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Guinea: regaining lost glory

Jan 21, 2010, 2:50 PM

We begin by 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.

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

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.

In fact, things have since 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 back on track. For a country whose political history has been marked by tragedies and much turbulence, the people of Guinea Conakry seem to have learned their lesson and, consequently, decided to forge ahead in dealing with the issues confronting the West African nation.

"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," Mr. Dore told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

The conduct of fair and credible elections is essential for Guinea's real growth, and 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 only good governance could ensure.

Guineans like all Africans have to begin by having confidence in themselves – which they have now admirably demonstrated.

Of course, all Africans must stay focused, despite their difficulties, and promote values that lead to real national development.

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

This is our wish for him and his country!