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Archive for Guinea

Newsline: US ambassador to Guinea dies

Simon Henshaw, the U.S. ambassador to Guinea, died Tuesday evening, the State Department said. “The U.S. Embassy Conakry community regrets to inform that Ambassador Simon Henshaw passed away this evening at home,” the U.S. Embassy in Conakry, Guinea, tweeted Tuesday. “We are deeply saddened and express our most heartfelt condolences to his family, friends and colleagues.” (https://thehill.com/policy/international/africa/502043-us-ambassador-to-guinea-dies) In a statement to The Hill on Wednesday, the State Department said it has not yet confirmed a final cause of death but that initial indications suggested natural causes. Henshaw, a career diplomat who joined the State Department in the mid-1980s, was nominated for the ambassador post by President Trump.

Newsline: Rusal Names Controversial Ex-Ambassador to Head Guinea Office

United Co. Rusal named a controversial former Russian ambassador to Guinea to head its unit in the West African nation, raising local fears of Russian influence on next year’s presidential elections. (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-05-25/rusal-names-controversial-ex-ambassador-to-head-guinea-office) The aluminum giant announced the appointment on May 24 of Alexander Bregadze, who served as ambassador to Guinea for eight years until March. Bregadze sparked a public outcry in January when he praised Guinea’s President Alpha Conde in a speech on state TV as “legendary” and said constitutions aren’t dogma and can be changed. Guinea is among several African countries with vast mineral wealth where Russia has pushed to expand its military and political influence in recent years. Bregadze’s comments came as Guinea’s opposition and civil-society groups have repeatedly expressed concern that 81-year-old Conde may try to amend the constitution and run for a third term. While Conde is due to step down in 2020, his refusal to address any questions about his intentions has fueled widespread speculation he plans to stay in office.

Newsline: Russian ambassador sparks backlash with suggestion Guinea change constitution

A suggestion by the Russian ambassador to Guinea that President Alpha Conde change the constitution and run for a third term has set off a firestorm of criticism among Conde’s opponents a year ahead of a presidential election. Conde’s second and final term in office expires next year after a decade in power, but there is widespread speculation that he intends to try to amend the constitution to stay in office. Conde has refused to comment on the matter. In comments at a diplomatic ceremony broadcast on national television, Ambassador Alexander Bregadze lavished praise on the 80-year-old Conde, whom he called “legendary”, and said that rotating leaders was not necessarily a good thing. “Constitutions are no dogma, Bible or Koran,” he said. “It’s constitutions that adapt to reality, not realities that adapt to constitutions,” Bregadze said. “Guinea needs you today. And as the popular Russian saying goes, you don’t change horses at a river crossing.” The remarks drew criticism from Guinean opposition leaders and media, who accused Bregadze of sullying Guinea’s sovereignty, despite Russia’s regular injunctions to Western powers to stay out of other countries’ internal affairs. “We condemn this … position taken by the Russian ambassador,” Ousmane Gaoual Diallo, the spokesman for Guinea’s main opposition party, the UFDG, told Reuters. “Our constitution is clear about any third mandate and we will not accept an attempt to modify it.”


Newsline: Russian embassy in Guinea placed in strict quarantine over Ebola outbreak

Russia’s embassy in Guinea has been placed in strict quarantine over the worst-ever Ebola outbreak in that country, Sergei Berezny, a charge d’affaires at the Russian embassy told Itar-Tass. Ebola fever broke out in Guinea in March spreading on other cities in West Africa. On Friday, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, in the presence of the presidents of Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Cote d’Ivoire, announced a large-scale programme to fight the Ebola outbreak which has already killed 729 people and left 1,323 infected.


Newsline: Liberia Donates Land for Guinean Embassy

The Government of Liberia (GoL) has handed over 1.7 acres of land, valued at US$150,000 for the construction of the Guinean Embassy in Monrovia. The land, according to Foreign Minister Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan, is situated in Congo Town outside the capital. The land was made available following a request from the Guinean Government through its Embassy here several years back, Minister Ngafuan disclosed. The Liberian Foreign Minister revealed that the donation is just the beginning of the Liberian Government’s plan to extend similar gestures to other foreign missions. The Liberian Government’s gesture reflects similar one rendered it when the Guinean Government offered an ideal land for the Liberian Embassy in Conakry which is located in a prime location.


Newsline: Ottawa to put diplomatic `freeze’ on Guinea

Canada will announce diplomatic sanctions against Guinea over September’s brutal crackdown in the West African country. The new tough line will also include a call to the United Nations to speed an investigation into the Sept. 28 rape and killing of at least 150 opposition supporters attacked by uniformed troops at a political rally in a soccer stadium in Conakry. The Foreign Affairs Department is to announce a diplomatic “freeze” that will prevent Guinean officials from travelling to Canada to expand the embassy staff in Ottawa. It will also announce more stringent screening measures on Guineans seeking visas to come to Canada.


Newsline: Retired Employee Of US Embassy Arrested In Guinea

The wife of Mouctar Diallo, a former employee of the U.S. Embassy, says her husband was arrested by Guinea’s ruling junta. Djenabou Diallo says her husband was arrested and is being held inside the capital’s main military barracks for having criticized the junta in a radio interview. Diallo, a Guinean national, was a longtime employee of the U.S. Embassy in Conakry. After he retired, he became the head of a human rights group.