Viewing cable 09CONAKRY489
Title: YOUTH FIRED UP OVER POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS

IdentifierCreatedReleasedClassificationOrigin
09CONAKRY4892009-08-20 14:13:00 2011-08-30 01:44:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Conakry
VZCZCXRO7290
PP RUEHPA
DE RUEHRY #0489/01 2321413
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 201413Z AUG 09 ZDK
FM AMEMBASSY CONAKRY
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 3943
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 000489 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/20/2019 
TAGS: PGOV PREL KDEM ASEC GV
SUBJECT: YOUTH FIRED UP OVER POLITICAL DEVELOPMENTS 
 
REF: A. CONAKRY 0487 
     ¶B. CONAKRY 0476 
 
Classified By: A/DCM SHANNON CAZEAU FOR REASON 1.4 B AND D 
 
¶1.  (C) SUMMARY.  If an August 19 Embassy reception is any 
indication, key youth leaders in Guinea are fired up about 
the announced delay in elections and the possibility of Dadis 
as a presidential candidate.  Contacts were unanimously 
agreed that Dadis plans to run for office and that if he does 
so, he will "set the country on fire."  Several guests said 
that a major youth movement is likely to take off "soon," 
possibly in the next few weeks.  Over the last two years, 
Embassy has seen such movements fizzle at the last moment, 
which could very well be the case with this one.  However, it 
is equally possible that with the convergence of growing 
frustration with the stalled transition and indications that 
the CNDD has no plans to leave peacefully, a "trigger" such 
as a formal candidacy announcement from Dadis may be all that 
is needed to set things in motion.  END SUMMARY. 
 
¶2.  (SBU) During an August 19 reception for a public 
diplomacy visiting speaker program hosted by A/DCM, Conakry 
youth leaders were wound up about the postponing of elections 
and the possibility that CNDD President Moussa Dadis Camara 
may be planning to announce his candidacy (reftels).  The 
event attracted approximately 30 of Guinea's most active 
youth leaders, all between the ages of 20 and 35, coming from 
political parties, civil society organizations, and academia. 
 They are considered well-educated, intellectually sharp, and 
engaged.  They are also well known to each other.  One 
attendee commented that approximately 85% of the guests were 
part of a network established when they studied at university 
together. 
 
------------------------- 
DADIS WILL BE A CANDIDATE 
------------------------- 
 
¶3.  (U) As the reception took place, Dadis was holding a 
press conference wherein he made several troubling 
announcements.  Cell phones were ringing throughout the 
evening as contacts called guests to update them on Dadis' 
latest rants.  According to local press, Dadis said "the 
people never said that I could not present myself as a 
candidate...neither did the journalists.  I am a citizen.  I 
have already said that I will not be a candidate in 2009. 
But in 2010, it is the people who know...that depends on 
God." 
 
¶4.  (C) Youth reactions ranged from anger to frustration to 
vindication.  Without exception, they were all convinced that 
Dadis is laying the groundwork for a presidential bid and 
that it is only a matter time before he makes his intentions 
known to the rest of the world.  "I am telling you right now, 
he is going to run, and it is going to set this country on 
fire," one said.  Other youths echoed the same sentiment. 
 
------------------- 
"SECOND REVOLUTION" 
------------------- 
 
¶5.  (C) Not only were guests certain about Dadis' intentions, 
they were equally certain that any such announcement would 
incite an immediate revolt among the youth.  Several contacts 
made comments like "there will be some activity soon," 
"people are getting ready," or "this will be 2007 all over 
again" (referring to the mass labor movement of early 2007 
that resulted in widespread violence).  Still others used 
words like "second revolution" and "civil war."  One person 
commented that September and October are likely to be highly 
volatile politically and socially. 
 
¶6.  (C) A/DCM pulled Mouctar Diallo, the young leader of the 
NFD political party, aside for a private conversation.  A key 
youth leader during the 2007 strike, Diallo has been 
consistently and publicly critical of the CNDD, but he is 
also  known for his objective, calm, balanced approach to 
socio-political issues.  Diallo has been reluctant to risk 
violence, but also committed to the idea that other tactics 
may ultimately fail, forcing a violent response. 
 
¶7.  (C) According to Diallo, the threat of a youth uprising 
is of grave concern.  He said the youths are talking 
extensively about the delayed election timeline and Dadis' 
potential candidacy, and they are increasingly frustrated 
with the transition process.  "We could be looking at some 
kind of youth movement very soon, maybe within the next few 
weeks," Diallo said.  When A/DCM questioned whether such a 
movement would take off during the holy month of Ramadan, 
 
CONAKRY 00000489  002 OF 002 
 
 
which is scheduled to begin in the next few days, Diallo said 
that while Ramadan is normally a peaceful time, there are 
exceptions.  He cited a story from the Koran that focuses on 
an uprising that took place during the holy month.  Diallo 
said that if the right amount of frustration and desperation 
are in place, it is possible that youths would react during 
Ramadan and they would be even more "fervent" in their 
actions.  (COMMENT.  When consulted later, a religious 
contact was not sure which story Diallo was referring to, but 
said that it is not unheard of in Guinea to experience 
violence during Ramadan.  Civil unrest took place during this 
period last year.  END COMMENT). 
 
¶8.  (C) Since the assembled youths were clearly opposed to 
Dadis and the CNDD, Embassy officers asked questions about 
the recent emergence of pro-Dadis youth movements.  Guests 
immediately dismissed these movements as insignificant, 
saying that such groups had existed under the Conte regime 
and were essentially small and easily manipulated.  One youth 
commented that when things became unbearable, the pro-Conte 
groups were nothing compared to the masses of people that 
took to the streets in 2007.  "We are not concerned about 
them.  They have their views and we have ours, but we have 
the numbers," one person said. 
 
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COMMENT 
------- 
 
¶9.  (C) Unlike many receptions where conversation is muted 
and guests mingle among old friends and make new contacts, 
this was a reception with an atmosphere of palpable fire and 
energy.  Virtually no other subjects were discussed except 
that of the elections and Dadis.  Equally telling was the 
fact that everyone was essentially saying the same thing. 
Even those contacts who are generally more cautious and 
advocate for restraint seemed to be moving in a different 
direction.  The PD speaker is in country to discuss youth 
empowerment and participation in the democratic process, but 
most of the attendees had not yet attended any of his 
sessions.  They seemed energized not by the speaker, but by 
events taking place in Guinea. 
 
¶10.  (C) At the same time, Embassy has repeatedly seen 
emerging youth movements fracture just as it seems they are 
on the verge of something big.  The movement in 2007 was an 
exception and it is possible that with the right combination 
of events and frustration, such a movement could materialize 
again.  These youth leaders seem to think that they are 
approaching that moment and that Dadis' candidacy may be the 
catalyst.  They may be right, but past experience suggests 
that nothing comes of it.  Furthermore, it could be months 
before Dadis announces his candidacy.  A sensitive source 
indicated that Daids plans to run, but that his supporters 
are debating how it should be done.  There are also 
discussions of putting in a puppet candidate rather than 
Dadis himself.  END COMMENT. 
BROKENSHIRE