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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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 Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid