Aug 8, 2008, 9:37 AM
We are very much encouraged that Guinea’s opposition and ruling party have reached an agreement to hold the country’s long-delayed legislative elections in September.
Guinea has been one of the promising developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa with huge potential but its decades of unrest have turned it into one of the globe’s poorest countries.
Today, according to political observers, there is some deep frustration by Guinea’s 11.4 million people, whose country is not only rich in gold, diamonds and timber but also has the world’s largest reserves of bauxite, the raw ingredient used to make aluminum.
While we welcome Wednesday’s political dialogue, we would like to encourage the political leaders of that country to keep to their promise of holding free, fair and transparent elections.
In another development, we are pleased with the arrest of Chad’s former President Hissene Habre and the news that he will be charged with war crimes, crimes against humanity and torture at a special court in Senegal.
After staying in Senegal for 22 years, since he was overthrown in a coup, it is about time Habre faced justice.
He is accused of being responsible for the torture or killing of up to 40,000 people during the eight years he led Chad.
Prosecuting the former Chadian leader will again send signals to African leaders that no matter how long they stay in power and abuse their people they will one day pay the price for their actions.