Ambassador Sumah Leads Colleague Ambassadors to end post-Legislative elections impasse in GuineaFebruary 23, 2014
By Ishmael Kindama Dumbuya
In his capacity as the Dean of the Diplomatic Corps in the Republic of Guinea- cum- Dean of the African Group of Ambassadors accredited to the Republic of Guinea, (The Group), the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Republic of Guinea, His Excellency Ambassador Adikalie Foday Sumah, has led the Group to broker a political way out between the Opposition Political Parties and the ruling R. P. G. (Arc-en-Ciel) of the Republic of Guinea. The diplomatic intervention by the African Envoys was strategised in order to forestall the post-legislative elections planned public demonstrations and the looming boycott of the New National Assembly by the elected Members of Parliament of the Opposition Parties and, to bringing together, the Guinean Political Class to promote peace, security, political tolerance and social cohesion within the spirit of unity-in-diversity.
On the 27th November 2013, the Group commenced its first meetings, with the Leaders of the Opposition Parties at the U. F. D. G. Party Branch Office of Former Prime Minister, Mr. Alhaji Mamadou Cellou Dallein Diallo, in the Quartier of Hamdalaye, Commune de Ratoma, Conakry. The next round of meeting was with a cross-section of the Executive Members of the ruling R. P. G. (Arc-en-Ciel) Party, on the 4th December, 2013 at their Party Headquarters at the Quartier of Miniere, in the Commune de Dixinn, Conakry. The Group’s initiative was engendered within the comprehensive framework of the sub-Regional, Regional and Continental perspectives of fostering and consolidating peace and security, democracy, good governance, respect for democratic State institutions, human and peoples’ rights and, the rule of law on the African Continent.
The Group noted the warm and cordial receptions accorded it by the Leaders of the Opposition Parties who gained Seats in the New National Assembly; the Secretary-General of the ruling Party and his Executive Members, at their Party Headquarters at the Quartier of Miniere in the Commune de Dixinn, Conakry.
Below are excerpts of the Keynote Address of Ambassador Sumah to the Political Parties in the 2013 Legislative Elections in Guinea
- Today’s meeting is a continuation of the Group’s diplomatic initiative to bring together; the formidable Guinean political class with a view to promoting political harmony within the democratic spirit of unity-in-diversity, political tolerance and social cohesion: in the Name of Guinea and for the Sake of the Guinea people who, are drawn from the Four Administrative Regions of the Country namely: Upper Guinea; Middle Guinea; Lower Guinea and Guinea Forestiére.
- All of us are here to deliver to you, messages of felicitations from our respective Sovereign Heads of State from the Continent of Africa; for the courage and determination exhibited by your Parties and supporters as well as the general populace of Guineans, under very challenging circumstances, in seeing through; the Legislative elections in your great country. The Good example which you have set in the political history of this country in respect of the peaceful and tranquility under which the first ever democratic legislative elections are being conducted, is worthy of applause and indeed celebration. What we, the Group, constituting both your immediate and distant neighbours would encourage you to do is: to continue to build upon that marvelous success and, sustain the creation and promotion of a level political playing field for all actors in which every one feels as part and parcel of the Constitutional transition now propelled under the able and visionary Leadership of His Excellency Professor Alpha Condé, President of the Republic of Guinea.
- The Message we have for you this morning is the same message which we have graciously delivered to the Leaders of the Opposition Parties present and or represented at our meeting with them at the Branch Office of the U. F. R. D. G. Party of His Excellency, Mr. Alhaji Mamadou Cellou Dallein Diallo, on the 27th November 2013. The Message is that:
- We are longing for the peace, security and political stability of the Republic of Guinea, as well as her wider national interests. Without doubt, we believe in the basic truth that, peace, security, and political stability in Guinea have both its positive and down turn impact at the sub-regional; regional and the wider continental levels. Like the State and people of Guinea, the entire Continent of Africa is desirous of the positive aspects of the impact of a peaceful, secure and politically stable Guinea. Because, these democratic values are not only beneficial to the people of Guinea; they are equally beneficial to both the immediate and distant neighbours of Guinea across the African Continent.
- The Group calls on the Party in Governance to continue to ensure and promote a violent–free political atmosphere throughout the Guinean territory. It is a widely accepted socio-political fact that, violence in all of its nature, does not and will not conceive or give birth to good off-springs to any nation.
- I hope you would subscribe to the view that, the wind of globalisation blowing across the global village is unstoppable and every nation has a chance of enjoying its ideal cool temperatures. However, its positive dividend as it relates to the beneficial movement of Goods, services, capital, skills and people, to foster in-country economic development and growth, as well as attracting foreign direct investments, would only torch and reach the shores of nation-States where peace, security, stability, democracy, good governance, respect for fundamental human and peoples’ rights as well as the rule of law prevail.
- That is why, as a responsible and democratically constituted Party in governance, great sacrifices and restraints are expected by all under the national leadership of the ruling RPG (Arc-en-Ciel) Party, to ensure the protection of the lives, property and economic interest of all Guineans, including those on the other side of the political divide. Without a single doubt, the Group appreciates the difficulties attending the ruling Party in balancing between promoting its political party’s interest and, in governance of the country, living up to its democratic and constitutional responsibilities of protecting all its citizens.
- That is why we are calling on both the ruling RPG (Arc-en-Ciel) Party and the Opposition Parties as well as the Guinea Civil society to demonstrate restraints and exhibit a sense of patriotism during the difficult period marking the post- declaration of the result of the legislative elections by the Supreme Court of the Republic of Guinea.
- At this juncture, on behalf of the Group, I would like to call on the entire Political Class, their members, supporters and well-wishers, to support and favour the establishment of the New National Assembly for the purpose of moving the country forward. Like in all modern parliamentary democracies across civilisations, Parliament is the ideal forum for discussing and resolving challenging national issues, through debates as expected in a democratic society. That is why, if there are any existing differences between and among the political class after the declaration of the legislative results, we strongly believe that, the National Assembly is the ideal place to settle those differences within the spirit of functional and participatory democracy.
- We believe that where Parliament unites the entire county in the spirit of unity-in-diversity, the democratically elected Members of Parliament drawn from the Majority and the Minority Parties, acting together, justice will triumph over impunity.
On the 30th December 2013, the Group had audience with His Excellence the President, Professor Alpha Conde for the purpose of briefing him on its diplomatic intervention strategised in order to end the post-legislative election impasse, and to pave the way for the Re-convening of the New Parliament which had been in abeyance since 2007. As Dean of the Group, Ambassador Adikalie Foday Sumah, deliver the following Statement to President Conde at his Official Residence and Offices in Conakry, Guinea:
Statement Delivered by His Excellency Adikalie Foday Sumah, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Republic of Guinea, and Dean (Doyen) of the Diplomatic Corps in the Republic of Guinea-cum-the African Group of Ambassadors Accredited to the Republic of Guinea on the Occasion of their Courtesy Call on His Excellency Professor Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, after the Declaration of the 2013 Legislative Election Results
- Let me, on behalf of the African Group of Ambassadors Accredited to the Republic of Guinea, avail myself of the opportunity to express our profound thanks and appreciations to Your Excellency, Professor Alpha Conde, President of the Republic of Guinea, for allowing us to have audience with you today, amidst your very busy schedule with State matters. This gesture and others in the past accentuate the importance with which you accord the role of members of the Diplomatic Corps in the political, economic and socio-cultural development of Guinea under your Sovereign superintendence. By this, you have provided us with the thrust and encouragement to continue to contribute, in our modest ways, towards the consolidation of peace, security and stability of Guinea.
- Your Excellency, We have observed that, since your ascendancy to the Office of President of the Republic of Guinea, you have positioned Your Good Self to the cause of fostering democracy and good governance through strategic institutional reform policies to overhaul the Mining Sector; National Defence; Security and Justice. This approach clearly indicates your commitment to promoting the fundamental human and people’s rights within the ambit of the rule of law as well as repositioning Guinea’s economy.
- In this regard, we would like to assure you that, Guinea is not treading alone in the journey of her institutional modernisation; she is being accompanied by friendly and sisterly Nation-States on the African Continent as evident here on the ground by this Group of African Diplomats.
- Your Excellency, the purpose of our audience with you today is of two folds: On the first count, we are here to congratulate you, the Government and people of Guinea for the peaceful, convivial and orderly atmosphere in which the 28th September, 2013 legislative elections were conducted. What we witnessed on that day; left us under no delusion that, the Guinean people do not only love their beautiful country, but they also possess the proclivity and Will to unite in diversity for the purpose of safeguarding their national interests. We have therefore come to your magnificent Sekoutouraya to register our admiration and endorsement of the positive national spirit demonstrated by all Guineans, and to encourage them, under your equitable Leadership, to sustain that spirit AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN.
- On the second count, Your Excellency, I would like to utilise this auspicious occasion to brief you on the activities of this Group which were strategised to ensure that, the 2013 legislative elections were concluded within a level terrain which guarantees the re-establishment of the National Assembly on the declaration of the final result. In particular, we are happy to inform you today that:
(i). Immediately after the 28th September, 2013, and well before the announcement of the Provisional results, the Group met and set up a Committee to engage the Leaderships of the Opposition and the ruling Parties: to encourage them to exhibit the democratic spirit of accepting the outcome of the Legislative elections. The Committee also held fruitful discussions with members of the international community who were members of the Monitoring Committee which was established under the 3rd July, 2013 Political Agreement. The strategy, Your Excellency, in its unique way, contributed to the containment of the then tensed political environment which engulfed the nation in the period leading to the certification and declaration of the legislative elections result. The Committee also called on the political actors to resolve any political issues arising from the elections through the due process of the law.
(ii). On the declaration of the final result, the Group, once again, strategised an intervention which called for the continued engagement of the leaders of the opposition and the ruling Parties with a view to sustaining the patriotic spirit they had exercised since; by accepting the result and to rally behind your visionary and fatherly Leadership towards the timely convocation of the New National Assembly.
- Sir, the Group believes that by strategising its limited diplomatic intervention in the post-legislative elections situation, we were contributing in giving effect to the comprehensive framework of sub-Regional, Regional and Continental perspectives of fostering and consolidating peace and security, democracy, good governance, respect for democratic State institutions, human and peoples’ rights and, the rule of law on the African Continent. It is therefore gratifying to know that, the Group’s efforts have contributed to the clarion call of all those around the world, who love and wish Guinea well; in her onerous task of transforming this country into a functional and participatory democratic Nation-State. By this synergy, the Group will continue to accompany and support your Government and the people of Guinea to realise this well defined goal.
- Your Excellency, we believe that, where the Executive arm of State and Parliament unite the entire county in the spirit of unity-in-diversity; the Government, presided over by Your Excellency and the democratically elected Members of Parliament; drawn from the Majority and the Minority Parties, acting together, justice will triumph over impunity and thus unlocking the doors to sustainable national development.
Long live the Republic of Guinea!
Long live the International Community!
Thank you Sir for your noble attention
Since the African Envoys’ subtle diplomacy, the New Parliament was re-convened on Monday 13 January, 2013 thereby completing the Constitutional Transition occasioned by the demise of President Lansana Conteh, on the 23rd December, 2008 and the installation of the CNDD Junta Administration of Captain. Moussa Dadis Camara. Once again, Guineans have seen the restoration of the three Arms of Government: the Executive; Legislature and the Judiciary. By this show of diplomatic intercourse, it is important to point out that, President Koroma’s Choice of Mr. Adikalie Foday Sumah as his Envoy to our close door and, socio-culturally intertwined country, has demonstrated his meticulousness in placing the right people in the right place. As former President of the then Milton Margai Teachers College, and the first ever, President of the National Union of Sierra Leone Students (NUS), to be elected from the Advanced Teachers’ College, it is apparent that, leadership dexterity is not all new to Ambassador Sumah.
Given his determination to ensure that the ravages of war would only now serve the nation as pre-emptive antidote for our sustained survival as a nation, coupled with President Koroma’s vision for a transformed Sierra Leone with a thriving economy; buoyant agricultural productivity; good road network and a work force with decent living wage etc; Ambassador Sumah has, since his accreditation to the Republic of Guinea, simplified his cause to promoting peace, security and stability in the Mano River Union Sub-region. It has invariably, been the Ambassador’s conviction that, a peaceful; secure; stable and democratically governed Guinea will bolster the hard earned peace and security on our side of the border; after a devastatingly protracted civil war.