Guinea: Alpha Condé refuses to resign

If there is one who does not seem to take the military coup in Guinea for granted, it is the main interested party, Alpha Condé, filed Sunday, September 5 by the Groupement des forces Spéciales (GFS), that he himself had created in 2018. The testimonies of the few people who were able to meet him describe a Head of State disconnected from reality, in the denial of a balance of power which is unfavorable to him and who believes in his return to business. Others find a fighter who braces himself on the only line he thinks winning, that of the elected, legitimate president. But, in any case, the deposed president is opposed to one thing: “To give satisfaction to the perpetrators of the putsch to recognize them and to resign”, reports one of his relatives.

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A dozen days after being ousted from the presidential palace, weapons in hand, Alpha Condé is homeless. In the early hours, he was first taken under heavy escort in a GFS armored vehicle to a suite in a large city hotel. Hotel, of which, ironically, his son, suspected of having greatly benefited from the father’s situation, is a shareholder. Four days later he was found in a “Reduced space” of the special forces headquarters.

It was there that the delegation of foreign ministers of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) met him on September 10 to ensure his good health. “He is housed with his cook and his doctor. The soldiers say: “he’s our dad, we can’t hurt him” ”, reports one of his visitors.

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“A program to finish”

The same people are still around him in his third “residence”. Because the former president has again been changed address, direction the Mohammed-V palace, located in the district of Kaloum, the tip of the peninsula on which the capital, Conakry rests. “He is treated very well, concedes one of his former advisers, respected by his guards, the question is not there. The problem is, he’s being held prisoner. “

During their first visit, the ECOWAS ministers requested his release. The response of the National Committee for Recovery and Development (CNRD, the military junta) “Had not been very clear”, we are explained. Alpha Condé, he would have been more. “He first listed the points of his economic program that he had completed, then those that remain to be done. “I have a program to finish”, implying that he should be returned to his duties “, reports a good source.

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In Conakry and beyond the Guinean borders, not many of them defend this scenario. “His peers in West Africa accept that he has been overthrown, unless he is retained”, explains a Guinean diplomat. Thursday, September 16, the fifteen leaders of the ECOWAS countries meeting in summit in Accra have also implicitly turned the page Alpha Condé. “They insisted that the transition [militaire] be very short (…) and [ajouté] that, in six months, elections should be held ”, explained the president of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.

Did Alpha Condé hear it? Does he know that outside the junta is launching all-out consultations with political parties, civil society, entrepreneurs, religious figures, the diplomatic corps…?

Fear of “contagion”

In his entourage, we cling to the past: “We should not underestimate the political animal, nor the physical resources of a man admittedly 83 years old. He served in prison, he was sentenced to death in absentia, he lived in exile… He knows what it is to resist. He is valiant and almost swollen by this adversity. “

Perhaps it is because of this personal strength, coupled with his international network and a certain popularity in the Guinean countryside that some would prefer to see him on the dock, rather than in exile abroad. The writer Tierno Monénembo explains in an interview with RFI that“You have to respect your life, your dignity and your honor”. “But he has to go to court, to explain his management, the savage repression that has caused hundreds of deaths since he came to power [en 2010] “, adds the Guinean intellectual.

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Like him, many believe that the junta’s action will be partly judged on its desire to end impunity. That of the president but also that of his collaborators, all those who have violated human rights or have enriched themselves illegally. Thursday evening, ECOWAS did not take a position on this subject. “Heads of state are uncomfortable. They believe that Alpha [Condé] is the first responsible for its fall but they fear contagion ”, explains a minister. The West African organization, on the other hand, decided to freeze the financial assets of the new leaders of the country, and to impose travel bans on them.

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