Viewing cable 09CONAKRY185
Title: GUINEA POST-COUP: A POLITICAL ROUNDUP FOR 6 MARCH

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09CONAKRY1852009-03-26 12:09:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Conakry
VZCZCXRO0529
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHRY #0185/01 0851209
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 261209Z MAR 09
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3569
INFO RUEHZK/ECOWAS COLLECTIVE
RHEFDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHMFISS/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 CONAKRY 000185 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 03/25/2019 
TAGS: PGOV EMIN PREL KDEM ASEC PHUM GV
SUBJECT: GUINEA POST-COUP:  A POLITICAL ROUNDUP FOR 6 MARCH 
TO MARCH 25 
 
Classified By: A/DCM SHANNON CAZEAU FOR REASON 1.4 B AND D 
 
¶1.  (SBU) SUMMARY.  Politics in Guinea continue to be fluid 
since the coup d'etat on 23 December 2008.  Given these 
circumstances, Post will periodically transmit roundups of 
significant political and economic events not covered in 
other reporting.  This roundup covers the period between 6 
March and 25 March, and includes new customs inspection 
procedures, the arrest of former Prime Minister Souare and 
three former ministers of mines, the suspension of three 
ministers, and a falling out between Dadis and his Minister 
of Commerce.  END SUMMARY. 
 
--------------------------------- 
NEW CUSTOMS INSPECTION PROCEDURES 
--------------------------------- 
 
¶2.  (SBU) During the week of March 16, CNDD President Moussa 
Dadis Camara decreed that all container traffic at the Port 
of Conakry must now be physically opened and inspected by 
Customs agents, in addition to passing through the electronic 
scanner.  The measure was reportedly instituted to ensure the 
quality of foodstuffs.  According to Embassy contacts, a 
container of live chickens had arrived at the port a week 
earlier, but the chickens had died en route to Conakry. 
Unfortunately, the importer sold the dead chickens into the 
local market for consumption, causing a number of people to 
become sick.  Other contacts said that the CNDD was informed 
of "suspicious" containers moving through the port. 
Suspicious items included narcotics and "food unfit for human 
consumption." 
 
¶3.  (C) As the decree did not distinguish between commercial 
and diplomatic shipments, GSO went down to the port with a 
copy of the Vienna Convention in hand and informed port 
officials that they were not allowed to open diplomatic 
shipments. Port officials agreed and Embassy has not had any 
problems.  However, local business contacts are concerned 
about the additional security measures, which they see as 
inefficient and unnecessary.  One such importer privately 
spoke with the Customs Director to ask him to cancel either 
the physical inspection or the required electronic scan.  The 
Director reportedly told him that he would not conduct the 
physical inspections, but would continue with the usual 
procedure of scanning containers. 
 
-------------------------------- 
DADIS TAKES ON THE MINING SECTOR 
-------------------------------- 
 
¶4.  (U) During a mining forum on March 19, Dadis announced 
the immediate suspension of the Ministers of Cooperation and 
Planning because they were not present at the forum's 
opening.  Dadis reportedly later retracted the Minister of 
Planning's suspension when he discovered that the Minister 
had not attended because he was not feeling well.  The 
Minister of Cooperation's suspension was never formally 
announced through a decree so contacts say it is unclear 
whether or not he is still suspended. 
 
¶5.  (U) Dadis also noted that the Director of the Ashanti 
Gold Mining Company (SAG) was absent at the mining forum and 
subsequently announced that SAG was henceforth closed.  The 
company closed down operations over the weekend, but reopened 
on March 23.  According to a contact at SAG, Dadis granted 
the company permission to resume operations after the SAG 
Director met with Dadis to resolve the issue. 
 
¶6.  (U) During the mining forum, Dadis commented that any 
company interested in the Simandou Project must build a 
railroad between Simandou and Conakry.  Although the status 
of the contract is unclear, the Simandou Project is part of 
Rio Tinto's iron ore concession in the Forest Region. 
 
¶7.  (C) Finally, Dadis announced that he was setting up a 
commission to review the country's mining contracts.  The 
commission is comprised of six members:  Ahmed Kante (former 
Minister of Mines), Louis M'Bemba Soumah (union leader), Dr. 
Ibrahima Fofana (union leader), Alpha Conde (head of RPG 
political party), Sidya Toure (head of UFR political party), 
and Jean Marie Dore (head of UPG political party).   Dr. 
Fofana told Pol LES over the telephone on March 24 that by 
establishing the commission, Dadis is honoring union demands 
made during the 2007 strike.  However, Fofana commented that 
although he appreciated the gesture, the commission is 
nothing more than a verbal designation until made official by 
a presidential decree.  Jean-Marie Dore told Pol LES that the 
commission plans to meet soon to define its operational plan. 
 During a March 25 meeting with Pol/Econ Chief, Sidya Toure 
 
CONAKRY 00000185  002 OF 002 
 
 
was less convinced.  He said he was willing to serve on the 
commission, but its status and role is as of yet unclear. 
 
------------------------ 
MATAP MINISTER SUSPENDED 
------------------------ 
 
¶8.  (SBU) Dadis' suspensions did not end with the economic 
ministers.  The following day, he suspended the Minister of 
Territorial Administration and Political Affairs (MATAP), a 
suspension that most view as "official" because it was 
announced as a presidential decree over national radio. 
Although no explanations were provided, some Embassy contacts 
suggest that the suspension was due to the Minister's failure 
to provide Dadis with an official briefing after returning 
from a trip to the Forest Region.  Other contacts said that 
the Minister addressed a Forest audience in a local tribal 
language, which Dadis saw as intentionally encouraging 
ethnocentrism.  Still others said that the MATAP minister 
attempted to replace some local prefects without Dadis' 
knowledge. 
 
-------------------- 
HIGH PROFILE ARRESTS 
-------------------- 
 
¶9.  (U) Just a few days after appointing Ahmed Kante, a 
former Minister of Mines, to the new mining commission, the 
CNDD had him arrested on embezzlement charges along with 
three other former ministers of mines:  Ahmed Tidiane Souare 
(who was also Prime Minister from May to December 2008), 
Louceny Nabe, and Ousmane Syllah.  All four individuals are 
reportedly being held at PM3, a gendarmerie prison, where 
they have been since March 23.  A local press report 
(aminata.com) indicates that the four former ministers 
embezzled a combined total of more than 26.5 billion GnF 
($5.5 million).  Prior to his arrest, Dadis had publicly 
recognized Kante for his patriotism and integrity. 
 
----------------------------------- 
NO SPECIAL FAVORS FOR DADIS' FAMILY 
----------------------------------- 
 
¶10.  (U) According to Guinea's national radio/television 
station, Dadis had a major falling out with his Minister of 
Commerce, Colonel Korka Diallo, on March 24.  Dadis' 
daughter, Madeleine Dadis Camara, reportedly sent a letter to 
the Director of Total requesting a license to transport fuel. 
 The letter was forwarded to Minister Korka who initialed his 
consent and then sent it back to the Director of Total who 
later informed Dadis of his daughter's request.  When Dadis 
found out, he was reportedly furious and immediately convened 
an emergency meeting with members of the CNDD, the Prime 
Minister, and Minister Korka. 
 
¶11.  (U) During the meeting, Dadis reprimanded Minister 
Korka, emphasizing that the entire government is aware of 
Dadis' position on handing out undue favors to members of his 
family.  Dadis characterized Korka's actions as a deliberate 
attempt to undermine Dadis' integrity, ethics, and family 
values.  He argued that he cannot denounce corruption and 
arrest people accused of such if his own daughter is 
soliciting favors from Dadis' ministers.  Since Dadis 
apparently considered the matter a personal slight, he 
announced that he would be filing a complaint against Korka 
to the Minister of Justice.  Korka attempted to explain his 
actions several times, but was repeatedly cut off by Dadis. 
Dadis finally allowed him to apologize after the Prime 
Minister and the Minister of Defense (Vice President Sekouba 
Konate) pleaded with Dadis to give Korka a second chance. 
 
------------------------------- 
SAUDI ARABIAN EMBASSY TO REOPEN 
------------------------------- 
 
¶12.  (U) Following a March 24 cabinet meeting, the Minister 
of Communication announced that Saudi Arabia would be 
reopening its embassy in Guinea in the next few weeks.  Saudi 
Arabia had closed its embassy shortly after the December 23 
coup. 
RASPOLIC