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[Edito] Guinea: Alpha Condé, the oppressed turned oppressor

"I will try to be the Mandela of Guinea". At the end of 2010, Alpha Condé took power in Guinea. With an admittedly disproportionate ambition, but giving a good dose of hope to a whole people. From Mandela, Condé took the determination. For the rest, it will be necessary to iron. For four decades, Alpha Condé has been a staunch opponent of successive dictatorships in Guinea. Consequence: the opponent of the time went into exile in France for twenty years. He had been sentenced to death in absentia by the regime of Ahmed Sékou Touré. He will then serve twenty months in prison under Lansana Conté, who reigned supreme over Guinea for nearly a quarter of a century. So, in the years 1990-2000, when we mention the name of Alpha Condé, we think directly of the friend of NGOs, of the human rights activist supported by Tiken Jah Fakoly or of the fierce political opponent who suffered the worst oppressions, he who was condemned by a "Guinean State Security Court" specially created for him.

Alpha Condé, an activist committed ... for power

What could have happened to Alpha Condé that made him become the type of president he always fought? His comrades in the fight ultimately seem little surprised when we talk about the career of the authoritarian head of state. Because today's opponents are, for the most part, yesterday's friends. And in 2021, languages ​​are loosening. Especially since the clashes that marked the presidential election at the end of last year in Conakry. Facing him, Cellou Dalein Diallo did not last long. The house of the political opponent had even been surrounded by the army. The Alpha Condé of the 1980s, if he had not been the sponsor, would certainly have strongly and vigorously supported the authoritarian abuses that have been observed in Conakry in recent months. But with hindsight, the former companions of the Guinean president are unanimous: Alpha Condé was not a committed activist, he was simply aiming for an objective, that of one day taking power.

Mandela must be turning in his grave

An instrument that Guineans certainly regret having placed in Condé's hands. Last March, MEPs reminded the European Commission that the alleged perpetrators of the September 28, 2009 massacre, committed by elite units of the Presidential Guard, still had privileged positions in the civil and military administration. . Elected officials have been calling for sanctions against those responsible for the murders of demonstrators since 2010. The last two ballots have left fifty dead and four political activists have died during their detention during the presidential election. MEPs also question the results of this presidential election, judging that Condé had wrongly proclaimed himself the winner. From those he has always fought, Alpha Condé learned about impunity and repression. If he was accompanied, when he came to power, hopes, these have definitely vanished. The country promised by the one who saw himself as a Guinean Nelson Mandela now looks like being mistaken there like a dictatorship. And the oppressed has become the oppressor. Mandela must be turning in his grave.

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