News / Africa

Guinea Suffering From 'Gridlock Fatigue'

Anti-riot policemen deploy across Conakry to separate rival gang fighters, March 1, 2013.Anti-riot policemen deploy across Conakry to separate rival gang fighters, March 1, 2013.
x
Anti-riot policemen deploy across Conakry to separate rival gang fighters, March 1, 2013.
Anti-riot policemen deploy across Conakry to separate rival gang fighters, March 1, 2013.
Nancy Palus
The political deadlock in Guinea shows little sign of easing, as the government and opposition trade accusations and violent street clashes once again eclipse all other agendas. On Monday, opposition leaders opted out of a meeting the government says was a bid to tackle disputes about much-delayed legislative elections.

The meeting came days after a clash involving opposition protesters, security forces and pro-government youths in the capital, Conakry, left at least three people dead and many more injured. Each political faction says the other is not serious about fixing the problem, and many citizens doubt the politicians can.

The government says it has launched a dialogue process that should lead to transparent legislative elections. Skeptical Guineans are watching and waiting.

The main opposition coalition, which sent a spokesperson to Monday’s meeting, denounced the government’s convening of a broad spectrum of political parties rather than having direct talks as the opposition has long demanded.

Charges, counter-charges

Mouctar Diallo, a former government minister and a member of the main opposition coalition, said the government is simply trying to cast an image of itself as an honest broker and buy time for its fraudulent agenda. He said President Alpha Condé and his party have never been open to meaningful dialogue.

The opposition says the government is bent on rigging the election and has laid out a list of demands, including changing the company selected to revise electoral lists.

The question among Guinea watchers is whether the opposition’s grievances are valid or simply the intransigence of political leaders whose followers have never accepted Condé as president. Some also question why the Condé government has not yet held elections and what is stopping it from reaching out to the opposition if it would help move things forward.

For its part, the government says the opposition has been unreasonable and must demonstrate a will to find common ground.

Government spokesman Damantang Albert Camara maintains the opposition has said that as long as the government does not cede to every last one of their demands, the demonstrations will continue. It is a stance, he said, that seems a bit extreme. It is time for all sides to be reasonable, he said, to show good faith and make an effort.

Citizens express frustration

Meanwhile one Guinea specialist in Conakry says a sort of “gridlock fatigue” has set in internally and among international actors.

Many Guinean citizens, regardless of their political leanings, say they are extremely tired of the deadlock and its impact.

Commerce has yet to return to normal following yet another cycle of violence in Conakry, where countless people depend on daily, menial trade to feed their families.

Aboubacar Sayon Fofana, a university student in Conakry, said no one wants to invest where there are street clashes every other day. He said he wants to get a decent job, get married and get on with his life, and that Guineans should not have to wait for politicians to get their act together.  

Abdourahamane Sano, former government minister and head of a national civil society coalition, said the space for moderate voices might be small in Guinea and these voices are not as widely heard as the politicians, but they are there.

He said, at the local level, people are talking and educating one another on keeping the peace - something not seen among the politicians. He said the political class appears bent on maintaining a combative approach, which he said is completely unacceptable.

You May Like

Photogallery South Africa Bans Travelers From Ebola-stricken Countries

South Africans returning from affected West African countries will be thoroughly screened, required to fill out medical questionnaire, health minister says More

Multimedia UN Launches ‘Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years’ in Iraq

Move aims to help thousands of Iraqi religious minorities who fled their homes as Kurdish, Iraqi government forces battle Sunni insurgents More

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

IT specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about disease More

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.
Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbasi
X
Scott Stearns
August 21, 2014 9:20 PM
The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Gaza Conflict, Hamas Popularity Challenge Abbas

The Palestinian unity government of Mahmoud Abbas has failed to convince Hamas to agree to Egyptian-negotiated terms with Israel on a Gaza cease-fire. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports on what the Gaza conflict means for President Abbas, with whom U.S. officials have worked for years on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Video

Video Nigeria's 'Nollywood' Movie Industry Rolls in High Gear

Twenty years after its birth in a video shop in Lagos, Nigeria's "Nollywood" is one of the most prolific film industries on earth. Despite low budgets and whirlwind production schedules, Nigerian films are wildly popular in Africa and industry professionals say they hope, in the future, their films will be as great in quality as they are in quantity. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Lagos.
Video

Video UN Launches 'Biggest Aid Operation in 30 Years' in Iraq

The United Nations has launched what it describes as one of the biggest aid operations in 30 years in northern Iraq, as hundreds of thousands of refugees flee the extremist Sunni militant group calling itself the Islamic State. As Kurdish and Iraqi forces battle the Sunni insurgents, the fighting has forced more people to flee their homes. Kurdish authorities say the international community must act now to avert a humanitarian catastrophe. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Cambodian American Hip Hop Artist Sings of Personal Struggles

A growing underground movement of Cambodian American hip hop artists is rapping about the struggles of living in urban America. Most, if not all of them, are refugees or children of refugees who came to the United States from Cambodia to escape the Khmer Rouge genocide of the 1970s. Through their music, the artists hope to give voice to immigrants who have been struggling quietly for years. Elizabeth Lee reports from Long Beach, California.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls for Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid