Viewing cable 08CONAKRY213
Title: PLOTTING KOUYATE'S DEMISE

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
08CONAKRY2132008-05-21 14:29:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 SECRET Embassy Conakry
VZCZCXRO9986 
PP RUEHPA 
DE RUEHRY #0213/01 1421429 
ZNY SSSSS ZZH 
P 211429Z MAY 08 
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY 
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 2550 
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE 
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC 
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC 
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE 
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 CONAKRY 000213 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 05/21/2018 
TAGS: PGOV KDEM PREL ASEC GV
SUBJECT: PLOTTING KOUYATE'S DEMISE 
 
REF: A. 2008 CONAKRY 0209 B. 2007 CONAKRY 1090 
 
Classified By: POL/ECON CHIEF SHANNON CAZEAU FOR REASON 1.4 B AND D 
 
¶1. (S) SUMMARY. An LES staff member provides useful insights 
into an alleged plot orchestrated by former members of 
government against Guinea's former PM, Lansana Kouyate. 
Inside information suggests that the PM's demise was well 
planned and well orchestrated. END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2. (S) A senior LES staff member, who has extensive personal 
relationships with high-level government officials and their 
staff, provided Poloff with details about an alleged plot to 
oust former Prime Minister Lansana Kouyate (reftel). LES' 
information reportedly came from multiple sources within the 
presidential palace, the prime minister's office, and civil 
society. LES also claims to be an old friend of the new 
prime minister, Dr. Ahmed Tidiane Souare. 
 
¶3. (S) According to LES sources, a core group of former 
ministers drafted a decree replacing Kouyate with Souare at 
least four months ago, but they had been having difficulty 
getting the president to sign it because First Lady Henriette 
Conte had been blocking access to the president. A former 
minister of finance between 1996 and 2001, Kassory Fofana, is 
believed to be the primary instigator. Reportedly, Kassory 
was one of Conte's closest advisors during his time as 
minister. LES told Poloff that Kassory "was the only person 
who could take Conte's package of cigarettes, remove a 
cigarette, and start smoking it in front of him." Kassory 
has been reportedly living in the United States since he left 
government, but recently returned to Guinea where he has been 
staying in a local hotel. He is seen as a close friend of 
former prime minister Cellou Diallo. LES sources report that 
Kassory was working closely with a former minister of 
transport, Ibrahima Keira. 
 
¶4. (S) After having been repeatedly blocked by Henriette 
Conte, one month ago Kassory and Keira reportedly went to 
Kindia, which is located about two hours from the capital, 
in order to regroup. At that time, they decided that Keira 
would travel to Morocco in order to bring the president's 
second wife, Kadiatou, back to Conakry with the idea that 
Conte would be obligated to visit his second wife, thereby 
sidestepping Henriette. (NOTE. Keira's own wife is 
apparently Kadiatou's older sister. END NOTE). They 
proceeded according to plan. Keira brought Kadiatou back to 
Conakry and Kassory had Conte sign the decree while the 
president was staying with Kadiatou. 
 
¶5. (S) LES sources report that Henriette was protecting 
Kouyate because the former prime minister was providing her 
with direct financial support. One contact said that Kouyate 
had build her a house in Paris. (COMMENT. Since Henriette 
has no visible income stream of her own, it is possible that 
money would have been attractive in order to build up some 
personal security in the face of her husband's declining 
health. END COMMENT). 
 
¶6. (S) Drawing on his personal relationship with the new PM, 
LES said that he went to visit Souare at home last night 
about 30 minutes after hearing the announcement of his 
appointment. LES reported that several members of the former 
government were there, including Keira and the former 
minister of interior Kiridy Bangorah. According to LES, 
Keira and Kiridy were visibly elated at the news of the 
appointment, suggesting that they may be angling for official 
appointments in the new government. LES contact said that 
Keira wants to be Guinea's Ambassador to the United Nations, 
but knew that he would never get the appointment under 
Kouyate. 
 
¶7. (S) LES mentioned that he had also spoken with Ben Sekou 
Syllah, the president of the National Independent Electoral 
Commission (CENI), and former president of the National 
Council of Civil Society Organizations. LES said that Syllah 
was not part of the plot, but that Kassory approached Syllah 
and asked for his support in order to control any possible 
negative reaction from civil society to Kouyate's dismissal. 
Syllah, who has been highly critical of Kouyate during 
meetings with Poloff, told LES that Kouyate had started his 
own political party, the Convergence of Guinean Patriots 
(CPG), despite claims to the contrary (reftel). According to 
Syllah, the party is still operational and Kouyate was using 
it as a mechanism to obtain financing in anticipation of 
running for president in 2010. Syllah also said that Kouyate 
had no interest in legislative elections and was actively 
blocking the process. 
 
¶8. (S) According to presidential sources, Conte wants to 
take a more active role in governing the country. The 
president reportedly wants to begin chairing some, if not 
all, of the weekly council of ministers meetings. One source 
reported that palace staff have already prepared a conference 
room at the Presidential Palace for that purpose. 
 
¶9. (S) LES commented that Souare is close to the old system 
and not seen as a reformer. He said that Souare is loyal to 
Conte and will not go against the president in order to 
advance any particular agenda. However, sources told LES 
that Souare is still interested in "change," but he will only 
do it in coordination with the president. 
 
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COMMENT 
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¶10. (S) LES is extremely well connected and has provided 
reliable information in the past, as well as thoughtful, 
relevant analysis. It is unclear whether he has a personal 
agenda in sharing certain information, but he is perceived as 
neither pro-Conte nor pro-Kouyate. His information, which 
tends to corroborate other sensitive reporting, offer useful 
insights into what might be happening behind the scenes at 
the presidential palace. END COMMENT. 
 
CARTER