Former political prisoner Alpha Conde was sworn in today as Guinea's first democratically elected president. He took the oath of office at Conakry's Palais du peuple in front of numerous heads of state, including the presidents of South Africa and Liberia.
The country's outgoing military leader Gen. Sekouba Konate described the inauguration as an 'act of rebirth' for the country.
Agence France Presse noted that the ceremony included a minute's silence in memory of the 157 opposition supporters massacred by forces loyal to former junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara at a stadium in the capital in September 2009, a tragedy widely seen as the real beginning of Guinea's democratization process.
Guinea's election was accepted peacefully, if grudgingly, by the losing candidates. However, the same can not be said of neighboring Cote d'Ivoire, where an election controversy has provoked fears of another civil war in the country. Such tension has provoked over 200 Ivorian refugees so far to flee to Guinea, according to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.