Guinea eyes mediator for deadly poll row

2013-04-02 18:44
Guinea (Google maps)

Guinea (Google maps)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Algiers - The Guinean government is looking for a mediator to resolve a dispute over arrangements for a delayed parliamentary election that has sparked deadly unrest, Foreign Minister Lonseny Fall told AFP.

"We are determined to bring the transition to an end and put in place all the institutions" needed to do so, Fall said in an interview on a visit to Algiers.

"I believe that very soon we will reach a consensus that enables this election to finally take place," Fall said, adding that a "facilitator" would play a key role in addressing opposition concerns so that the election can go ahead as planned on 12 May.

"A solution will be found on this issue," he insisted.

"Many stages have already been completed" in the reform of the independent national election commission, including changing its president and giving the opposition an equal number of members, the foreign minister said.

Discontent is simmering in Guinea, where violence erupted in late in February during an opposition protest calling for transparency in the election. At least eight people were killed in the fighting that ensued.

Among the protesters' grievances was the selection of South African company Waymark to revise the electoral roll, which opponents of President Alpha Conde suspect of supporting him.

Fall said resolving this last issue simply required "finding a mediator, a facilitator," without elaborating.

"I think that the negotiations are on track and that soon we will have a solution."

All Africa affected

President Conde has invited the opposition to talks, even as protesters continue to take to the streets demanding a free vote, which was due to have taken place in 2011 and could again be delayed.

Fall's talks also touched on the decades-old dispute over the Western Sahara, brought into focus by the visit to Algiers of UN peace envoy Christopher Ross.

"We have said that the United Nations must be allowed to continue its work to find a solution to this issue that is poisoning not just the life of the Arab Maghreb Union but also the African Union," the Guinean foreign minister said.

His comments were a clear swipe at the position of Morocco, which annexed the former Spanish colony in 1975 in a move not recognised by the international community.

Morocco rejects the demand of the pro-independence Polisario Front that the Sahrawi be allowed to decide their own future in a referendum and insists its claim to sovereignty over the territory is non-negotiable.

"We strongly hope the principles of self-determination are respected," Fall said in Algiers, a staunch supporter of the Polisario.

The Western Sahara dispute has been a persistent irritant to African unity efforts.

The 1982 admission of the Polisario-declared Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic to the African Union's predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity, prompted Morocco to quit the bloc two years later and it has never rejoined.

Conakry and Algiers also have shared concerns about Mali, which they both border, and Guinea has contributed troops to the 6 300-strong African force in the country.

"We have already sent a company of 140 Guinean soldiers to Mali. It's possible that we will send more," Fall said.

France, which currently has 4 000 troops in Mali leading the offensive against Islamist insurgents in the north, is eager to withdraw and see the African force transformed into a larger and better-equipped UN peacekeeping mission.

Read more on:    alpha conde  |  guinea  |  mali  |  algeria  |  west africa

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Inside News24

 
/News
 

10 most expensive cars In the world

This is car porn at its best!

 
 

Luxury living

Seven of the most expensive children's toys ever made
5 millionaires turned murderers
The youngest billionaires in the world and how they made it
Watch: Flying first class has never been this luxurious!
Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a restless need for action and you may go overboard and fill your day with too many things in the need to be recognised...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.