The people of Guinea have been through much over the last year, since the death of former President Lansana Conte in December 2008 and the military coup that led to a bloody crackdown on pro-democracy activists last September. It was a hopeful sign, then, when members of the army junta running the country moved to set up a transitional government to steer Guinea back to civilian rule.
Interim Prime Minister Jean Marie Dore, himself appointed by the general now heading the military junta, named a 34-member cabinet made up of both civilian and military leaders. The nation's new leaders have pledged to hold elections within 6 months as the military gives up the levers of power.
The United States welcomes the appointment of a transition government in Guinea. This is an important step in returning the country to constitutional order and the rule of law. It also allows Guinea's leaders to begin addressing the many challenges facing their nation, one of the poorest in Africa despite considerable mineral wealth. Steps also must be taken to bring to account those responsible for the army's killing of more than 150 opposition demonstrators, beating of at least 1200, and the public rapes of approximately 100 women. Investigators for the International Criminal Court who have probed the events of September 28 called it a crime against humanity.
Interim President General Sekouba Konate and the new cabinet continue to demonstrate a commitment to a peaceful transition to a democratically elected civilian government. The United States looks forward to working with Guinea in collaboration with the international community to facilitate this process, as it restores economic and political development aid and assists the Guinean Armed Forces in their goal of security sector reform.