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Guinea: it is time to restore the transition
Tribune   modifié le 21-03-2022 11:54 par Tournons la Page

The accession to power of Colonel Mamadi Doumbouya on September 5, 2021 raised in the hearts of Guineans - confronted with the repression of the fallen regime - the immense hope of the advent of a Guinea where the rule of law would be established and the break with bad practices would be guaranteed.

Impressed and convinced by Colonel Doumbouya's speeches promising to put Guinea back on the road to democracy and the rule of law, Guineans did not hesitate to consider him a savior. To the point of forgetting all the criticisms that were rightly or wrongly levelled against him on September 5 and only remembering the act he had just performed in deposing the tyrant and the commitment he made to the people of Guinea and the international community to restore democracy and the rule of law.

The pro-democracy activists who, through their struggle, helped bring down the dictator came out massively on September 5 to salute the outcome of their struggle and to cheer the Colonel and his men. These freedom fighters spared no effort to oppose the third mandate and to fight against the electoral delinquency that it has engendered. A hundred of them were coldly shot and others were injured, imprisoned or forced into exile. In addition, important material goods belonging to these pro-democracy citizens were destroyed as part of the bloody repression unleashed by the Defense and Security Forces.

With his reputation as a courageous and respected officer, the colonel was well received. Most Guineans trusted him and supported him without reservation.

After six months in office, I have noted some positive actions taken by Colonel Doumbouya, including:

  1. The release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience;
  2. The return of political exiles;
  3. The recollection of the graves of the victims of political violence and former Presidents of the Republic;
  4. The series of meetings with the nation's active forces at the People's Palace;
  5. The appointment of a civilian Prime Minister and the formation of a civilian government;
  6. The promotion of youth and women in public service appointments;
  7. The creation of the Court of Repression of Economic and Financial Crimes (CRIEF);
  8. The establishment of the National Transition Council (CNT).

Among the mistakes that were detrimental to the transition, I noted:

  1. The refusal to publish the list of names of the members of the National Committee of Reconciliation and Development (CNRD);
  2. The silence deliberately maintained by the CNRD on the duration of the transition;
  3. The absence of a framework for formal dialogue between the nation's active forces and the CNRD for the definition of the main orientations of the transition;
  4. The CNRD's manifest desire to defy the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);
  5. The weakening of the transitional government;
  6. The CNRD's lack of willingness to initiate a trial for blood crimes;
  7. The solitary management of the transition by the CNRD;
  8. The CNRD's incomprehensible sidelining of the judiciary and the government in the operation to recover state property and public domains.

Today, Guineans and supporters of Colonel Doumbouya are worried and wondering. The engine of the transition has seized up: how did it come to this? Colonel Doumbouya, perhaps without realizing it, surrounded himself with men from the defunct regime whom he had castigated in his first speeches as President of the transition. Then he appointed to positions of responsibility actors who promoted the third mandate, thus contributing to violating the rules of democracy and the rule of law. These recycled actors do not hesitate to taunt freedom fighters and the families of the martyrs of the anti-third mandate struggle. Today, the civilian and military cadres who are benefiting from the transition are mostly those who had distinguished themselves in the promotion of the third mandate and in the repression of demonstrations in defense of the constitution and against electoral fraud. However, the announced change can only succeed with men of conviction and not with demagogues and opportunists whose only concern is to obtain the favors of the leaders.

The legitimacy of the CNRD rests exclusively on the support of the citizens who applauded the fall of the tyrant and welcomed the reforms announced in Colonel Doumbouya's takeover speeches. Pro-democracy activists who courageously, and at the risk of their lives, led the struggle against the third mandate are despised, dismissed and sometimes harassed by the authorities. This situation and the absence of any dialogue with the socio-political actors weaken the transition and could lead to conflict and aggravate the crisis facing the country.

Therefore it seems urgent to me to set up a permanent dialogue framework bringing together the CNRD, the Government, the CNT, the political parties and civil society in the presence of the G5 (diplomats) and under the chairmanship of a facilitator appointed by ECOWAS. The Colonel can still save the situation by taking his responsibilities to redirect the compass to the fundamental objectives of a democratic transition: to accept a reasonable transition period and to focus all efforts on the organization of free, inclusive, credible and transparent elections, leading to a return to constitutional order and democracy in the country. By doing so, the Colonel-President will avoid a major crisis for Guinea and will do himself and all Guineans a favor.


Ibrahima Diallo,

Coordinator of Tournons La Page Guinea,

FNDC Operations Manager