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UNECA Director Says Dangers in Guinea are Serious

The director of governance at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa says the current crisis in Guinea is a reflection of the internal conflict within the military

Captain Moussa Dadis Camara is receiving medical treatment after a botched assassination attempt.
Captain Moussa Dadis Camara is receiving medical treatment after a botched assassination attempt.

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  • Professor Okey Onyejekwe, UNECA Director of Goveranance for Africa spoke with Clottey

Peter Clottey

The director of governance at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa says the current crisis in Guinea is a reflection of the internal conflict within the military.

Bodies of people killed during a rally are seen at the capital's main mosque in Conakry, Guinea
Bodies of people killed during a rally are seen at the capital's main mosque in Conakry, Guinea

Okey Onyejekwe warns that the entire West African region will be destabilized if Guinea becomes a failed state.

“The situation in Guinea is very serious and very fluid and extremely tense, and I do not think that the present leaders who are trying to fill the vacuum have the mandate to speak on behalf of (junta leader) Dadis Camara,” he said.

Onyejekwe’s comments follow the junta’s announcement Wednesday that it was suspending crisis talks with the opposition.  The talks were intended to reduce escalating tensions following a failed assassination attempt last week on the junta leader.

Guinea's military junta
Guinea's military junta

Onyejekwe said there are signs of disagreement within the ranks of the junta.

“Coups d’état basically overthrow the hierarchical and regimentation that exists in the military. Dadis Camara himself is a captain, but the issue here to me is a lot lager than that. It’s a reflection of the internal conflict that is brewing within the military and also outside the military,” Onyejekwe said.

Some political analysts believe suspension of the crisis talks undermines efforts by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to resolve the political crisis. But Onyejekwe says there has been resistance over the choice of Burkina Faso President Blaise Campoare as mediator of the crisis.

“The choice of President Campaore itself was controversial among certain quarters, especially among the opposition and civil society groups who did not think he was going to be an honest broker.  And now with the leadership situation and the internal contestation for power within the military, it really makes it not worthwhile the effort to continue with it,” Onyejekwe argues.

He also expressed the hope that both the African Union and ECOWAS will intensify efforts to organize elections to ensure a return to constitutional rule.
 

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