Tuesday, January 19, 2010

[Guinean news] Civilian opposition leader named prime minister

Long-time opposition leader Jean-Marie Doré, head of the UPG party, has been named the country's prime minister by the ruling military junta. Trade union leader Hadja Rabiatou Sera Diallo, who came to prominence during the 2007 general strike, was named one of two vice prime ministers. A high-ranking military man will become the other vice prime minister.

In addition to organizing upcoming elections, the prime minister-designate indicated that his other priority was "to start the restructuring of the armed forces."

A spokesman said that the new cabinet would consist of 30 members - 10 from the ruling junta, 10 from the opposition, and 10 representatives from the regions.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

[Guinean news] Power sharing accord reportedly to be signed but Guinea remains tense and military split

Note: Events have been moving quickly in Guinea in recent weeks. You are encouraged to subscribe (follow) our Twitter feed, which is updated several times a day. It can be found at @friendsofguinea on Twitter or http://twitter.com/friendsofguinea

The head of Guinea's military junta Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara was flown from Morocco to Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou. Dadis had spent a month in hospital in the North African country after being wounded in an assassination attempt. Reports indicate that Dadis thought he was being flown directly to Conakry and was furious when he realized otherwise. Supporters of the junta leader have demanded he be returned to Guinea.

The International Criminal Court is investigating Dadis' alleged role in the September 28, 2009 massacres in Conakry; the report of a UN inquiry into the killings is available here.

Morocco is not a part of the ICC while Burkina Faso is. Additional, Burkina Faso's leader Blaise Compaore is mediating in the Guinean crisis on behalf of the West African regional grouping ECOWAS. Speculation is that these reasons played a role in Morocco's decision to send Dadis to Ouagadougou.

In the absence of Capt. Dadis, Guinea's acting leader has been the more moderate defense minister Gen. Sekouba Konate. Konate threatened to resign if Dadis did not compromise on terms to a transition to civilian rule.

Splits in the army remain
, with supporters of Dadis wanting the charismatic captain to remain in power indefinitely while Gen. Konate and others want to return civilian constitutional order as quickly as possible. A spokesman for Konate said, "The general has made it very clear that he is not interested in staying in power. He made it very clear that he is there to restore discipline within the army and create conditions for a transition.

Meanwhile, Guinea's southern neighbors are worried about the effects of any civil strife on their country. A member of Sierra Leone's parliament warned that if the Republic of Guinea should explode, Sierra Leone would be consumed in less than a week; and if the situation in Guinea is not treated seriously, Sierra Leone's survival and livelihood as a state would be affected.

Today, Radio France Internationale reports that an accord was signed in Burkina Faso, between Dadis and Konate, whereby Dadis would remain in 'convalescence' and elections would be scheduled in six months. The AP has this as well. The BBC added that the accord stated that Dadis would support the transition to civilian rule.

Alliance Guinea reported that Dadis had accepted the principle of a prime minister from the opposition and that Saratou Sara Diallo and long time opposition figure Jean-Marie Dore were the two names it had proposed.

Update: al-Jazeera adds that the accord bans members of the junta as well as any active military serviceman from standing in the elections.