Guinean President: Trusts Army Despite Assassination Attempt

Posted August 1st, 2011 at 7:40 am (UTC-5)
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Guinea's President Alpha Conde has said he trusts his army, despite an attempt on his life by mutinous soldiers two weeks ago.

In an interview with VOA , Mr. Conde said the army is undergoing changes and is now a “republican army,” under civilian control.

The president said some high-level officers do not like the changes and, in his words, thought my death would let Guinea come back to its notorious past.

But, Mr. Conde added, “you can't stop history's wheel.”

Mr. Conde survived two attacks on his home in the capital of Conakry on July 19.

Guinean officials said last week they have arrested 38 people in connection with the attacks, 25 of them military personnel. One of the first people arrested was a former army chief, General Nouhou Thiam.

Mr. Conde was elected president last November in Guinea's first free and fair election since independence in 1958.

The country previously had a history of authoritarian rule and coups. The most recent coup came in December 2008, when a group of military officers seized power after the death of longtime leader Lansana Conte.

Mr. Conde spoke with VOA on Sunday, two days after he and three other West African presidents met with President Obama at the White House.

He said he told Mr. Obama that Guinea will do “everything” to meet the conditions to be part of the African Growth and Opportunity Act and the Millennium Challenge Corporation, two U.S. efforts to assist developing countries.

He also said he will “keep Guinea on the path of democracy.”

Mr. Conde was due to leave Washington Monday.