Tag Archives: Guinea

Just in: Guinea commemorates Sept 28 massacres.

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Conakry’s stadium is named 28 September in reference to the constitution signed on that date in 1958

  • Mali’s transitional president appointed former minister of foreign affairs, Moctar Ouane, on Sunday as the West African nation’s prime minister days after being sworn into office.
    The appointment of a civilian prime minister was a major condition imposed by the West African regional economic bloc, ECOWAS, on Mali to lift sanctions that were imposed after an Aug. 18 coup. ECOWAS had closed borders to Mali and stopped financial flows to put pressure on the junta to quickly return to a civilian government.

Former Defense Minister and retired Col. Maj. Bah N’Daw was inducted Friday as the new transitional president while Col. Assimi Goita, head of the junta that staged the coup, was installed as Mali’s new vice president. The three government heads are to lead the transitional government to an election in 18 months.

The appointment of Ouane, 64, was made by official decree Sunday and signed by N’Daw. Ouane was minister of foreign affairs from 2004 to 2011 under former President Amadou Toumani Toure. He also served as Mali’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1995 to 2002 and later as a diplomatic adviser to ECOWAS.

The junta, which calls itself the National Committee for the Salvation of the People, deposed President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita in August, detaining him, the prime minister and other government officials. Keita, who became ill, was eventually released and has gone to the United Arab Emirates for treatment.

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-Foreign Intervention-
ECOWAS became involved in negotiations that have pressed for a quick return to civilian rule.

U.N. officials have called for the release of the 13 of the 18 detained officials still being held at the Kati military camp in the Malian capital of Bamako.

There has been widespread concern that the upheaval in Mali will set back efforts to contain the country’s growing Islamic insurgency. After a similar coup in 2012, Islamic extremists grabbed control of major towns in northern Mali.

Only a 2013 military intervention led by France pushed extremists out of those towns and the international community has spent seven years battling the militants.


#Newsworthy…

Guinea’s opposition leader, Diallo announces presidential bid.

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Guinea’s former premier and leading opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo on Sunday announced his plans to run in next month’s election against President Alpha Conde, who is seeking a controversial third term.

Conde filed his nomination papers on Thursday despite outrage and widespread protests in which dozens have been killed.

The 82-year-old, nearing the end of his second and final five-year spell in office, this year pushed through a revamped constitution that opponents say was crafted to reset the term counter.

“I am running for the presidential election so that Alpha Conde will lose at the ballot box,” Diallo, head of the leading UFDG opposition party, told the press.

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The UFDG “felt it was best that in addition to the peaceful demonstrations against Alpha Conde’s third term in office, to also fight at the polls against this third term. We can do both at the same time,” said Diallo, 66, who had also contested the 2010 and 2015 presidential elections.

Diallo spoke shortly before the start of his party’s convention to designate him as its representative in the October 18 vote.

Conde ended months of speculation on September 2 by confirming that he would be the Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party’s candidate.

Protests against his suspected re-election plan erupted in the West African state in October last year but met with a ruthless crackdown, and several dozen people have died.

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Guinea’s opposition vowed Tuesday to return to the streets.

  • Deadline approaching –
    The National Front for the Defence of the Constitution (FNDC), an umbrella grouping of parties, labour unions and civil society groups, has been campaigning against the constitutional revision adopted in March, which it has denounced as an institutional coup.

Under Guinea’s constitution, presidents may only serve two terms. But according to analysts, the new constitution could reset the presidential term counter and enable him to run a third time — a view now confirmed by Conde and the RPG.

Conde is a former opposition figure who was jailed under previous regimes in Guinea, a country rich in minerals but plagued by entrenched poverty and a history of instability.

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Hopes of a new political dawn flowered when Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010, but critics say he has become increasingly authoritarian.

Diallo, meanwhile, spent 10 years in the government of autocratic leader Lansana Conte and was prime minister from 2004 to 2006. In 2007 he became the head of the opposition UFDG party.

Diallo is the eighth candidate to declare his intention to run in next month’s election. The deadline for filing applications to the Constitutional Court is on Tuesday at midnight.

Conde and former ministers Ousmane Kaba, Abdoul Kabele Camara and Ousmane Dore have already officially submitted their applications.


#Newsworthy…

Papua New Guinea prison break: 11 killed.

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Eleven prisoners have been shot dead following a mass jailbreak in Papua New Guinea and 36 others remain on the run, authorities said Tuesday.

The detainees escaped from Buimo prison in the Pacific nation’s second-biggest city Lae after rushing a gate when a sick prisoner was being moved for medical treatment.

The group overwhelmed a duty officer and attacked him with a knife before running from the prison compound.

Correctional Service Commissioner Stephen Pokanis said 11 prisoners were shot dead by guards and police during attempts to apprehend the group.

“We have updated our statistics, actually there are 47 prisoners (involved) — 11 dead and are at the Lae morgue, and 36 still at large,” he told AFP Tuesday.

It is at least the fourth mass prison break in Papua New Guinea this year.

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Sixteen inmates reportedly escaped from Buimo in January while 17 were shot dead during a breakout at the facility in 2017.

Corrective Services Minister Chris Nagoi expressed “disappointment” at the latest incident, which took place Friday, blaming the police for failing to quickly present case files to prosecutors, leaving those accused of crimes languishing in jail.

“Remandees are suffering in silence as they await their trial date for months and months,” he said in a statement, claiming the majority of prison breakouts were by aggrieved detainees on remand.

Jails in Papua New Guinea are often overcrowded and conditions are notoriously poor, while lawlessness is rampant.


#Newsworthy…

Mauritanian leader, El Ghazouani replaces Prime Minister

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Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani on Thursday carried out a government reshuffle and replaced his prime minister, a day after prosecutors received a key report on the dealings of former head of state Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz.

The Saharan state’s official news agency AMI said Prime Minister Ismail Ould Bedda Ould Cheikh Sidiya tendered the government’s resignation to President Ghazouani, who has been in office for one year.

Mohamed Ould Bilal, a former political adviser, was appointed his successor and “tasked with forming a government,” said an official at the presidency.

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Prior to his appointment as prime minister in August 2019, Sidiya had served between 2009 and 2014 as minister of housing and employment under Aziz.

Sidiya had also served as president of the Nouadhibou free zone authority and was a member of the Union for the Republic (UPR), the party founded by Aziz and taken over by President Ghazouani.

The reason for the surprise resignation was not immediately clear.

Prosecutors in the capital Nouakchott said Wednesday that they had received a report by a nine-member commission tasked with shedding light on aspects of Aziz’s 2008-19 presidency.

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Matters discussed in the parliamentary report include the handling of oil revenues, the sales of state-owned property in Nouakchott, activities of Chinese fishing company Pully Hong Dong, and the liquidation of a state-owned firm that supplied food products across the country, according to parliamentary sources.

In this file photograph taken on September 25, 2019, Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Cheikh El Ghazouani speaks during the 74th Session of the General Assembly at the United Nations headquarters in New York. TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP

– ‘High treason’ –

The court is required by law to open an investigation, itself a step towards possible judicial proceedings.

Aziz, a former army general, ignored a summons from the committee last month to explain the issues at stake, according to a parliamentary official.

Mauritanian MPs adopted a law at the end of July establishing a High Court of Justice to try the head of state and ministers in cases of “high treason”. The court is due to be set up in the coming months.

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“This commission will be able to redefine the facts. If it is a case of high treason committed by the former president of the republic, only the High Court of Justice will remain competent to judge him,” constitutional expert Lo Abdoul Gourmo told Media (known to Noble Reporters Media) on Wednesday.

Ghazouani succeeded long-time president Aziz, whom he had previously served as chief of staff and defence minister, on August 1 2019.

Aziz first came to power in a military coup in 2008, then won an election in 2009, followed by another in 2014.

The new prime minister, Ould Bilal, had been a minister several times under former president Sidi Ould Cheikh Abdallahi, who was deposed in the coup led by Aziz.


#Newsworthy…

Guinea ruling party asks Alpha Conde to run for third term.

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Guinea’s ruling party on Thursday urged President Alpha Conde to seek a third term in elections due this year, a scenario that has sparked clashes in the West African state.

Under Guinea’s constitution, presidents may only serve two terms.

Conde, 82, was elected president in 2010 and again in 2015. But this year he pushed through a revamped constitution that opponents say was crafted to reset the term counter, enabling him to run again.

His Rally of the Guinean People (RPG) party announced that it wanted Conde to run again at a convention in the capital Conakry.

Party members are issuing a “plea to President Alpha Conde to accept the will of the people to be the RPG’s sole candidate,” MP Diakagbe Kaba told delegates.

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The president has yet to formally respond to the request. He has previously said that “the party will decide” who goes forward to the poll.

Guinea’s electoral commission has proposed the presidential election be held on October 18, but Conde has yet to sign off on a date.

Thursday’s announcement is likely to incense Guinea’s embattled opposition, which has staged mass rallies since October against the possibility of Conde running for a third term.

In this file photo taken on May 29, 2018 Guinean President Alpha Conde addresses MPs during a plenary session at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France. FREDERICK FLORIN / AFP

Security forces in the former French colony repeatedly cracked down on the protests, in which several dozen civilians were killed.

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Opposition figures also attempted to organise a boycott of the referendum in March, but the vote went ahead despite protests.

According to the official results, the constitution was approved by 91.59 percent of those voting, with a turnout of 61 percent

Conde is a former opposition figure himself who was jailed under Guinea’s previous iron-fisted regimes.

Hopes of a new political dawn flowered when Conde became Guinea’s first democratically elected president in 2010, but critics say he has become increasingly authoritarian.


#Newsworthy…