Saturday, June 16, 2007

[Guinean news] Conté: I am the boss

The Guinean leader Gen. Lansana Conté gave a rare interview on Thursday evening. When journalists from TV5 and the French news agency AFP asked him about his future plans, Conté replied tartly, "There is no open transition."

Conté, who seized power in a military coup in 1984, insisted that he was fully in control of the country. "I am the boss, the others are my subordinates," he said.

He brushed aside questions about his regime's handling of a nationwide general strike earlier this year. "Which country hasn't known any sad events? We're not the only ones to know such events."

The general added, "It happens to everyone, moments of difficulty, of incomprehension between the people and the power."

Over 100 Guineans were killed during the general strike in clashes the authorities and the population.

On Friday, Guinean prime minister Lansana Kouyaté was in Paris to meet with the new French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

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