the days of Guinea’s first president, Sekou Toure, either.  So, Guinea has been”kumbayahing” for over 50 years?  Of course, this is absurd and insulting  and the good professor knows so.  Dr. Kaba had already begun his career in the US when Sekou Toure announced to the nation in 1976 that Guinea had a “Foulah problem” and encouraged citizens to slit their throats.

Dr. Kaba’s political assessments were filled with holes you could drive a truck through while other comments about the candidates were pointed, yet made in a vague way.  He assessed the two presidential candidates as follows:  Diallo is young, educated in Guinean institutions, nice, polite, almost reverential.  But, Diallo’s problem is that those around him write nasty articles about Conde.  Isn’t this de rigeur during political elections throughout the world?  Here’s how Kaba describes Alpha Conde (who has a long list of anti-Foulah hate speech to his name):  Older, attended the Sorbonne and has a lot of equally well-educated advisors, such as Francois Fall and Lansana Kouyate (both of whom spoke openly and repeatedly about the  poisonoing  incident, fanned the flames when they both knew it was false and then did nothing to stop the carnage it caused).  For Dr. Kaba to raise Diallo campaign rhetoric as a problem, but to ignore the Conde campaign’s hate speech, subterfuge, electoral fraud, sponsorship of young people to commit violence against its opponents supporters, etc. simply defies logic.

Not to leave out Fitzgerald.  He told the audience that Dadis Camara got what he deserved, Konate has no interest in staying in office, and that Konate was not involved in the September 28, 2009, massacre by Guinean state security forces, even though he was the Defense minister at the time.  He also added that international observers for the election include the Carter Center, ECOWAS, African Union, and maybe the European Union, but they are concerned about violence and not sure if they will come to Guinea.  This tied in well to a question from a Guinean posed to Mr. Fitzgerald.  She described the security situation in many parts of Guinea as tenuous and is very concerned that state security forces cannot be counted on to protect the people, wondering if the use of UN peacekeepers or a regional force might be called in to help.  If the EU is concerned about violence in Guinea during the election what does this say about the ability of voters to get to the polls without fear or incident?

External Help Needed to End Guinea Stalemate

External help said to be needed to end Guinea stalemate

October 4, 2010

A top official of the Union of Democratic Forces party in Guinea (UDFG) said Guineans feel betrayed by the transitional government for its failure to resolve the ongoing stalemate which he said threatens to derail the proposed 10th October round-off vote.

Yousouff Sylla, a special adviser to former Prime Minister Cellou Dalein Diallo called on the international community, including the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to help resolve the stalemate and pave way for the round-off vote.

“We are now at a stalemate and things are not moving as we expected. It’s now almost four months since the first round of elections went on. This is exceptionally too long. We feel that something has to be done to get things moving again and speed up the process. At this stage, we feel that we need an outside international intervention to help us,” he said.

Both rival parties, the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party, led by veteran opposition leader Alpha Conde and the UDFG led by former Prime Minister Diallo are deadlocked over who should head Guinea’s Independent Electoral Commission that would organize the presidential run-off vote.

The new head of the electoral commission will replace Ben Sekou Sylla, who died recently in a French hospital, where he was receiving medical treatment for an undisclosed illness.

Military ruler General Sekouba Konate has reportedly been unable to resolve the impasse so far despite repeated talks with the two rival parties.

Adviser Sylla said the interim leader needs outside assistance to resolve the stalemate.

“He (Sekouba Konate) is subject to a number of pressures from groups and therefore it’s not easy for him to make the right decision. I think he needs some help,” Sylla said.

None of the political parties garnered over 50 percent required to win the 27th June first round presidential election. Guinea’s constitution only allows the two leading candidates to participate in the run-off vote.

The electoral commission has so far proposed 10th October as the new date for the run-off but, military ruler Konate is reportedly yet to officially receive the document from the electoral body.

Adviser Sylla said Guineans are tired of not knowing when the presidential election run-off will be held.

“We need the international community, especially ECOWAS and the African Union to act very quickly and help us get this process moving again and get it accelerated,” Sylla said.

 

UN Envoy, Said Djinnit, Wraps Up Visit to Guinea and Urges Quick Resolution to Electoral Impasse

UN envoy urges quick resolution to electoral impasse in Guinea

21 September 2010 –Political divisions among electoral authorities in Guinea must come together to resolve the dispute over when to hold the delayed run-off round of much anticipated presidential elections, the top United Nations official in West Africa said today.

Said Djinnit, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for West Africa, told the UN News Centre that the members of the independent electoral authority, known as CENI, need to “reunite” to reach a decision on a new date for the polls, which were supposed to be held last Sunday.

CENI cited technical difficulties when they postponed the ballot between Cellou Dalein Diallo and Alpha Condé, the two candidates with the highest number of votes in the first round in June.

But Mr. Djinnit said many of the staff in CENI are divided in support for Mr. Diallo and Mr. Condé, leading to disputes about when it would be appropriate to stage the run-off and what technical hurdles still need to be overcome.

“They must be united in common commitment to professionalism in their work and to preserving their country from chaos,” Mr. Djinnit said by telephone from Dakar, Senegal. “They need to sit together to objectively decide on a date within the time frame” suggested by the transitional Government and by the international community.

He stressed that a “further delay could seriously undermine the transition” process in Guinea. At least one person died earlier this month following clashes in the capital, Conakry, related to the election tensions, and Guinea has been plagued by misrule, dictatorships and coups since it gained independence in 1958.

Mr. Djinnit also called on the two presidential candidates to re-establish lines of communications between the teams to help ease tensions, and he urged the Government and other public institutions to provide the necessary technical support to CENI so the poll can be staged.

An additional 1,600 polling stations are being set up to meet concerns of Mr. Condé that voters in areas that are his traditional strongholds would have to travel long distances to cast their ballots.

Mr. Djinnit said most of the other technical hurdles have either been resolved or can be overcome soon.

Today the UN envoy wrapped up a visit during which he and members of the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) spoke to key officials in Guinea as well as to Burkina Faso’s President Blaise Compaoré, who is serving as the ECOWAS mediator in the current tensions.

Mr. Compaoré and the delegation of UN, AU and ECOWAS officials agreed to coordinate their efforts to support the transition.