News

Guinea PM Surrenders to Coup Leaders

Guinea's prime minister has surrendered to coup leaders, recognizing an army captain as the nation's new head of state. Mutinous soldiers took power this week following the death of long-time President Lansana Conte.

Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare surrendered to coup leaders at Guinea's main military base along with more than two dozen officials toppled in Tuesday's military take-over.

Addressing Army Captain Moussa Camara as the president of the newly-formed National Council for Democracy and Development, Souare said all members of the former government are at the military's disposal for the good of the nation. Souare said civilian leaders will offer any assistance requested by the army.

Camara had given former government officials until Thursday evening to turn themselves in or risk being caught-up in a nationwide sweep of those still loyal to the Conte government. The chiefs of police and customs as well as the former head of all Guinea's armed forces also surrendered Thursday. After Souare's resignation, Camara said the former officials were free to go.

Souare and other government officials tried to hang on to power following President Conte's death, appealing for popular support and international pressure to put down the military take-over.

But a reporter for VOA in Conakry says there was no resistance to the mutinous soldiers. They paraded Camara through the streets of the capital Wednesday evening, carrying him to the presidential palace and proclaiming him the nation's new leader.

The African Union has condemned the coup, warning of what it calls "stern measures" if the military does not allow a democratic transition of power. The United States is threatening to suspend $15 million worth of aid if coup leaders do not take steps to return to civilian rule.

Camara says his ruling council of six civilians and 26 soldiers will organize "free, credible, and transparent" elections in December 2010. He said soldiers have no wish to cling to power and he will not be a candidate in that election.

Speaking to reporters at the Alpha Yaya Diallo barracks, Camara called for an end to injustice, corruption, impunity, and tribalism in Guinea. He said the Conte government was responsible for economic collapse and had failed Guinea's ten million people. The world's largest producer of aluminum ore is one of the world's poorest nations.

Much of life in the capital returned to normal Thursday. Banks and petrol stations re-opened. Markets were busy. A curfew announced Wednesday was postponed until Friday because military leaders said they wanted "to allow Christians to celebrate a peaceful Christmas holiday."

President Conte will be buried Friday in ceremonies organized by Camara' new ruling council. An announcement on state radio said there will be a military ceremony in the morning and a public viewing in the main stadium in the afternoon before services at Conakry's Grand Mosque and a burial in the former president's home village outside the capital.

The nation's second leader had been ill for some time. He was thought to be in his 70's and was a heavy smoker who suffered from diabetes. Mr. Conte took power in a 1984 coup that followed the death of post-independence leader Ahmed Sekou Toure.

He first won election as president in 1993 in a vote protested by political opponents because some results were canceled. He survived a February 1996 army mutiny over pay in which at least 40 people were killed. The president was captured by mutineers who later freed him when he promised to raise salaries for troops.

President Conte was re-elected in 1998 after his main challenger was jailed for sedition. A referendum changing the constitution to remove term limits allowed President Conte to run again in 2003. Most opposition parties boycotted that ballot, and he was re-elected with more than 95 percent of the vote.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs