La “Grande muette” se fait entendre en Guinée/ The “Big mute” made herself heard in Guinea

Après des semaines de révolte et une dizaine de morts, l’armée guinéenne va avoir ce qu’elle voulait: une augmentation de la paye de ses soldats et le renvoi des commandants de sa haute hiérarchie.

Le gagnant est le général Bailo Diallo qui deviendra nouveau ministre de la défense. Aimé de ses troupes, ce général pris sa retraite en 2005. On le rappelle après que Lansana Conté ait renvoyé son prédécesseur Arafan Camara Conté et le chef d’état-major Kerfala Camara. nous dresse une liste de ceux qui sortent gagnant de cette crise: lien ici . nous parle aussi des victorieux de cette chaise musicale militaire: lien ici .

On peut rajouter que certains perdant, comme Kerfala Camara, ont l’habitude des bouleversements. En effet, en 1988, alors qu’il était chef de bataillon, Camara s’est fait écarter du pouvoir par Lansana Conté qui voulait éviter de se mettre à dos la “Grande muette capable de tout”. Près de vingt ans plus tard, on se rend compte que la recette est toujours efficace. Après avoir vu ses demandes exaucées, on peut peut-être penser que l’armée retournera dans son mutisme jusqu’à la prochaine grogne sur les salaires, comme en 1996. Donc, rendez-vous pour la prochaine crise, dans dix ans peut-être…

The BBC has a story on the Guinean army who, after weeks of rioting, has her wishes granted:

Guinea’s President Lansana Conte has sacked Defence Minister Arafan Camara and army chief Gen Kerfalla Camara, national radio has announced.

The move follows days of rioting by soldiers demanding better working conditions and the re-instatement of military leaders sacked after a coup.

General Bailo Diallo, a retired former head of Guinea’s ground forces, has been named as the new defence minister.

Six people have died in the violence in the capital Conakry and other towns.

A total of five top army commanders have been replaced.

Soldiers flooded the streets surrounding the capital’s main army base and broke out in cheers at the news of the dismissals.

“Conte has responded to an important demand of the Guinean army,” said Lt. Ibrahima Bah, one of the soldiers involved in the mutiny. “General Bailo is a high-ranking officer who is worthy of our respect. He has integrity and is responsible.”

Rioting began 10 days ago when the soldiers alleged President Lansana Conte had gone back on his pledge to increase their wages after an army mutiny in 1996.

The army has supported Mr Conte’s rule since he seized power in a bloodless coup in 1984 and keeping the military content is seen as key to his bid to stay in power.

Guinea was the scene of violent protests earlier this year as people called for the ailing president to step down.

We can add that Kerfala Camara is used to that kind of turmoil. He was tossed aside by President Lansana Conté in 1988, when he was a battalion commander. That move enabled the President to have a better control over the army by granting her wishes: pay raise and change of leadership. It seems that, almost 20 years later, the trick still works for President Conté. Like in 1996, the “big mute capable of anything” my become silent again after having what she wanted. Or maybe should we fix the next rendez-vous for a riot in 10 years, when the salaries will become an issue again…