Friday, March 31, 2006

[Guinean news] Conté's return; neighbors' summit

The Guinean head of state, Gen. Lansana Conté, is back in the country after hospitalization in Switzerland. A big homecoming was staged for the ailing general but journalists were not allowed to cover the event, not even from the state-run media.


A piece from All Africa opines that in Guinea, 'no coups are good coups.'


High officials from Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, held a three-way summit in the Liberian town of Foya. They issued a joint communique urging for the peaceful resolution of a dispute of the town of Yenga, which is a mineral-rich village within Sierra Leone but has been occupied by Guinean troops. The Liberian Analyst added that The communiqué also pledged its support for [the West African economic community's] moratorium on the proliferation of small arms and the [UN Development Program's] initiative on arms for development, and also recommended joint border security patrols as well as frequent security meetings of the three countries.

The resolution also solicited the re-establishment and improvement of the international markets of Koindu in Sierra Leone, Foya in Liberia and Gueckedou in Guinea as a means of empowering local residents.

Friday, March 24, 2006

[Peace Corps news] Country director speaks of PC's mission in Guinea

Guinéenews ran an interview (in French) with Peace Corps Guinea's country director Steve Peterson.

He noted that Peace Corps volunteers (PCVs) in the country teach English, math, physics and chemistry and are also involved in the domains of agroforestry, small business development, environmental protection and public health. Third year PCVs often work with local non-governmental organizations.

He pointed out that the PC works in these sectors because of the input of the government and of local populations. He added the Peace Corps will only into a village or town upon the request of that locality who must explain their future collaboration with volunteers.

He emphasized that the Peace Corps was an apolitical agency and that PCVs were banned from involving themselves in the local politics of their host countries.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

[Guinean news] More on Conté's health

Guinéenews indicates that the ailing Guinean head of state, Gen. Lansana Conté, is reportedly 'in good hands' in a Swiss medical clinic. Sources told Guinéenews that the general's health has 'improved very much.'

On Tuesday, he gave an interview from Switzerland to state radio where he tried to reassure the Guinean public.

"Tell the people of Guinea that all is well and that I'll be home soon," he said.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

[Web site] Peace Corps Encore!

I thought you might be interested in Peace Corps Encore! It's a new organization with RPCVs on the board (though unafilliated with the Peace Corps) that works much like an international volunteer temp agency.

Encore! links skilled RPCVs in many stages of life (pre- and post-professional) with needy people and organizations in developing countries and finds the funding to make it all happen. Anyway, I thought it was neat enough to post on the FOG website. Check out the following, if you're interested:!

-Nathan Whiteside, FOG webmaster
(Dinguiraye 2001-2003)

Monday, March 20, 2006

[Guinean news]: Ailing Guinean leader in Switzerland; opposition calls for unity government

The UN's IRIN news service reports that Guinea's ailing head of state Gen. Lansana Conté has been flown to Switzerland to seek medical attention. The leader of Conté's party insist the general's trip is routine, not the result of a medical emergency. The Guinean leader has a severe case of diabetes and his public appearances have been almost non-existent in recent years.

Reuters reports that Guinea's opposition has called for an interim government to run the country. The wire service notes that analysts fear any sudden departure from the political scene could trigger a military takeover or a violent tussle for power. The speaker of the National Assembly is theoretically the constitutional successor to the presidency. However after the death of Guinea's only other head of state, Sékou Touré, the constitutional succession lasted only a week before a military coup led by Conté seized power.

Friday, March 17, 2006

[Announcement]: Calling all Peace Corps writers

I would like to compile a list for publication here of all Peace Corps Guinea related blogs. If you are a PCV or RPCV and you maintain a blog that might be of general interest to FOG members (it doesn't necessarily have to focus entirely on Guinea or the Peace Corps), please leave your name, years of service and link in the comment field here.

Additionally, if you have any interesting stories from your time in Guinea that you'd like to share or short fiction with Guinea or Africa as a setting, please email it (don't leave it in the comments) to:

-Brian Farenell, FOG Communications Director
(Beindou 1995-97)

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

[Announcement]: 2006 Board of Directors

Friends of Guinea is happy to announce its new board of directors for 2006.


SECRETARY: Stephanie Chasteen





Contact info will be updated on our website in the near future.

We'd also like to thank our outgoing directors Jenn Denno (advocacy), Betty Walker (secretary) and Claire Lea (projects) for all the time and energy they've committed.

-Brian Farenell, FOG Communications Director and Elections Coordinator

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Welcome to Friends of Guinea's blog

Welcome to Friends of Guinea's blog. This blog will be used primarily to publish news stories from and about Guinea derived from various sources around the Internet. It may also contain internal news about our organization Friends of Guinea (FOG). If you have any questions about Guinea or about our organization, please email me.

-Brian Farenell, FOG Communications Director