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A New Foundation In Guinea?


Guinea's acting ruler has promised a return to civilian rule, more than a year after a military coup up-ended constitutional order in the West African nation. But a similar pledge was made shortly after the junta seized power and it is hoped that General Sekouba Konate will take the opportunity now to put his nation on the new foundation that he says he seeks.

On January 6, General Konate said a new transitional government will be established in Guinea, with a prime minister chosen by the Forces Vives, a grouping of opposition political parties, civil society and unions. The unity government would then begin preparations for long-delayed national elections to return Guinea to democratic rule, he said.

If fulfilled, that promise would be the first good news in months for the citizens of Guinea, who lost faith in military rule long before security forces killed more than 150 people and injured many more at a peaceful protest rally in September. Junta leader Captain Moussa Dadis Camara blamed rogue elements of the army for the attack and said he had lost control of many of his troops. This situation was brought home when he was shot and wounded by an aide in an unsuccessful assassination attempt.

This kind of turmoil helps no one. Long one of the poorest nations in Africa, Guinea is one of the richest in natural resources. The economy has all but stalled and the nation is isolated politically from much of the international community.

To restore peace, unity and prosperity to Guinea, the United States supports the creation of a transition government that will take Guinea through free, fair and transparent democratic elections, resulting in civilian leadership.

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