African News

Guinea: Alpha Conde says he is President for all Guineans

16 December 2015 at 10:00 | 1635 views

By Gibril Koroma

Guinean President Alpha Conde enjoyed a peaceful, calm and prestigious inauguration ceremony last Monday at the Mohamed the Fifth auditorium in Conkary in the presence of twelve African heads of state including Sierra Leone’s Ernest Bai Koroma, Ghana’s John Mahama, Alasssane Ouattara of Cote D’Ivoire, Faure Gnassingbe of Togo, Boni Yayi of Benin and others.

Despite the absence of the main opposition leader Cellou Dalein Diallo and other Guinean political leaders, things went on swimmingly at the inauguration that was followed by a sumptuous banquet in the evening.

In his speech Conde spoke about a new era in Guinea, promising to be president of all Guineans, implying that he was ready to work with individuals from other political parties and persuasions.

That was a very important point in country fractured by bitter political cleavages and virulently aggressive supporters which has only had two truly democratic elections (2010 and 2015) since it became an independent and sovereign state in 1958.

Conde, who took the oath of office before members of Guinea’s Constitutional Court therefore promised to strengthen that fledgling democracy,empower Guinean women and provide the enabling economic environment that would encourage Guinea’s young men and women to stay at home rather than face an uncertain and often dangerous future outside the country.

Sierra Leone’s President Ernest Bai Koroma and First Lady Sia Koroma and other African leaders from Togo, Gabon and Niger at the inauguration in Conakry on Monday.

This is Conde’s last five-year term according to the Guinean constitution and he says he will use it to run the country with the help of "competent" Guineans (which means a cabinet reshuffle is imminent).

Observers of the Guinean political scene say Conde is also likely to release all political prisoners from past regimes and invite Guineans of all political colours in exile to return home and help rebuild the country after years of dictatorships and under-development.

President Mahama of Ghana and President Kafando of Burkina Faso in Conakry Monday.

Some Guinean politicians in exile like the well known Tibou Kamara have already returned home. Even former junta leader retired Captain Moussa Dadis Camara, in exile in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, has sent a message of congratulation to Conde.

Dadis tried to return home before the October 11 election but his plane was sent back when it tried to land in Abidjan. It landed in Accra, Ghana, where Dadis was extracted and sent back back to Ouaga while the other passengers continued their journey.

Now that the elections are over and Conde is back in his seat for another five years, Dadis and other Guinean political heavyweights still in exile are likely to return home finally.

Photos by State House Communications Unit, Freetown.