#Article (Archive)

Guinea again

Feb 4, 2010, 12:48 PM

It was not long ago when we wrote on this page extending our hearty congratulations to the military rulers in Conakry, and indeed, all Guineans for their decision to choose the opposition leader, Jean-Marie Dore, as the country's new prime minister for the period of the transition to civilian rule.

We acknowledged that the political turmoil in Guinea is now taking a new turn towards holding of free, fair and transparent national elections. This is an indication that the people of Guinea have opted for a commitment to democracy and progress.

But news coming from Guinea these days is indeed disturbing.

The BBC reported the arrest and subsequent release of Mousa Keita, a key member of the Guinean military junta and strong supporter of wounded Captain Mousa Dadis Camara. He was reported to have been arrested and later released for allegedly threatening to destabilise the peace and security of the country.

The political disturbances that gripped the country preceding this latest development are still fresh in our minds. There have been killings and reprisal killings that had threatened the very foundations of the country, the latest being last September's massacre, during the anti-junta protest against junta leader Captain Mousa Dadis Camara's desire to succeed himself as a civilian president by contesting elections.

Since then, things have taken a dramatic twist, with the failed assassination attempt on Dadis, and Guineans are now prepared to move ahead.

Indeed, against all expectations, Guinea Conakry is apparently not yet back on track. For a country whose political history has been marked by tragedies and much turbulence, the people of Guinea Conakry seem not to have learned their lessons in dealing with the issues confronting them.

"The main thing to do is to make sure that the next election will be fair and credible, and to start the restructuring of the armed forces," Jean-Marie Dore, Guinea's new prime minister was quoted as saying. Mr Dore is indeed right because the conduct of fair and credible elections is essential for Guinea's real growth. But one important thing that Guineans should understand is that the responsibility for the country's progress must be borne by its citizens.

Nobody else is going to step in and solve the problems of Guineans. Guineans must help themselves, and stand firm to solve their problems. What Guinea needs is peace and stability, which can only be ensured by good governance.

Guineans like all Africans have to begin by having confidence in themselves - which they have admirably demonstrated over the years.

If the new prime minister of Guinea is able to draw up his development agenda around his new mindsets, then his country is truly in for a new dawn that will put it on the path to peace, progress and prosperity forever.


"Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed."


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