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Will Guinea accept Konate’s gift?


konateOne of the first things you see when you arrive at the airport in Conakry is a poster of General Sekouba Konate, wearing fatigues, sunglasses and a red beret.

Drive into the city, and interspersed among the campaign billboards that┬ácover the sides of major roadways, you’ll see more Konate posters – including one bearing the words “Sentinel de la Paix”, bringer of peace.

It seems appropriate to pay homage to the leader of Guinea’s military junta, who surprised many Guineans and much of the world for pushing hard to transfer his power to a civilian through free and fair elections – something the West African state has never experienced before.

“I don’t know of another soldier in Guinea who would have done that,” said General Ibrahim Balde, the head of Guinea’s national guard and election security forces during an interview last week. “What he has given the country is a real gift.”