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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents 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.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid