News / Africa

Guinea's Interim President Salutes Army's Discipline During Elections

Guinea's interim leader, General Sekouba Konate, was promoted in the Guinean army Friday as recognition for keeping his promise to organize the presidential poll that took place last Sunday, just 18 months after a military coup.

Addressing the army Wednesday, Guinea's interim president, General Sekouba Konate, said members of the army should be as proud as he is of what they achieved in holding the country's first free and democratic presidential election.

General Konate says without the order and discipline exhibited by the military, none of this would have been possible.  He says we are a family, and we will succeed in all we undertake.  He says unity is strength in the army, and discipline is what enables us to win in any battle.  He says you, the military, are the true artisans of our democracy.

The poll is meant to return the country to civilian government after a military junta seized power in December 2008.  Members of the military and the transitional government organizing the elections were barred from running.

General Konate said the election marks a new beginning for all Guineans including the military, which analysts say has been marked by a culture of impunity and criminality toward civilians for years.

General Konate says the time is finished for tension and fighting between the population and the military, and now is a time of peace and hope.  He says members of the military are human and make mistakes.  But he says, this new Guinean army has learned from those mistakes and gained valuable experience.

In September of last year, more than 150 people were killed and dozens of women raped during a military attack on an opposition protest in Conakry, sparking international investigations.

Original junta leader, Moussa Dadis Camara, went into exile after being shot and wounded by an aide late last year.

General Konate said these events were a deviation from the army's original mission in taking control of the country.

Konate says sadly on September 28 [2009], we witnessed a bloodbath that shocked us all.  He says the army was immediately accused and condemned.  He says members of the army and their families have suffered as a result.  He says, my brothers in arms, we now stand organized and ready to show the world that, even if certain members of our ranks betrayed their mission, many among us are responsible.

Provisional results in last Sunday's first round of voting are expected late Friday, after a 48-hour delay.  If none of the 24 presidential hopefuls wins a clear majority, a run-off between the two top-scoring candidates is planned for July 18.

General Konate said this transitional period has shown that the military can work with civilians for the good of the country.

But after the poll, he said the army will return to its military duties, and it will be up to the newly elected president, and his or her government, to take the reins in Guinea.

You May Like

Syrian Rebels Poised for Anti-Russia Collaboration

Forty-one insurgent groups issue joint statement vowing retaliation for Russian air offensives More

Political Maneuver Revives Export-Import Bank's Chances

Parliamentary tactic gets bill out of committee, but it faces opposition in the Senate More

Beijing Warns US on S. China Sea Patrols

Warning follows news reports Thursday that US military is planning to sail warships close to artificial islands Beijing has been aggressively building More

This forum has been closed.
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.
House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdrawsi
Jim Malone
October 09, 2015 12:32 AM
The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video House Republicans in Chaos as Speaker Favorite Withdraws

The Republican widely expected to become the next speaker of the House of Representatives shocked his colleagues Thursday by announcing he was withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy means the race to succeed retiring Speaker John Boehner is now wide open. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Video German, US Officials Investigate Volkswagen

German officials have taken steps to restore some of the reputation their car industry has lost after a recent Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal. Authorities have searched Volkswagen headquarters and other locations in an effort to identify the culprits in the creation of software that helps cheat on emission tests. Meanwhile, a group of lawmakers in Washington held a hearing to get to the bottom of the cheating strategy that was first discovered in the United States. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Why Are Gun Laws So Hard for Congress to Tackle?

Since taking office, President Barack Obama has spoken out or issued statements about 15 mass shootings. The most recent shooting, in which 10 people were killed at a community college, sparked outrage over the nation's gun laws. But changing those laws isn't as easy as many think. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

VOA Blogs