Viewing cable 07CONAKRY723
Title: PRIME MINISTER CLEARS ONE HURDLE: APPOINTS NEW

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
07CONAKRY7232007-06-26 11:29:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Conakry
VZCZCXRO5946
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHRY #0723/01 1771129
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261129Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 1299
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE//POLAD/J2// PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CONAKRY 000723 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
TREASURY FOR OFFICE OF AFRICAN NATIONS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/26/2017 
TAGS: PGOV ELAB SOCI KDEM GV
SUBJECT: PRIME MINISTER CLEARS ONE HURDLE: APPOINTS NEW 
GOVERNORS AND PREFECTS 
 
REF: CONAKRY 710 
 
Classified By: Political Officer Jessica Davis Ba. Reasons 1.4 (b) and 
(d). 
 
¶1.  (SBU) Summary.  On June 22, by presidential decree, 
Guinea named eight new governors and 33 prefects to lead its 
administrative regions.  The nominations conclude months of 
wrangling (reftel) resulting in an eventual compromise 
between Prime Minister Kouyate and President Conte.  Initial 
public reaction has been muted with the majority of the 
population seemingly content to give these new administrators 
the opportunity to work.  Keeping with population demands, 
all positions have been replaced, although many were already 
serving within the Ministry of Interior and Security.  While 
many of our interlocutors claim the administrators have close 
ties to Conte by virtue of their ascendance from within the 
system, the list is relatively ethnically balanced, has fewer 
military representatives, and includes women for the first 
time in Guinea's history.  With state administrators deployed 
within the interior, the government can finally begin the 
work necessary to deliver on its promises announced when 
first coming to office.  End Summary. 
 
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New Governors for Guinea's Eight Regions 
---------------------------------------- 
 
¶2.  (U) The new governors of Guinea's eight administrative 
regions follow: 
 
-- Malick Sankhon, Governor of Conakry, formerly General 
Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism and Hotels 
 
SIPDIS 
-- Hawa Fofana, Governor of Kindia, Formerly Professor at the 
University of Sonfonia (and the first woman governor of 
Guinea) 
-- Siafa Beavogui, Governor of Boke, formerly Director of 
Cabinet in the Kankan Governor's Office. 
-- Mamadou Saliou Bah, Governor of Mamou, formerly Professor 
at the University of Conakry 
-- Ibrahima Blacki Bangoura, Governor of Faranah, formerly 
Director General within the Ministry of Interior and Security 
-- Ibrahima Sory Diabate, Governor of Labe, formerly 
Political Counselor in the Ministry of Interior and Security 
-- Rene Bayo Kamano, Governor of Kankan, formerly Counselor 
in the Ministry of Interior and Security. 
-- Oumar Traore, Governor of N'Zerekore, formerly Counselor 
in the Ministry of Interior and Security 
 
¶3.  (C) The Mission enjoys good relations with the majority 
of the newly appointed governors.  We have worked very 
closely with Diabate over the last two years on improving 
democratic processes and preparation for local and 
legislative elections.  The Embassy sponsored Kamano on a 
visit to N'Djamena for the International Conference Against 
Terrorism and was in close contact with him about border 
issues including trafficking in persons and on the status of 
the Yenga area.  Bangoura has been extremely supportive of 
Mission initiatives in the interior, recently advocating for 
the national implementation of a USAID-funded project on 
grassroots democracy that led to collective decisions to stop 
female genital cutting.  Poloff met with Beavogui on a recent 
trip to Kankan.  He was extremely vocal about the need for 
change, competent leadership, and the fact that Conakry had 
forgotten about its responsibilities to its people outside 
the capital. 
 
----------------------------------- 
Balanced Roster, But Loyal to Whom? 
----------------------------------- 
 
¶4.  (C) The new governors represent all four major ethnic 
groups (2 Soussou, 2 Malinke, 2 Peulh, 2 Forest Region). 
Conte has appointed Guinea's first female governor for the 
Region of Kindia.  With the replacement of the military 
governors in Kankan and N'Zerekore, all governors are now 
civilians.  While two professors have been named, the 
overwhelming majority of the administrators come from various 
positions within the Ministry of Interior and Security and 
are known to have strong affiliations to Conte himself or 
with the majority PUP political apparatus.  Many of our 
interlocutors have indicated that while their administrative 
skills and management experience vary, the new governors will 
abide by the directions they receive from Conakry.  However, 
they believed that if the mission handed down from the 
Minister of Interior and Security differed with one given by 
Conte, the governors would choose Conte's directives.  While 
they have not been vocal, key political and social actors 
 
CONAKRY 00000723  002 OF 002 
 
 
have expressed concern about the newly appointed leader's 
neutrality and loyalty. 
 
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New "Old Guard" Within Guinea's Prefectures 
------------------------------------------- 
 
¶5.  (SBU) Like its governors, many of Guinea's 33 new 
prefects are familiar faces.  Most were formerly serving in 
the number two or three position in various prefectures prior 
to their appointment.  Only one prefect was retained -- 
Commander Bourema Conde, moved from Mandiana to N'Zerekore. 
Four military prefects will represent the border areas of 
Mandiana, N'Zerekore, Gueckedou, and Macenta.  This is a 
slight reduction from the five former military prefects.  In 
a historic move, Guinea also has three women prefects in 
Forecariah, Dabola, and Yomou.  Although the list is 
relatively ethnically balanced, some counts indicate an 
over-representation of Malinke prefects.  Our analysis also 
indicated that many of the individuals are close to Conte and 
are establishment "insiders".  The decrees containing the 
full list of governors and prefects will be sent to the 
Department via email. 
 
---------------------------- 
Cabinets Begin to Take Shape 
---------------------------- 
 
¶6.  (SBU) One of Prime Minister Kouyate's major challenges is 
that his ministers have been operating without a staff that 
reflects the new government structure or their choice for 
collaborators.  The Treasury Representative reports that the 
Ministry of Finance has finally begun naming the 
administrative directors that serve within each of the 
ministries.  These Finance Ministry officers have overall 
budgetary, management, personnel, and administrative 
responsibilities, serving within each of the government 
ministries.  At least half of the new administrators are 
women.  The Minister of Finance, after posting their 
nominations, told the Treasury Representative that he would 
make it clear that he has supervisory authority over these 
officers and they will no longer enjoy the latitude with 
which others may have formerly operated.  These tighter 
controls are part of the financial reforms promised by the 
Prime Minister.  Thus far, this is the first example of 
government restructuring that has occurred. 
 
----------------------------------- 
Appointments Calm a Restless Nation 
----------------------------------- 
 
¶7.  (C) COMMENT.  The June 22 announcement of new governors 
and prefects for Guinea's eight administrative regions 
represents a major milestone for Prime Minister Kouyate's 
government.  The "consensus" government has been under 
increasing pressure to show concrete results (reftel).  Since 
taking office March 28, the Prime Minister required an 
extended period of time to name the members of his cabinet 
and appoint the administrators who represent the state in the 
interior.  Conte and his coterie blocked this process at each 
turn as successive lists were submitted, then summarily 
rejected.  The final lists are a result of deep compromise 
with a Head of State who is unwilling to cede true power, 
shrewdly installing individuals from inside the system, who 
are likely to remain faithful to the establishment.  Most of 
our contacts agreed that with Conte still in power, in the 
best case scenario, the appointees would maintain the status 
quo in order to preserve their personal interests.  Yet for 
the moment, Guinea's population is breathing a collective 
sigh of relief and is content to give the administrators time 
to deliver.  End Comment. 
KAEUPER