News / Africa

UN Mission in West Africa Encouraged by Guinea Vote Preparations

The United Nations Secretary General's Special Representative for West Africa says he is encouraged by preparations for elections in Guinea that are meant to return the country to civilian rule.

With three months to go before elections to end military rule in Guinea, U.N. Special Representative Said Djinnit says preparations for the vote are going well. "Really, overall the situation is quite positive. I think things are moving on the right track so far honestly," he said.

Djinnit heads the United Nations Office for West Africa. In an interview with VOA following his meeting with Guinea's acting military leader General Sekouba Konate, Djinnit says the current transitional government is a model of power sharing.

"We have on the one hand a general who is the head of state and the leader of the transition who is very committed to returning the country back to democracy and to the rule of law. On the other hand, for the first time in the history of that country, force vive and the opposition forces are in charge of the country during the transition. They have been calling for a quick return to constitutional order. Now they are in charge of making it happen," he said.

As part of the regionally-backed transition plan, neither General Konate nor civilian Prime Minister Jean-Marie Dore or any other member of the interim government is eligible to run in elections scheduled for June 27.

The vote is meant to return the country to civilian rule after a December 2008 coup. Captain Moussa Dadis Camara took charge of the military government. One year later, he was shot in the head by the former chief of the presidential guard who accused the captain of trying to blame him for the killing of opposition demonstrators.

With Captain Camara still recovering from his wounds in Burkina Faso, General Konate is leading this transitional authority. And he has made clear to the army that he will not tolerate any threat to a return to democracy, warning anyone who uses ethnicity or tries to make trouble that they will be wiped out without hesitation.

Djinnit says the international community understands well how fragile the situation in Guinea remains. "General Konate himself stated that there are still some elements within the army who might have different opinions on the transition. And we know the background from which the country is emerging, so it is not difficult to believe that," he said.

While most of the much-needed security sector reform in Guinea will come after the election, Djinnit says there are some things that should be done now including a reorganization of the military and improvements in basic equipment and facilities including barracks to show soldiers that the international community is committed to help transforming the army.

"General Konate has made it his priority because he knows very well his army, he is one of them, and he is quite clear on what needs to be done during the transition. And he would like to make sure that the new president is elected safely, peacefully, and democratically. That will lead the country forward," he said.

General Konate met with Djinnit here in Senegal where he also held talks with President Abdoulaye Wade and met with members of the Guinean community in Dakar. It is part of the military leader's outreach to both Guineans abroad and regional heads of state that included talks in Bamako last month with Malian President Amadou Toumani Toure.

You May Like

IS Militants Release 49 Turkish Hostages

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency reports that no ransom was paid and no conditions accepted for the hostages' release; few details of the release are known More

Photogallery IS Attacks Send Thousands of Syrian Kurds Fleeing to Turkey

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 300 Kurdish fighters crossed into Syria from Turkey to defend a Kurdish area from attack by the Islamic militants More

Video Sierra Leone's Ebola Lockdown Continues

Thousands of health workers are going door to door in the West African country of 6 million, informing people of how to avoid Ebola, handing out soap 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.
Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’i
X
Jeff Seldin
September 20, 2014 10:28 PM
Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Fears Ebola Outbreak ‘Beyond Our Capability to Contain’

Each day brings with it new warnings about the deadly Ebola outbreak already blamed for killing more than 2,600 people across West Africa. And while countries and international organizations like the United Nations are starting to come through on promises of help for those most affected, the unprecedented speed with which the virus has spread is raising questions about the international response. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from Washington.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid