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

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid