Guinea crisis facilitator admits difficulties in reconciling rivals

21:55, December 01, 2009      

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The mediation by Burkinabe President Blaise Compaore resumed on Monday in Ouagadougou after a break for the Tabaski festival, with the facilitator admitting difficulties in reconciling the rival sides.

The camp for the opposition pressure groups insists that the departure of military junta leader Moussa Dadis Camara is non-negotiable for a peaceful transition in Guinea. It has shown no signs of a backdown.

The pressure groups have conditioned a deal on the stepdown of Camara and the dissolution of his National Committee for Development and Democracy (CNDD) since the Sept. 28 bloodshed.

They rejected the proposal by Compaore on Nov. 20 for an inter-Guinea political accord (APGIG) to put in place a transition team headed by the junta leader and a prime minister from the pressure groups.

Compaore, who was named the facilitator by the West African region bloc ECOWAS, met with an immediate outcry against his plan.

The military junta in its counter argument demands a solution which sidelines all the former prime ministers, holding them responsible in one way or another for the impoverishment of Guinea.

The junta camp has totally rejected the proposal of the pressure groups, insisting Camara is a Guinean citizen just like any other one in the country and that nothing should bar him from vying for the highest office.

The military junta is also pressing for an audit of the ruling by the late president Lassana Conte in the past decade, indicating they came to power to rescue the country from a corrupt government.

In the face of the high political stakes of each camp, African political observers have doubts on how President Compaore will reconcile the opinions that seem to be irreconcilable.

The observers fear President Compaore may need more time and support for his mission, which may even come to an end if no room could be found for a compromise.

The crisis has lasted for nearly one year since the military junta seized power in December 2008, hours after the death of President Conte.

The standoff between the junta and the opposition seems ever more difficult to break since the Sept. 28 clash, in which a local human rights organization said more than 150 protestors were killed, against a toll of 57 claimed by the junta.

The African Union and ECOWAS have suspended Guinea and imposed other punitive measures to force a return to the constitutional order. 

Source: Xinhua
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