More intense confrontation loomed between camp of President Condé and opposition as 81-year-old leader looked intent on changing constitution so that he can run for third term in 2020 elections. Leading opposition and civil society figures 3 April launched coalition National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC) to oppose constitutional reform; figures included Cellou Dalein Diallo leader of main opposition party Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG). Diallo 4 April asked security forces not to follow Condé blindly. Three people who were arrested late March in Coyah for unveiling banner saying “No to a third term” were released 5 April. PM Fofana 6 April said “God gave health to our leader… to push Guinea to happiness”.
Guinea approaches the second free presidential election in its history under difficult circumstances. Unless the government convenes a serious dialogue with the opposition, it risks electoral violence and exacerbating ethnic divisions.
Overdue legislative elections in Guinea could rapidly degenerate into violence in the absence of consensus on electoral procedures.
Rising piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, which supplies around 40 per cent of Europe’s oil and 29 per cent of the U.S.’s, demands effective regional security cooperation and better economic governance to prevent the region becoming another Gulf of Aden. The full report is currently only available in French.
Unless Guinea’s main political actors agree on organising the pending legislative elections, there is a risk inter-communal tensions could spark violence that opens the army’s way back to power.
If the armed forces of Guinea are not reformed thoroughly, they will continue to pose a threat to democratic civilian rule and risk plunging the country and the region into chaos.
The killing of at least 160 participants in a peaceful demonstration, the rape of many women protestors, and the arrest of political leaders by security forces in Conakry on 28 September 2009 showed starkly the dangers that continued military rule poses to Guinea’s stability and to a region where three fragile countries are only just recovering from civil wars.
Originally published in Jeune Afrique
Originally published in The Guardian